Jim Thistle

The late broadcast journalism program director Jim Thistle is now a member of the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame, inducted before hundreds of friends, family and colleagues at a ceremony in Quincy, Mass., on Sept. 13.

Thistle was remembered at the induction ceremony as a “hands-on” news director during the pre-Internet heyday of local news; the graduate of BU’s College of Communication remains the only person who was news director at all three of Boston’s network affiliates (WBZ-TV, WCVB and WHDH).

After decades in the newsrooms, in 1980, Thistle joined the faculty of Boston University, teaching, directing the broadcast journalism program and, at one time, chairing the journalism department. He cared deeply about local news, never going to the networks himself, preferring to live in Everett, Mass., in the first house he ever bought.

But Thistle had an eye for talent, teaching and mentoring students who became leaders in the industry, including Erica Hill of CBS, Gary Tuchman of CNN as well as an army of producers, videographers, reporters at news outlets here in New England and all over the world.

Thistle was one of several deceased honorees remembered at the luncheon event. His wife Jeannie and three grown children were among the hundreds who attended. Thistle died in 2008 of brain cancer and his colleagues at Boston University, as well as throughout the journalism community, miss him deeply.

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