About the ISSA
After World War II, someone had the idea of creating the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association. In 1946, the ISSA was born. And 73 years later, it's still a vibrant and much appreciated organization.
The original idea was for the state's sports media to gather in Indianapolis the night before the high school basketball finals, which then was a boys only, single-class tourney. The mood was festive, with food, drink and poker, while honoring ISSA members. The turnouts were large and the meetings successful. But things started changing. Members began covering Indiana and Purdue teams in the NCAA tourney on the night before the state finals instead of coming to the ISAA meeting. Plus, the introduction of class basketball diluted the media's interest in the high school finals. Attendance started sagging at the ISSA meetings.
To save the ISSA it was clear change was necessary. So 23 years ago the ISSA decided that the key purpose of the organization would be to create a Hall of Fame, and to induct members annually. The yearly Hall of Fame induction banquet has become a tremendous success. There is a lot of personal satisfaction in being honored by your peers. It is from these people that you get your greatest respect.
Prospective ISSA members ask what they get from joining the ISSA. What they get is the satisfaction of associating with and earning the respect of their peers. That is what happens at the yearly Hall of Fame induction ceremony, where the state's sportswriters and sportscasters (both active and retired) gather to reconnect with each other and to honor their peers. With the induction of six newcomers in 2019, the ISSA's Hall of Fame will grow to 118 members.
The ISSA honors the best in the business. Besides the Hall of Fame inductions, the association also annually honors the Corky Lamm Sportswriter of Year and the Marv Bates Sportscaster of the Year, in addition to also giving out the Bob Williams Helping Hand Award. Periodically, the ISSA presents the Ron Lemasters Lifetime Achievement Award. Lemasters, now deceased, is a past president of the ISSA and, along with Rex Kirts, another past president and current member, are credited with playing key roles in creating the association’s Hall of Fame.