ASNE 2011 board candidates announced

Nine candidates will stand for election this year to the ASNE board, including two incumbents. They will vie for five three-year terms. Winners will be announced April 8, at the ASNE convention in San Diego.

RESTON, Va. — Nine candidates will stand for election this year to the board of the American Society of News Editors. The candidates are:

Bennett and Brown are incumbents.

The nine candidates will vie for five three-year terms. Online voting is now open to members. The online polls close on Friday, April 1. Members who did not vote online will be given the opportunity to vote in person at the convention. The election will close on Friday, April 8, and the winners will be announced that evening.

The American Society of News Editors is a membership organization for leaders of multimedia news organizations and deans and endowed chairs at accredited journalism schools. ASNE focuses on open government and the First Amendment, journalism education, leadership and diversity.

Debra Simmons Adams
The Plain Dealer, Cleveland
Aspirations for ASNE

There is an opportunity for ASNE to help news leaders connect our traditional core values with modern delivery platforms. Maintaining our focus on outstanding journalism, leveraging the expertise of our newsrooms to tell local stories better than anyone else can, insuring that our newsrooms reflect the audience we're speaking to and upholding the continuing battle for access to information are critical priorities. Our journalism institutions also can benefit from the youth and vitality that the next generation of news leaders has to offer as we refine a strategic approach to digital delivery expectations. As an active member of several journalism organizations, I represent the mutual purpose that unites us.


Debra Adams Simmons is editor of The Plain Dealer. Prior to being named editor, she was the paper's managing editor for three years. Debra also was the editor and managing editor of the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal. She was a deputy managing editor at The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, as well as serving as a metro editor, a specialties editor and a reporter at the Detroit Free Press, Hartford (Conn.) Courant and Syracuse (N.Y.) Herald-Journal.

In addition to ASNE, she is a member of the Associated Press Managing Editors board of directors, where she serves on the group's executive committee and is scheduled to be its president in 2014. Debra also is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.

ASNE Activities

An ASNE member since 2004, Debra was appointed to the ASNE Awards Board and has served on the Diversity Committee, as well as a convention floor manager. She participated in an ASNE delegation to Mexico (navigating the bureaucracy of the American embassy when her passport was stolen during the 2007 trip).

Amanda Bennett
Executive Editor
Bloomberg News
Aspirations for ASNE

ASNE, like most journalism organizations, is at a crossroads. And crossroads are exciting places to be. I've been delighted to be part of ASNE's Board for the last few years, and I'd like to continue my role on the Board, helping the leadership of ASNE help navigate the path for the organization and its members. We need to help ourselves and our members figure out apps and paywalls and how to do investigative journalism with smaller staffs; how to engage younger readers and how to be local and national at the same time. We need to figure out how to make partnerships work and how to motivate our newsrooms. We need to refocus on diversity and freedom of information. I've been involved in just about every aspect of journalism – from a big national paper (The Wall Street Journal) to a small local paper (Lexington Herald-Leader) and two regional papers (The Oregonian and The Philadelphia Inquirer) – and now with a huge, multiplatform organization – Bloomberg. I like to look at problems from all sides. I'd like to help ASNE do the same.


Bennett was editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer from June 2003 to November 2006, and prior to that was editor of the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader. She also served for three years as managing editor/projects for The Oregonian in Portland.

Bennett served as a Wall Street Journal reporter for more than 20 years. She held numerous posts at the paper, including auto industry reporter in Detroit in the late '70s and early '80s, Pentagon and State Department reporter, Beijing correspondent, management editor/reporter, national economics correspondent and, finally, chief of the Atlanta bureau until 1998, when she moved to The Oregonian.

In 1997 Bennett shared the Prize for national reporting with her Journal colleagues, and in 2001 during her tenure at The Oregonian, that paper won a Pulitzer for public service.

She is the author of five books, including "In Memoriam" (1998), co-authored with Terence B. Foley; "The Man Who Stayed Behind," co-authored with Sidney Rittenberg (1993), and "Death of the Organization Man" (1991).

