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'Oregonian' editor named Gaylord Visiting Professor at Cronkite

November 07, 2011

Sandra Mims Rowe, former editor of The (Portland) Oregonian and chairman of the Committee to Protect Journalists, will be the newest Edith Kinney Gaylord Visiting Professor in Journalism Ethics at Arizona State University.

Rowe will teach journalism ethics and diversity courses at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in spring 2012. Later in the semester, she also will speak at a major public event hosted by the school.

As editor of The Oregonian, Rowe led the paper to five Pulitzer Prizes, including the Gold Medal for Public Service, before her retirement last year. Prior to that, she served as executive editor and vice president of The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star in Norfolk, Va., for nearly 10 years.

"Sandy has been a visionary leader in American newsrooms and an inspiration for legions of journalists," said Christopher Callahan, dean of Cronkite. "We are tremendously fortunate Sandy will be joining us for the spring semester as the Gaylord Professor, sharing her passion and wisdom on the news industry, its future and the important role of journalism ethics in the transforming news media ecosystem."

Rowe is the sixth Gaylord Visiting Professor at the Cronkite School. She follows Caesar Andrews, former executive editor of the Detroit Free Press; Sharon Rosenhause, former managing editor of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel; N. Christian Anderson III, former publisher of the Orange County Register who is now publisher of The Oregonian; Ellen Soeteber, former editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; and James Crutchfield, former publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal.

The professorship is made possible by generous grants from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation of Oklahoma City.

“The Gaylord Visiting Professorship at the Cronkite School helps educate aspiring journalists in the ethical principles that form the foundation of their chosen profession,” said Robert J. Ross, president and CEO of the foundation. “Rowe’s legacy of award-winning public-service journalism at The Oregonian and other major newspapers makes her an ideal choice to impart these values to the next generation of journalism practitioners.”

Rowe was named Editor of the Year in 2003 by the National Press Foundation and Editor of the Year in 2008 by Editor & Publisher magazine, and was honored with the National Leadership Award in 2010 by the American Society of News Editors.

A past president of the American Society of News Editors, Rowe was named chairman of the Committee to Protect Journalists in May 2011. She chaired the Pulitzer Prize Board in 2002-2003 and was a board member from 1994-2003.

“There could not be a more interesting time to probe the ethical principles of journalism than today, in the midst of this communications revolution that affects all aspects of our culture,” Rowe said. ”And the Cronkite School is an ideal place to engage the critical questions, decisions and principles of journalists. I am delighted to be joining the university as the Gaylord Visiting Professor of Ethics.”

Edith Kinney Gaylord created the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation in 1982 to foster high ethical standards in the industry.

Ms. Gaylord, the daughter of Daily Oklahoman publisher E.K. Gaylord, launched her journalism career at her father’s newspaper in 1937 after graduating from college. In 1942, she joined The Associated Press in New York. The following year, she went to the AP’s Washington bureau, where she covered the Roosevelt administration and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt during World War II.

Rowe will be the sixth former top editor of a major metropolitan newspaper serving on the Cronkite School faculty. She joins full-time faculty members Leonard Downie Jr., former executive editor of The Washington Post and now the Weil Family Professor of Journalism; Tim McGuire, previously editor and senior vice president of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and now Cronkite’s Frank Russell Chair of Journalism; Rick Rodriguez, former executive editor of the Sacramento Bee and now the school’s Carnegie Professor of Journalism; Linda Austin, former editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader, who is currently executive director of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism; and William K. Marimow, former editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Baltimore Sun, who recently joined the faculty as executive editor of the Carnegie-Knight News21 Initiative.