James L. Baughman, the Fetzer Bascom professor of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, died Saturday, March 26, 2016 after a short illness. He was 64.
Baughman was born in Warren, Ohio, Jan. 10, 1952, the son of Lewis E. and Ann B. Baughman. He grew up in Warren, attending Warren City Schools. He earned his BA from Harvard in 1974 and Ph.D. in History from Columbia in 1981.
Baughman joined the UW journalism faculty in 1979. He revived and regularly taught the History of Mass Communication lecture course and frequently taught reporting classes. A popular instructor, Baughman won the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award in 2003.
Baughman served two terms as director of the journalism school, from 2003 to 2009. He oversaw the School's successful centennial celebration in 2005 and helped to establish the Center for Journalism Ethics several years later. As director, he gave many public service talks. He was the first recipient of the Ken and Linda Ciriacks Alumni Excellence Award in 2005, sponsored by the Wisconsin Alumni Association.
Baughman developed a national reputation for his work on the history of 20th century American journalism and broadcast news. He was the author of four books, including Same Time, Same Station: Creating American Television, 1948-1961 (2007).
Baughman served on the Wisconsin Advisory Committee to the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights from 1985 to 1992, the last two as chair. At the time of his death, his was chair of the advisory committee of the UW's Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture.
Friends and former students will remember Jim's humor and skill at mimicry. No UW faculty member did a better imitation of Eleanor Roosevelt or Bill Clinton. Less fondly, those who knew him will recall his lifelong and often inexplicable devotion to the Cleveland Indians baseball team.
Survivors include his mother, Ann, of Columbus, Ohio, brother, Milton (Julia) of Columbus, nephew Thomas (Yvonne) of Paso Robles, CA, and niece Kate of New York City, as well as his wife and best friend, Michele (Mickey) Michuda.
In lieu of flowers, Jim would appreciate donations in his name made payable to the UW Madison Foundation for the Library Impact fund in memory of Jim Baughman. US Bank Lockbox 78807, Milwaukee, WI 53278. The Fund will support the greatest needs of the UW-Madison Libraries.
A memorial service will be held at 2PM on Friday, April 8, 2016 at CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN, 944 E. Gorham St., Madison with Rev. Glen Reichelderfer officiating. Family will greet friends at church from 12:30 PM until the time of service. Light refreshments will follow.
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