Knight Center in Editing Excellence Creates New Leadership Role to Guide Journalism’s Future

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Tom Warhover Named Executive Editor for Innovation

Columbia, Mo. (Sept. 6, 2006) — The Knight Center in Editing Excellence at the Missouri School of Journalism is expanding efforts to face the journalistic challenges of the 21st century with the creation of an exciting new leadership role: Executive Editor for Innovation.

Veteran newspaper editor Tom Warhover will lead efforts to transform the daily Columbia Missourian and its satellite publications into newsrooms of the future, experimenting with new approaches to content and delivery while honoring the best traditions of public service, integrity and independence.

“Editors across America are scrambling to keep up with unprecedented change in our industry, but get tugged back to the daily demands of running a newsroom,” said Jacqui Banaszynski, Knight Chair at the Missouri School of Journalism and the head of the Center in Editing. “This new role recognizes that the top person in the newsroom must be, above all, a leader of change while protecting the profession’s best principles.”

Tom Warhover
Tom Warhover
Jacqui Banaszynski
Jacqui Banaszynski
Lisa Clausen
Lisa Clausen
Will Dean
Will Dean

The Knight Center in Editing also has named two new Editing Fellows in the fourth year of a professional-in-residence program. Lisa Clausen, a designer at the StarTribune in Minneapolis, will direct reporters covering family issues and design systems for collaborative planning within multi-media newsrooms. Will Dean, formerly a features editor at the Savannah (Ga.) Morning News, will work on developing business beat coverage at the Missourian and concentrate on effective methods for coaching writers and directing content that crosses media platforms.

In his new role, Warhover will join the Knight Center in Editing and will direct the Missourian newsrooms as live laboratories for change, with an emphasis on emerging technologies and citizen involvement to strengthen the journalistic mission. He will work with journalism professionals and scholars to identify the urgent challenges facing the industry and with researchers at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute to study the impact of new approaches to journalism. Missouri journalism students will be at the center of the innovations. Reuben Stern, BJ ’93, MA ’06, has been named managing editor of the Missourian. He formerly was the senior news editor and graphics editor of the Missourian. Before that, Stern worked as design editor of the Los Angeles Daily News.

“We need to plan for the newsroom of the next 10 years, and we need to do it in the next 12 months,” Warhover said. “The pressure is on all of us. How can the Missourian help the industry? Through enlightened trial and error.”

Warhover, an award-winning editor from The Virginian-Pilot and a pioneer in civic journalism, has been executive editor of the Missourian since 2001. He helped to emphasize more “meaning per inch” in a re-launch of the Sunday edition and to create a citizen journalism Web site with a weekly print edition. Warhover opened the newsroom to Roger Fidler, a longtime industry innovator, who created a digital, downloadable edition.

That edition, the eMprint Missourian, is directed by Rob Weir, BJ ’99, who is in his second year as a Knight Editing Fellow. Weir and his journalism students have built eMprint into a twice-a-week, 5,000-subscriber publication in just 11 months.

These programs are key to expanding the Knight Center in Editing Excellence. The Center is a primary partner in the Frontline Editors’ Project, an industry-wide effort to provide support and training for newsroom assigning editors, and works closely with Associated Press Managing Editors‘ NewsTrain, the popular traveling training program for mid-career editors. The Center also supports copy-editing instruction, and last year launched the School’s first student chapter of the American Copy Editors Society.

“With funding from Knight Foundation, and the unrivaled platform of the Missouri School of Journalism, we are seizing every opportunity to strengthen the role of editing in today’s newsrooms,” Banaszynski said.

The Knight Chair in Editing at the Missouri School of Journalism was established with a $1.5 million endowment from Knight Foundation.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes journalism excellence worldwide and invests in the vitality of U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Since its creation in 1950, the foundation has invested more than $275 million to advance journalism quality and freedom of expression. For more, visit http://www.knightfoundation.org/.

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Sep 6, 2006

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