In addition to ASNE, she is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, The Pennsylvania Women's Forum, and is on the board of directors of the Temple University Press and of the Rosenbach Museum, a Philadelphia museum of rare books. She was elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board in 2003 and became co-chair in 2010. She is also on the board of the Loeb Awards.

ASNE Activities

An incumbent, Bennett joined ASNE in 2000 and was first elected to the Board of Directors in 2009. She has chaired the Readership Issues Committee and co-chaired the Diversity Committee, as well as having served on the Leadership Development Committee and as a convention floor manager. She is currently serving her second appointment to the ASNE Awards Board.

Neil Brown
St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times
Aspirations for ASNE

Whether it's a powerful investigative series, a moving narrative, or an interactive website that lets our readers explore our reporting on their own, distinctive journalism is the cornerstone of our news organizations and their financial potential.

And so ASNE must be an organization that motivates such work rather than laments the challenges to it. ASNE must reflect the characteristics of great newsrooms: energy and edge, risk-taking, smarts and outrage, excitement and passion, a sense of mission.

That mission must include aggressive leadership in the legal fight – and the public relations battle – against efforts to erode our First Amendment protections. ASNE can be a clearinghouse for the tools to do great journalism and a resource to help newsrooms small and large access information to help our communities thrive. ASNE must tell the story – over and over with words and deeds – about why journalism matters in a free society.

ASNE is most effective as an organization that widens the horizons of its members. ASNE should build on its strong relationships with the print, online and broadcast journalism institutions to sort out the thorniest issues we all face in serving a fragmented audience. It should direct substantial energy toward bringing editors together with leaders and experts from nonjournalistic fields, such as politics and business.

By being smarter about the world outside the newsroom – with ASNE's help – we will be better innovators and managers in a fast-changing industry. And along the way, we'll find the stories that make our journalism exciting, meaningful and distinctive.


Neil Brown was named executive editor and vice president of the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times in August 2004. Brown served nine years as managing editor and joined the Times Publishing Company's board in 1997 as a director. In 2001 he was elected a vice president of the newspaper's parent, Times Publishing Co. A native of Chicago, Brown joined the Times in 1993 overseeing national and international affairs as World Editor after serving four years in Washington as managing editor of Congressional Quarterly. CQ, an affiliate of Times Publishing, produces a weekly magazine covering Congress and national politics. Before joining CQ, Brown spent eight years as a reporter and editor at The Miami Herald, covering government and politics in Miami and at bureaus in Key West, Tallahassee and West Palm Beach. Brown is a current member of the Professional Advisory Board of the University of Illinois School of Journalism. Brown is past-president of the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors. A resident of St. Petersburg, Brown lives with his wife, journalist and author Gelareh Asayesh, and their two children.

ASNE Activities

An incumbent, Brown was elected to the Board in 2008. He joined ASNE in 2000. He has co-chaired The American Editor Committee and chaired the International and Ethics and Values committees. He has also served on the Freedom of Information Committee and as a convention floor manager and is on the ASNE Awards Board.

Chris Callahan
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University, Phoenix
Aspirations for ASNE

ASNE must embrace new thinking and real innovation to help lead journalism into the news future. Success will depend in part on building meaningful symbiotic relationships with new partners – including universities. At the Cronkite School, we've attempted to set a new path that not only embraces a digital future but works in real partnership with news leaders, whether providing compelling and trustworthy multimedia content, engaging in R&D projects or serving as an ideas incubator. I hope I could be a bridge between the industry and forward-thinking journalism schools, demonstrating the possibilities, warning of the dangers and building lasting partnerships that must be an integral part of the next generations of media.


Callahan is the founding dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He came to ASU in August 2005 from the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism, where he served as associate dean and senior editor of the American Journalism Review.

Under Callahan's leadership, the Cronkite School has transformed into a national journalism leader known for its focus on multimedia journalism, innovation and entrepreneurship, intensive professional experiences and partnerships with news outlets. Cronkite has become a leader in providing news content to local, regional and national news organizations as well as directly to consumers through a series of innovative programs on all platforms. The school has been the centerpiece of recent articles about U.S. journalism education in The New York Times and The Times of London.

