David Shaw, ‘L.A. Times’ Media Critic, Dies at 62

By: E&P Staff

David Shaw, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times media critic, died Monday evening at the age of 62. He died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of complications from a brain tumor that was discovered in late May.

He had worked at the newspaper for 37 years.

“David believed in journalistic independence, and he definitely practiced it,” said John S. Carroll, editor of The Times, in the paper. “As a critic, he was fearless in exposing the shortcomings of his own newspaper, his colleagues and his profession. His findings weren’t always popular, but they earned him a national reputation for insight and integrity.”

He won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1991 for a four-part series examining coverage of the McMartin molestation case.

“He became a kind of educator for the general public who could come away from his many articles with a greater understanding of the news,” Ben Bagdikian, a media critic himself and former dean of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, told the Times today. “His detail and clarity of writing was an enormous contribution to journalism.”

“We are in the age of transparency in journalism,” said Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism and a former colleague of Shaw’s at The Times. “David was the first guy outside washing the windows.”

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