By Mark Ambrogi
Dan Byron’s efforts to protect journalists in their investigative pursuits has not gone unnoticed.
The Carmel resident will be honored with the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame’s John P. McMeel Distinguished Service Award during the Hall of Fame luncheon May 20 at the Columbia Club in Indianapolis. This will be only second time that the IJHF has presented the Distinguished Service Award.
The award honors individuals outside the media for outstanding career contributions that support Indiana journalists. For example, contributions can be in the areas of technology, business or freedom of information.
“I’ve handled many media law matters through the years,” said Byron, a partner with Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP. “I started that in 1969 when I went to the law firm that was called the McHale firm. They had incorporated WISH-TV in 1954. When I came on board, I was asked to represent them in a lawsuit. The law firm then (asked if I) would like to handle the WISH-TV account. I represented WISH-TV on many matters.”
From there, Byron became general counsel for the Indiana Broadcasters Association.
“That gave me exposure to all radio and television stations in the state,” Byron said. “I’ve represented numerous newspapers around the state from time to time.”
Approximately 10 years ago, Byron was invited to become part of the International Senior Lawyers Project, which sends media lawyers overseas to assist journalists in foreign countries to help defend their investigative reports as they do articles that may be critical of government.
Byron said he has been sent to Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria and Mongolia.
Byron, the president of the Indiana Debate Commission, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indiana Broadcasters Association in 2008. He is the only non-broadcaster to receive the award, which is considered the association’s highest honor.
For more, visit mediaschool.indiana.edu/ijhf/.