In 1989, John Ahlhauser contacted J. Bruce Baumann inquiring about the possibility of setting up a scholarship for picture editors. Betty Kalish, wife of the late Stan Kalish, wanted to do something in Kalish’s name, and she thought a scholarship would be ideal. Baumann suggested, instead, a picture editing workshop, whereby the money could be used to train a large number of picture editors in an intensive program, using the talents of the best picture editors in the country. The conversation between Ahlhauser and Baumann exchanged ideas for the workshop, and with the blessing of Betty Kalish, the Stan Kalish Picture Editing Workshop came to life in 1990. Twenty-five student met in that first class held at Marquette University, in Milwaukee, with Ahlhauser becoming the first workshop director. As promised, the faculty included some of the best picture editors in the country, and trained more than 500 students to date. Baumann served two years as director of the workshop, including the year the workshop was moved from Marquette University to Ball State University.
J. Bruce Baumann is the recently retired editor of The Evansville Courier & Press, after serving six years as that newspaper’s managing editor and three years as the executive editor and editor. The Courier is a 68,000 daily, 92,000 Sunday circulation in Southern Indiana.
Prior to Evansville, Baumann worked in Monterey, California, where he was the managing editor of the Monterey County Herald. He was also editor of Scripps Howard Publishing, Inc., a book and special publications company owned and operated by E. W. Scripps. Baumann was responsible for developing, editing and publishing 15 regional coffee-table books for both Scripps Howard and non-Scripps Howard newspapers.
For more than 46 years, Baumann has worked for newspapers and magazines as a designer, photographer, reporter, picture editor, director of photography, lifestyles editor, Sunday Magazine editor, and assistant managing editor, executive editor and editor. For five years, he was a picture editor, designer and photographer at National Geographic Magazine. In addition, Baumann was a visiting professor of journalism at Syracuse University for four years, and founder and director of the interdisciplinary Pittsburgh Conference for eight years, and the Photography in Journalism Conference for four years.
Baumann's work for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa and California has earned him more than 500 awards, including 22 awards in the University of Missouri/ National Press Photographers Association competition for editing and photography. He was a POYi Picture Editor of the Year four times. In 1992 he received the prestigious Joseph A. Sprague Award for Photojournalism. In 2005 the National Press Photographers Association named him Editor of the Year. In 2007 NPPA awarded him the John Durniak Mentoring Award.
The Evansville Courier & Press won the best use of pictures eight out of the last nine years in the Indiana News Photographers Association annual competition. In 2006, the Courier & Press won Best Use of Pictures for newspapers under 100,000 circulation in Pictures of the Year international (POYi) competition. And the Courier & Press was twice named Indiana’s Blue Ribbon Daily Newspaper, designating it the best daily in the state.
Bruce started his career in 1960 as an intern in the sports department of the old Evansville Courier, while still finishing his senior year at the old Central High School.
He recently concluded almost 47 years in publishing as the editor of the Courier & Press.
Since his retirement from the Courier & Press, Bruce has picked up his cameras again, this time working on a personal photographic documentary on Posey County, a National Geographic styled assignment, entitled the Posey Project. The early efforts of the project can be viewed at www.poseyproject.com.
In January 2008, Baumann accepted a position at Southern Illinois University, as the Picture Editor-in-Residence, teaching advanced photojournalism and a class in picture editing and newsroom management.
- Southern Illinois University photojournalism students' work
- The Posey Project -- photographs by J. Bruce Baumann
A work in progress on rural Posey County, where J. Bruce Baumann has retired to take pictures, muck out the horse barn and play with his dogs. If the weather is not too cold, too hot, too wet or too snowy, Baumann will continue to add pictures to this site forever.