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Posts Tagged ‘Paul Steiger’

Gauging the Next ‘Golden Age’ of Journalism

We’re still mulling over remarks made last Friday in Lawrence, KS by ProPublica founder and executive chairman Paul Steiger. Accepting the prestigious William Allen White Foundation National Citation from the University of Kansas’s White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, he talked a lot about “golden ages” of journalism.

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According to Steiger, the last such era started in the mid-1950s and ran through the mid-1970s. Ergo, ending right around the time a massive amount of students were compelled by Woodward and Bernstein to head to J-school. Steiger takes issue with Henry Blodget‘s 2013 declaration that a new golden age is upon us. He says we’re perhaps close, but not quite there yet:

“Creating millions of lone-wolf, single-person bloggers doesn’t get us to a golden age. It can give us cat photos that make us giggle, news scoops involving an original fact or two, a trenchant analysis of finance or politics or sculpture, video of Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift nuzzling their latest boyfriends, or possibly some movie and book reviews worth trusting. All nice to have but not game-changing.”

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ProPublica Founder Surveys the Changed Landscape of Investigative Journalism

From South Africa’s The Media Online comes an interesting overview of non-profit investigative news outfit ProPublica.

Reporter Peta Krost Mauder spoke with founder and executive chairperson Paul Steiger, previously a managing editor at the Wall Street Journal. He acknowledged that the Internet has destroyed the business model of high-quality print journalism and that non-profit is just one of several new ways to go:

Steiger has approached numerous philanthropists and convinced them that a portion of their money would be well spent on investigative journalism. “It is a fine way to spend their money because investigative journalism allows [the] public to fix problems of which they would otherwise be unaware,” says Steiger. “Investigative stories are always in the public good…”

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Robin Fields Named Managing Editor of ProPublica

ProPublica announced several changes today. Robin Fields has been promoted from senior editor to managing editor; Stephen Engelberg will move up to ProPublica’s editor-in-chief; Paul Steiger goes from EIC to executive chairman; and Eric Umansky has been tapped as assistant managing editor.

Fields has been with ProPublica since 2008. She was named a senior editor two years ago. Fields began her career at the Sun-Sentinel in Florida. Umansky, previously a senior editor, will report to Fields. He also began at ProPublica in 2008.

“From her first day here, Robin has been a dynamic force for ProPublica,” said Engelberg, in a statement. “Her reporting showed how adept she was at pulling complex stories together, and the time she’s spent as an editor shows her ability to connect with the staff and bring home award-winning caliber work. Robin’s passion and her quick wit have made her a pleasure to work with and we’re very proud and lucky to have her as our new managing editor.”

The various appointments take effect January 1, 2013.

Paul Steiger to Step Down as EIC/CEO of ProPublica

The New York Times is reporting that Paul Steiger is stepping down as Editor-in-Chief and CEO of ProPublica in January. Steiger is going to take on the role of Executive Chairman, and Stephen Engelberg, currently the site’s Managing Editor, will succeed him. Additionally, Richard Tofel, ProPublica’s General Manager, will become President. Both Engelberg and Tofel will share the CEO role.

Steiger is moving on because he believes in Engelberg and Tofel, but also because ProPublica — which launched in 2008 — is on solid ground. “It seems like the right time, and, in addition, I have two colleagues who are totally ready to take over,” Steiger explained to the Times. “The message is getting across, more people understand why for this kind of journalism, part of the solution needs to come from philanthropy.”

Each change takes effect on January 1, 2013.

CJR Panel: Is Web Journalism Profitable?

ccc.jpgYesterday, the Columbia Journalism Review held a conference entitled “Beyond the Newsroom: Traditional journalistic skills in a nontraditional world” with panelists Michael Calderone from Politico, David Banks of Civic Venture and Encore.org), New School professor and former Associated Press correspondent Clara Hemphill, Charles Sennott of The Global Post and Paul Steiger of ProPublica.

So with these veteran reporters speaking about new media endeavors, did anyone produce a new perspective on web journalism or its potential lucrativeness?

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Journalist Judges Help ProPublica Award Investigative Governance Prizes

propublica.pngNon-profit investigative newsroom ProPublica announced the winners of its first ever Investigative Governance Prizes today.

The winners were federal and state/local investigative reports of elected or executive agencies, the legislative branch or independent agencies. The jury, which included public officials, politicians and journalists, awarded four prizes — two at the state/local level and two at the federal level — but did not award a prize for a federal investigation of an independent agency.

