‘E&P’ Names Doug Clifton Editor of Year

By: Greg Mitchell

Douglas C. Clifton, editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, has been named Editor & Publisher‘s Editor of the Year for 2003.

In a cover story this week, E&P hails Clifton, 59, for “energizing” the paper’s newsroom, vastly improving its graphics, and helping the PD achieve circulation increases in a declining market. He was also cited for being “the newspaper industry’s public face in the right to preserve freedom of information (FOI) and open-government laws in the secrecy-obsessed environment of America after 9/11.”

Last year E&P named Howell Raines of The New York Times its Editor of the Year. He was preceded by Martin Baron, then editor of The Miami Herald, now of The Boston Globe; and Robert Rivard of the San Antonio (Texas) Express-News.

Clifton came to The Plain Dealer from The Miami Herald in June 1999. In his cover profile, E&P Editor at Large Mark Fitzgerald writes: “Readers and reporters alike credit Clifton for quickly transforming The Plain Dealer, Ohio’s largest newspaper by far, from a middling metro that wasn’t even considered the best paper in the state to one that now appears as if it belongs among the nation’s 25 biggest dailies.”

Referring to his work as FOI chairman of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Clifton told E&P, “If you as an editor are not aggressive in this fight, you are not doing your job — and, P.S., most editors are not.”

E&P print-online combo subscribers may access the cover story from our Current Issue page.

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