Over the past five years, Callahan has brought to the Cronkite School the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, the 12-university Carnegie-Knight News21 digital journalism initiative, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship program for international journalists.

He spearheaded the creation of Cronkite News Service, (a daily statewide news service providing content on all platforms to news organizations), the New Media Innovation Lab (a research and development lab), Cronkite NewsWatch (a nightly newscast that reaches more than 1 million households on PBS), the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship (where students develop their own digital media products), Cronkite News (a daily news website focusing on statewide issues) and the Cronkite New Media Academy (which provides multimedia training to professional journalists).

Callahan also created new programs and partnerships with news media partners, including The Arizona Republic, ABC News, the Village Voice, Meredith Corp., the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,, the Center for Public Integrity and The Washington Post.

Under his leadership, the faculty has nearly doubled in size. New faculty members include former Washington Post Executive Editor Len Downie and two former ASNE presidents – former Minneapolis Star Tribune Editor Tim McGuire and former Sacramento Bee Executive Editor Rick Rodriguez – in addition to digital media leaders.

Over the past five years, Cronkite students have had the nation's best record in the major intercollegiate journalism awards – Hearst and the Society of Professional Journalists – and have won consecutive Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards.

In addition, university resources to the school have doubled, despite deep universitywide cuts. And Callahan has raised $35 million from foundations, corporations and individual donors – a 1,100 percent increase He also led the planning for the Cronkite School's new $71 million state-of-the art home on a new campus in downtown Phoenix.

Last year he was named the Scripps Howard Foundation Journalism Administrator of the Year.

Callahan is the author of “A Journalist's Guide to the Internet,” now in its third edition. In 2004, he led a joint study by Maryland and UNITY: Journalists of Color Inc. that explored the lack of racial diversity in the Washington press corps. Before entering journalism education, Callahan was a correspondent for The Associated Press in Washington and New England.

ASNE Activities

Callahan joined ASNE in 2009 as part of the first group of journalism deans and chairs asked to become members. He serves as co-chair of the Education for Journalism Committee and served on the First Amendment Committee.

Alfredo Carbajal
Managing Editor
Al Da, Dallas
Aspirations for ASNE

For decades ASNE has done so many good things in several areas. From First Amendment issues to leadership training and from an emphasis on improving local news reporting to sharing best practices to bring international news to our readers. That's a big, fat mission. Can we still do it all in times of shifting readers' interests, dwindling resources, newer technologies and fragmented audiences?

I don't think so.

I think ASNE needs to keep evolving and keep up with the changing realities around us and with a clear focus on our core mission: developing leaders and advocating for First Amendment issues.

This evolution must be driven by our duty to protect the core journalistic values that drive our newsrooms and the experimentation needed to spur innovation.

That's why I'd like to serve on the board, to represent the voice of small news outlets that also are in the midst of experimenting with digital content and mobile distribution channels while adjusting to shifting audiences, complex demographic trends, and new business models.

I first started attending ASNE conventions in 1999. This organization has become my school after college. ASNE has given me so much that I feel it's my turn to give back.

During the last 12 months I've been co-chair of the International Committee and helped to organize a summit in El Paso to expose the issue of violence against journalists in Mexico and along the U.S.-Mexican border. The program lived up to ASNE's mission of shedding light into places and situations where freedom of the press is being threatened and needs to be defended.

I think excellent journalism is needed everywhere. It's a cornerstone of our society, and it takes leadership and vision to achieve that. ASNE is the school that editors never graduate from to keep learning and to bring innovation.


Carbajal is the managing editor of Dallas-based Al Día, the Spanish-language newspaper of The Dallas Morning News. Carbajal oversees the newsroom, which includes website operations. As the founding editor of Al Día, Carbajal recruited and trained the news staff, which continues to be one his main responsibilities.

As the ranking editor at Al Día, Carbajal is also part of the newspaper's management group, where he works with the Marketing, Sales, Finance and the Distribution departments. He serves in a number of committees at The Dallas Morning News. Under his leadership, Al Día has been named best Spanish-language newspaper and newspaper of the year several times by the National Association of Hispanic Publications and Texas-Associated Press Managing Editors.