The jury included Byron Calame, former public editor for The New York Times and former deputy managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, Denver Post editor and ProPublica Journalism Advisory Board member Gregory L. Moore and Paul Steiger, ProPublica’s editor-in-chief.

“The Prize-winning reports cited today represent government at its open, self-correcting best,” said Steiger. “Our Prizes honor dedicated investigators, and the institutions they represent, for bringing abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust to public notice. Such work can, and does, truly make a difference.”

A full list of the winners after the jump

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Video: Exclusive Interviews Live at the Matrix Awards

touby_4-28.jpgDanyLevyVideo.jpg mediabistro.com was on the scene at Monday’s 39th annual Matrix Awards honoring women’s achievements in the communications industry. Today co-anchor Meredith Vieira, a past winner and this year’s emcee, told TVNewser before the ceremony began, “This is a room full of such accomplished women, it’s a little mind-boggling.”

mediabistro.com founder and senior vice president Laurel Touby caught up with Daily Candy founder and editorial director Dany Levy (who sold her company for $125 million in August 2008), ProPublica editor-in-chief Paul Steiger, Seventeen editor-in-chief Ann Shoket, and Studio 360 anchor Kurt Andersen to discuss the future of the media industry, with the news of Portfolio‘s closure as a catalyst for conversation.

Watch the videos to find out what they had to say about Portfolio‘s demise and more, after the jump…

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Rupe Wears Complete Collapse of Newspaper Industry Well

600-deal.jpgEverything is relative. Remember last year when news that Rupert Murdoch was in talks to buy Dow Jones was greeted with the same dire predictions usually reserved for the four horsemen of the apocalypse? Well, what a difference a year makes, as they say, more specifically a year which a seen the economic dismantling of the newspaper industry. Turns out that while the direst predictions about newspapers as a whole are proving out, Rupe hasn’t been all that bad.

Murdoch has stood out…showing faith in a shrinking business. The Journal has yet to see the massive layoffs of other publications, and there are plans to expand coverage in some areas. Bucking the industry trend, subscriptions actually went up for the six months ended in March.
Of course, regular FBNY readers will already know that according to the Paul Steiger (the last WSJ editor prior to Murdoch’s takeover), Rupe has been “pouring money” into the paper, and that according to Slate‘s Jack Shafer, playing Good Rupe just happens to be a better financial investment. However, as we all know, those who laugh last laugh loudest and it is early days yet, even Rupe says, “this is destined to be an extra-inning game, and to use an overly used metaphor, we’re only in the first inning.”

Rupert Murdoch: Merely Valuing the Valuable

4799f8gg1fe6faf-murdoch.jpgIs a little Rupe optimism going too long a way? Over the last few months the chorus of commentary where Rupert Murdoch and the WSJ is concerned has frequently been a concession that things are not nearly as bad as people had assumed they would be (read: apocalyptic). Just last week, former WSJ head Paul Steiger said that thus far he has seen no evidence of the “bad Rupert showing up” at the paper. Well, not so fast! Jack Shafer says that Steiger is “playing stupid.” Referring to a 2007 article by Portfolio‘s Felix Salmon, which described Rupe as valuing editorial independance when it’s valuable, Shafer says that the WSJ is not “stink proof” and that its “editorial independence” is the paper’s primary asset, as well as a way for Rupe to achieve wider political influence, be it on of the red or blue hue.

Speaking of optimism gone awry, remember those 95 little rays of reporter-hiring sunshine Robert Thomson mentioned in a memo a few weeks ago. Well, turns out things are a bit less sunny than everyone presumed. The Observer is reporting that all the hires will be to the Dow Jones news wires, not to mention, there is no set time limit in which they will be made.

Former WSJ Editor Says Rupe Doing a Great Job, Mr. Hyde So Far a No-Show

dr_jekyll_and_mr_hyde_p.jpgIs Rupert Murdoch single-handedly keeping the WSJ a bastion of journalistic integrity? Paul Steiger, the former managing editor of The Wall St. Journal, the last one, in fact, to serve before Rupert Murdoch took over, says that he knows “something about the economics of that paper. It is not making money. [Rupe] is pouring money into that paper to try and upgrade it.”

Steiger, who has since gone on launch ProPublica, seems to have nothing but nice things to say about the changes Rupe has wrought since taking over the Journal last year: “I think, as a reader, that the Journal is doing a terrific job.” Furthermore, judging from the current state of the Journal Steiger told an audience he sees no evidence of “Bad Rupert” raising his head: “I see no evidence, nor do my friends there report any evidence, of the bad Rupert showing up, trying to move the coverage in a way that advances his business interests. So, to me, my fears haven’t been realized.”

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