Wall Street Journal’s Steiger elected CPJ chairman

New York, March 11, 2005
—Paul Steiger, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal and a vice president of Dow Jones & Co., has been elected chairman of the Committee to Protect Journalists. He will succeed CPJ’s current chairman, David Laventhol, at the next meeting of the board of directors on July 12.

Steiger will take over the organization at a time of significant challenges for press freedom around the world—from Iraq, where 23 journalists where killed last year, to China, where 42 journalists are languishing in jail.

“Paul Steiger is a terrific journalist and editor,” Laventhol said. “He will be a passionate leader in the fight for greater press freedom around the world.”

Laventhol—who was president of Times Mirror Co., publisher and chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Times, and publisher of Columbia Journalism Review during a career spanning four decades—has served as CPJ chairman since 2002. Under his leadership, the organization increased in size and influence while setting new records for fund-raising, greatly strengthening CPJ’s ability to defend independent journalists working in repressive conditions.

“Dave has been an outstanding chairman who helped strengthen CPJ’s advocacy while building financial security,” Steiger said.

Steiger is widely respected as one of the country’s top editors. Under his leadership, The Wall Street Journal’s reporters and editors have won 13 Pulitzer Prizes. He first joined The Journal in 1966 as a reporter in the San Francisco bureau, moving in 1968 to the Los Angeles Times, where he spent 15 years as a reporter and editor. Steiger rejoined The Journal in 1983 as an assistant managing editor, becoming deputy managing editor two years later, and managing editor in June 1991. He also oversees The Wall Street Journal Europe and The Asian Wall Street Journal.

Steiger has been honored by his peers with numerous awards, including the first American Society of Newspaper Editors’ Leadership Award in 2002; the 2002 Columbia Journalism Award, which recognizes a “singular journalistic performance in the public interest;” and the 2001 George Beveridge Editor of the Year Award from the National Press Foundation. A Yale University alumnus, he was elected to the Pulitzer Prize board in 1999, and he joined the CPJ board in 2003.

The CPJ board elected Steiger chairman at a meeting of its board of directors yesterday in New York. CPJ is an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1981 to promote press freedom by fighting for the rights of journalists worldwide to report the news freely, without fear of reprisal.