Carbajal was a member of the Belo Corp.'s initial Emerging Talent class (2003) for management development and was a participant in the first ASNE/UNITY Leadership Summit in 2004.

He's married and resides in Dallas.

ASNE Activities

A member since 2004, Carbajal is currently co-chair of the International Committee and serves on the Convention Program Committee. He has been a member of the Diversity, Ethics and Values, and Innovation committees and has also served as an election judge and convention floor manger.

Steve Engelberg
Managing Editor
ProPublica, New York
Aspirations for ASNE

Over the past decade, I've worked as an editor at The New York Times, The Oregonian, and ProPublica, the nonprofit investigative organization. At ProPublica, I've had a unique perspective on the problems and possibilities arising from this time of transition in our industry. We've collaborated on stories with nearly 80 news outlets, including more than 25 newspapers around the country. We've also worked with online startups like ourselves and broadcast partners from Frontline to NPR.

ASNE has a crucial role to play in building the person-to-person connections that speed innovation, and in helping news organizations develop new skills. Through my work at ProPublica, I have seen the enormous journalistic potential for delivering serious stories via the web. If elected to the board, I want to help ASNE foster nontraditional approaches and alliances with broadcast media, new digital players, and our other colleagues in the constantly evolving news ecosystem.


Engelberg has been managing editor of ProPublica since its creation in 2008. Before joining the nonprofit investigative organization, he was a managing editor at The Oregonian for six years. Before that, he worked as an editor and reporter at The New York Times for 18 years, including stints in Washington, D.C., and Warsaw, Poland, as well as in New York.

Engelberg began his career as a reporter for The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk and The Dallas Morning News Washington bureau. After joining the Times Washington bureau, he served as national security reporter and as Warsaw bureau chief before returning in 1993 to focus on Washington-based reporting. Engelberg shared in two George Polk Awards for reporting: the first, in 1989, for articles on nuclear proliferation; the second, in 1994, for articles on U.S. immigration. A group of articles he co-authored in 1995 on an airplane crash was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize.

Engelberg's work since 1996 has focused on editing investigative projects. He started the Times investigative unit in 1999. Projects he supervised at the Times on Mexican corruption (published in 1997) and the rise of Al Qaeda (published beginning in January 2001) were awarded the Pulitzer Prize. During his years at The Oregonian, the paper won the Pulitzer for breaking news and was a finalist for its investigative work on methamphetamines and charities intended to help the disabled. ProPublica won its first Pulitzer Prize in 2010 for a story about mercy killings at a New Orleans hospital after Hurricane Katrina. He is a co-author of "Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War."

ASNE Activities

Engelberg joined ASNE 2008 and has been a member of the Freedom of Information Committee.

Vikki Porter
Knight Digital Media Center, USC Annenberg School for Communication, Los Angeles
Aspirations for ASNE

Despite the fragmentation of the industry in the last decade, I believe the best of journalism is yet to come.

And I believe it is critical that the transformation of ASNE into a collaboration of the best news thinkers and leaders must accelerate if journalism's value to civic society is to survive.

In the last five years I have seen many of ASNE's best lead their newsrooms into an era of engagement, flexibility and versatility. I want to help create an organization that represents a culture of diversity, community connection and embraces change and innovation as constants.


Porter is director of the Knight Digital Media Center at University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication in Los Angeles. During her 30-year journalism career, Porter started a newspaper, served as a top editor for three community newspapers, and shared a 1986 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal while city editor of The Denver Post. Most recently, she was executive editor of The Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs, Calif.

ASNE Activities

An ASNE member since 1996, Porter currently serves on the Convention Program Committee. She has also served on the Ethics and Values, High School Journalism and Interactive Media committees.

