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Phone: 202-994-6460
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E-mail: gwmedia@gwu.edu

 

“On Deadline: American Newspapers In The Digital Age” on the Next Kalb Report, April 1, 8 p.m.

Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron and Managing Editor Kevin Merida discuss how our nation’s great newspapers can win the battle for the soul of journalism in an era of lightning speed, loose standards and massive competition
March 14, 2013

MEDIA CONTACTS: Angela Olson
202-994-3087; aolson@gwu.edu
Jill Sankey
202-994-6466; jpsankey@gwu.edu

WASHINGTON – For decades, the news day started when The Washington Post landed at your front door.  In today’s minute-by-minute, 24/7 news cycle, however, stories may be outdated by the time they land on your porch. Millions of newspapers are still delivered to homes and businesses and the bulk of revenue is still generated by the hard copy editions. But news today is born and lives online - headlines are constantly altered, leads are frequently adjusted and facts are forever amended.  Does the newspaper that inspired a national wave of interest in investigative journalism and spawned the attachment of the “gate” suffix to nearly every scandal since 1972 have what it takes to survive and thrive in this digital age?

On the next edition of “The Kalb Report,” The Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron and Managing Editor Kevin Merida join Marvin Kalb to discuss how this sacred Washington institution can live up to its legendary past in the years ahead. The program will take place on Monday, April 1, at 8 p.m. in the main ballroom of the National Press Club (529 14 St., NW, Washington, D.C.).

“In 1787, more than 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson said, ‘Were it left to me to decide whether we should have government without newspapers or newspapers without government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter,’” said Marvin Kalb. “Today, we may be on the edge of losing the latter at a time when we desperately need substantive, accurate reporting. And while we have more information at our fingertips today than at any time in history, it is not necessarily better information. So this discussion is not about saving the paper the news is written on, it is about preserving journalism in the digital age. It is about how we preserve the depth, substance, insights, thoughtfulness and experience of our most trusted newsrooms in an era when anyone and everyone can reach the same number of people with uninformed, narrow, individual views that somehow are compared with journalism. I eagerly await the discussion with these two men, entrusted with the editorial soul of one of America’s great news organizations.”   

Martin Baron became executive editor of The Washington Post on Jan. 2, 2013, and oversees the Post’s print and digital news operations.  Previously, Baron had been editor of The Boston Globe since 1991.  During his tenure, the Globe won six Pulitzer prizes – for public service, explanatory journalism, national reporting and criticism.  The Pulitzer Prize for Public Service was awarded in 2003 for a Globe Spotlight Team investigation into clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church.  Prior to the Globe, he held top editing positions at The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Miami Herald.  Under his leadership, The Miami Herald won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Coverage in 2001 for its coverage of the raid to recover Elián González, the Cuban boy at the center of a fierce immigration custody dispute.  Mr. Baron was named Editor of the Year by Editor & Publisher magazine in 2001, and Editor of the Year by the National Press Foundation in 2004.  Born in 1954 and raised in Tama, Fla., Mr. Baron speaks fluent Spanish.  He graduated from Lehigh University in 1976 with both B.A. and M.B.A. degrees.

Kevin Merida is managing editor of The Washington Post, and oversees all news and features coverage.  Prior to becoming a managing editor, he was national editor for four years.  During that time, national staffers were twice finalists for Pulitzer Prizes and produced the first definitive book on changes to the nation’s health care system, “Landmark: The Inside Story of America’s New Health Car Law and What It Means for Us All.”  During his 33-year career in journalism, Mr. Merida’s assignments have ranged from investigating organized dog fighting to covering the U.S. invasion of Panama, from supervising coverage of the Gulf War to covering the Bush 41 White House.  One of his special interests is national politics; he has covered or supervised the reporting of seven presidential campaigns.  Mr. Merida is co-author of the bestselling book, “Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photographs,” published by HarperCollins in 2008, and the critically acclaimed biography, “Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas,” published by Doubleday in 2007.  Mr. Merida has won many awards, among them a 2006 Vernon Jarrett Medal for feature writing, a 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University’s College of Journalism and six awards from the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), including being named NABJ’s “Journalist of the Year” in 2000.  

“The Kalb Report” is produced by George Washington University, the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University, the National Press Club Journalism Institute, the University of Maryland University College and the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.  

For the 10th consecutive season, the series is underwritten by a grant from Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. Since 1994, the partnership has produced 78 forums with guests including Rupert Murdoch, Lara Logan, Walter Cronkite, Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Bill O’Reilly, Bob Costas, Ken Burns, Roger Ailes and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel. All forums offer open media coverage.

“The Kalb Report” series was recently honored with both a Gold World Medal and the overall Grand Award in the 2012 New York Festivals International Radio Awards competition that included entries from across the United States and 28 countries.
 
“The Kalb Report” series is distributed nationally by American Public Television. Oklahoma Educational Television Authority serves as presenting station.  “The Kalb Report” also airs on the public radio channels of Sirius-XM Satellite Radio, and on Federal News Radio in Washington, D.C. (1500 AM). Each program is streamed live on kalb.gwu.edu.     

Moderator Marvin Kalb is Edward R. Murrow Professor Emeritus at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Over the course of his distinguished 30-year career in broadcast journalism, Mr. Kalb served as chief diplomatic correspondent for both CBS News and NBC News, and moderator of “Meet the Press.” He went on to serve as the founding director of Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. Among his many honors are two Peabody Awards, the DuPont Prize from Columbia University, the 2006 Fourth Estate Award from the National Press Club and more than a half-dozen Overseas Press Club awards.  Mr. Kalb has authored or co-authored 12 nonfiction books and two best-selling novels. His latest book, co-authored with his daughter, Deborah, is “Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama.”   

Executive Producer Michael Freedman is a professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University and a senior vice president and professor of the practice at University of Maryland University College. Mr. Freedman is the former general manager of CBS Radio Network News, former managing editor for the broadcast division of United Press International and a former vice president of GW. He is the recipient of more than 85 honors for journalistic excellence including 14 Edward R. Murrow Awards.

Senior Producer Heather Date is a GW alumna, former CNN producer and an associate vice president at University of Maryland University College. She is the recipient of the Alliance for Women in Media’s 2011 Gracie Award for Outstanding Producer of a News Program for her work on “The Kalb Report.”

Lindsay Underwood, a 2011 graduate of George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, is the associate producer of “The Kalb Report.”

Web Editor Bryan Kane is a junior at George Washington University.

“The Kalb Report” series is directed by Robert Vitarelli, a 39-year CBS News veteran and a Directors Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award winner.



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