February 1, 2021

Jill Ditmire, Arts & Culture Journalist And Advocate, Dies at 56

Jill Ditmire records on location during production of "Celebrate Naptown." - Clayton Taylor/WFYI

Jill Ditmire records on location during production of "Celebrate Naptown."

Clayton Taylor/WFYI

Longtime local arts reporter and WFYI journalist Jill Ditmire, whose work in local broadcast journalism included "Curious Mix," "Indiana Outdoors" and "The Good Life," has died. She was 56.

Ditmire's face and voice were a part of the lives of Midwest viewers and listeners for 25 years. She held many different roles, including anchor of WFYI's "All Things Considered," reporter at almost every local Indianapolis television network news, producer and co-host of a range of Indiana public media programs, frequent freelance contributor to print publications, and a reporter and anchor at several radio stations. Ditmire brought both depth of knowledge and innovation to her work, assets that led to a series of social media videos that many WFYI audience members used to stay connected to and inspired by the arts, especially during COVID-19.

"Jill was a respected journalist and a tireless advocate for the Indianapolis arts community," said WFYI CEO and President Greg Petrowich. "More than that, she was a friend and colleague and will be missed by all who knew her."

Ditmire's career extended beyond broadcast media, led largely by her interest in food and wine. She served as a judge and as a contestant in a range of wine and food events, including the time she was a finalist in the Pillsbury BakeOff. She was the owner and buyer for the Mass Ave. Wine Shoppe and Café, a role that led her to volunteerism with the street's merchant group. She was also active with local arts group IDADA and IndyFringe as a volunteer and leader and served as an event emcee for many local nonprofit organizations.

A 1986 graduate of Butler University, Ditmire also found time to teach Newswriting 101 for students at her alma mater. For many WFYI staff, she continued her teaching, informally, always ready to lend insights and support to colleagues.

Plans for services are anticipated at a later date.

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