By: Joe Strupp
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, the organization announced Monday. 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,” CPJ said in a statement. Steiger will continue to hold both posts at Dow Jones while he takes on the CPJ responsibilities.
“Paul Steiger is a terrific journalist and editor,” Laventhol said in a statement. “He will be a passionate leader in the fight for greater press freedom around the world.”
Laventhol, who has been president of Times Mirror Co., publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times, and publisher of Columbia Journalism Review, has served as CPJ chairman since 2002.
“Under his leadership, the organization increased in size and influence while setting new records for fund-raising,” the statement said, adding that his work succeeded in “greatly strengthening CPJ’s ability to defend independent journalists working in repressive conditions.”
Under Steiger, the Journal’s reporters and editors have won 13 Pulitzer Prizes. He first joined the paper 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 won 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 joined the CPJ board in 2003.
The CPJ board of directors elected Steiger chairman at a meeting last week in New York. CPJ is an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1981 to promote press freedom and track efforts to prohibit it worldwide.