News Leadership 2002

ASNE to recognize Wall Street Journal editor for leadership

Posted 4/8/2002 2:20:00 PM

WASHINGTON — The American Society of Newspaper Editors will recognize the leadership of Paul Steiger, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, with the first ASNE Leadership Award. The award will be presented at a Wednesday luncheon during the Society’s annual convention, April 9-12, at the J.W. Marriott.

Steiger was chosen for the award because of more than a decade of strong leadership at the Journal, which was further exemplified by his guidance following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 — which rendered the Journal’s World Financial Center offices unusable to this day.

“Paul Steiger is the perfect person to receive our first ASNE Leadership Award,” said Tim McGuire, ASNE president and editor of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. “He’s had a lifetime of leadership achievement and this year, under horrible circumstances, his leadership has shone like a beacon.”

Paul Tash, chair of the ASNE Leadership Committee, said, “The selection of Paul Steiger as the first recipient sets a very high standard for this award. His career, especially the chapter following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, should be an inspiration to editors around the country.” Tash is editor, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times.

Steiger has been managing editor of the Journal since 1991. During that time he has guided the paper to nine Pulitzer Prizes and many other recognitions of excellence, including four ASNE Distinguished Writing Awards and two Jesse Laventhol Deadline News Reporting Prizes. He supervises a staff of 550, including 10 national and 16 foreign bureaus.

The Leadership Award was created this year by the ASNE Leadership Committee and President Tim J. McGuire to recognize the sometimes-unsung leaders who guide America’s newspapers. ASNE also published a collection of leadership stories this year in “Leading By Example.”

“ASNE already awards prizes for terrific writing and for newspaper photography, but we thought an organization of editors also should recognize outstanding leadership at an American newspaper,” Tash said.

“There is sometimes a nostalgia that the great editors, the heroes of American newspapers, are all passing from the scene. This award demonstrates that brilliant and dedicated editors are very much among us still, and are making a real difference in their newspapers and their communities,” he added.

Finalists for the Leadership Award this year were Howell Raines, executive editor, and Christine Kay, assistant metro editor, both at The New York Times. Raines was brand new to his job on Sept.11 and guided his paper through the attacks and in response created the long-running section “A Nation Challenged.” Kay took a leading role in creating and shaping the papers “Portraits of Grief” stories, which told the stories of many of the victims.

ASNE, with more than 800 members, is the largest organization of directing editors of daily newspapers in the Americas. It is a leader in improving diversity in newsrooms, strengthening newspaper credibility and improving high school journalism.