It’s a rare reporter who leaves daily news to try to make journalism a better institution. From our inbox this morning:
You asked several weeks ago if I was taking the latest buyout at the Los Angeles Times. I apologize for not responding sooner. But I want to let you know that I am leaving the paper after 21 memorable years, including nearly 19 years in the Washington bureau. My last day is March 28.
As you may know, I’m one of two remaining charter members of the bureau’s high-profile investigative team (started five editors and 14 years ago) and one of three Pulitzer winners in the bureau’s history (2003). This was one of more than a dozen national awards that I shared with my colleagues, including the Polk Award, the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and two IRE awards.
With Robin Fields departing as well, the bureau’s I-team, which just a year ago had seven members, including Kevin Sack, my partner on the Harrier, will be down to three.
I’m leaving the paper but not the battlefield. I have a planning grant from the Knight Foundation to bring journalists and retired journalists into secondary schools to give students the tools to become smarter and more frequent consumers and producers of credible information across all media. My former editor, John Carroll, Vivian Schiller, who runs nytimes.com, and Chuck Lewis, who founded the Center for Public Integrity, are among my advisory board members.
I’ve spoken to many journalists, educators and social entrepreneurs in recent months, and have generated promising ideas, participation and initial support for Appleseed: The News Literacy Project. “The concept of reaching out to the younger generation through those of us who have experienced classical journalism and appreciate the First Amendment is long overdue,” Philadelphia Inquirer Editor Bill Marimow told me recently. “In my opinion, this project is one of great importance, and great urgency.”
I look forward to keeping up with LA Times, as well as the rest of the media world, through your site.
Alan C. Miller