Stephen KeyClass year and major:1977, Journalism

Current position and responsibilities: Executive Director and General Counsel for the Hoosier State Press Association (HSPA), which represents the state’s paid-circulation newspapers (More than 170 newspapers). Among many duties, I represent the newspaper industry before state government agencies, including lobbying before the Indiana General Assembly. I also serve as a resource for legal questions that newspaper officials — be it publishers, editors, reporters or advertising directors — might have on issues ranging from the state’s Open Door Law, Access to Public Records Act, postal regulations or Fair Housing Act advertising restrictions.

Major project/achievement of the past year: In 2010, HSPA launched InfoNet, a service that allows Indiana newspapers to share content, serve as a marketplace for freelance writers and photographers, and avenue for entities to share press releases.

Why did you choose journalism and law as your career: I became a lawyer because it presented an opportunity to make a difference, just as working for several newspapers did in my 13-year career before entering law school. I believe in the importance of a free press to our democratic process, and my work at Hoosier State Press Association puts me in a position to try and strengthen the public’s right to know what actions its government representatives are taking or contemplating.

How did Butler prepare you for your career: The education I received, primarily from professors such as Art Levin, gave me the tools to be an award-winning reporter and editor at several newspapers. The requirements for a journalist to seek and understand multiple views on a particular issue also helped me succeed in law school and as a lobbyist representing Indiana newspapers before the state legislature.

Most memorable experience(s) at Butler: Working on The Butler Collegian. Serving as editor my senior year taught me some lessons on leadership that helped me in later years. The staff of students was great to work with, even if it often was during all-night sessions on Monday nights in the basement of Jordan Hall. My position on the newspaper also gave me the opportunity to meet President Gerald Ford during his visit to Hinkle Fieldhouse my senior year.

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