Mark Russell
Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel
Aspirations for ASNE

I'm ecstatic to be running for an ASNE board position at a time when our industry is being rapidly transformed by the digital revolution. ASNE has long promoted quality journalism, diversity in its ranks, improved skills and leadership training for editors. I have been an ASNE member since 2005, and have been involved in planning conference panels, brainstorming industry solutions on diversity, digital innovation and management challenges. I have also served as a mentor to a dozen men and women throughout the field. And I want to bring the same passion, ideas and collaborative thinking to ASNE in preparing the premier journalists' organization for a future rife with challenge but infused with opportunity to reach new readers across platforms. If elected, I promise to help ASNE cement its place as the clearinghouse of good ideas and resourceful thinking on how to move the industry forward.


Appointed editor of the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel in October 2010, Russell, 48, was previously assistant managing editor/metro at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, the largest newspaper in Ohio. Russell's title changed to Print News Manager in 2009. At The Plain Dealer, Russell also was its business editor for four years. He joined the newspaper in 1987 as a business reporter and later moved to the city desk and then served as an assistant city editor. Russell left The Plain Dealer to join The Boston Globe as assistant metropolitan editor in 1993, a position he held for two years before returning to The Plain Dealer.

Earlier in his career, Russell was a staff reporter for three years in The Wall Street Journal's Cleveland and Pittsburgh bureaus.

Russell currently serves as a director of the Florida Society of News Editors and the Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, N.C. He also is president of the board of directors of the Missourian Publishing Association, which oversees the Missouri journalism school's daily newspaper and advises the school's dean, and he was the founding director of the Cleveland Urban Journalism Workshop, a program started in 1989 by the local chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Russell and his wife, Christina, have a 21-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter.

ASNE Activities

An ASNE member since 2005, Russell is currently on the ASNE Awards Board and Convention Program Committee. He has also served on the Leadership Development and Readership Issues committees.

George Stanley
Managing Editor
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Aspirations for ASNE

I look forward to working with Ken Paulson and the board to organize an outstanding 2012 annual conference. The Great John Temple and I were drawing up the most wonderful ASNE convention ever for Chicago in 2009 when John suddenly decided to move to Hawaii or something. At any rate, this will be my third convention, having helped organize the 2001 APME conference in Milwaukee and the 2005 APME conference in San Jose.

I love ASNE because it stands for the best in journalism. I believe we will be saved by our best work – expert reporting about the issues and events that matter most to our communities. We've all been through hell to emerge in an exciting time when evolving technologies enable us to reach bigger audiences, tell more complete stories and have greater impact than ever. As an ASNE board member, I'll do my best to spread the word about great ideas and best practices that will help us all thrive and grow.


George Stanley has been managing editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel since 1997. He has led a professional staff to great achievements through a period of tumultuous change by helping to create a culture that encourages innovation and excellence while focusing on providing news of greatest value to Wisconsin readers.

The Journal Sentinel newsroom focuses on strengths that distinguish it from competitors, including in-depth investigative journalism, breaking news for digital platforms and expert beat coverage in sports, business, government and entertainment. Stanley leads the Journal Sentinel's investigative and in-depth reporting efforts. The paper has won the Pulitzer Prize for local reporting twice in three years and has been Pulitzer finalists six times in seven years while also winning the nation's highest journalism awards for reporting about science, health, the environment, business, education, justice and government

Stanley has led two national Associated Press Managing Editors association conferences that focused on adapting to change. He has served on the Associated Press Managing Editors Board of Directors, and now serves on the board of directors for the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, and on the Board of Visitors for the University of Wisconsin - Madison School of Journalism.

Born on an Air Force base in Laredo, Texas, Stanley grew up in Green Bay. He was a reporter for the Lake Geneva Regional News, Ducks Unlimited Magazine and the Wichita Eagle before joining the Milwaukee Sentinel in 1989. He was business editor of the Sentinel and Journal Sentinel before becoming managing editor.

George and Pam Stanley have five grown children – a firefighter, nurse, newspaper reporter and two college students. Last year, Stanley traveled to Afghanistan as an embedded reporter in his oldest son's Army Reserve unit and wrote a four-part series for the Journal Sentinel.

ASNE Activities

Stanley joined ASNE in 2001. He has co-chaired the Convention Program Committee and served on the Craft Development, Ethics and Values and Watchdog committees. He has also served as an election judge.