Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Tom Rosenstiel

Executive Director

An author, journalist, researcher and media critic, Tom Rosenstiel is one of the nation's most recognized thinkers on the future of media. Before joining the American Press Institute in January 2013, he was founder and for 16 years director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism at the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., and co-founder and vice chair of the Committee of Concerned Journalists.

During his journalism career he worked as media writer for the Los Angeles Times for a decade, chief congressional correspondent for Newsweek, press critic for MSNBC, business editor of the Peninsula Times Tribune, a reporter for Jack Anderson’s Washington Merry Go ‘Round column, and began his career at the Woodside Country Almanac in his native northern California.

He is the author of seven books, including The Elements of Journalism: What News People Should Know and the Public Should Expect, which has been translated into more than 25 languages and has been described as “The most important book on the relationship of journalism and democracy published in the last fifty years” (Roy Peter Clark, (Poynter), "a modern classic" (Bill Safire, New York Times), and one of the five "essential books" on journalism (Wall Street Journal). He and Kovach have also written two other books together, including, Blur: How to Know What’s True in the Age of Information Overload. His newest book is The New Ethics of Journalism: Principles for the 21st Century, co-edited with Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute. His books and work at PEJ have generated more than 50,000 academic citations.

He is a four-time winner of both the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Journalism Research and the national prize for media criticism from Penn State. Among his other awards are the Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism from the University of Missouri Journalism School, the Dewitt Carter Reddick Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement in the Field of Communications from the University of Texas at Austin, the Columbia Journalism School Distinguished Alumni Award and the Goldsmith Book Award from Harvard.

Email Tom at tom.rosenstiel@pressinstitute.org or follow him @tbr1.

Turning subject experts into journalists: 9 good questions with Robert Steiner

A fellowship program at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs recruits subject-matter experts – from scientists and lawyers to economists and cyber-experts – and over eight months trains them to become beat reporters by mentoring their work for a growing network of newspaper partners including The Dallas Morning News, The Globe and Mail […]

Reporting ‘the whole story': 9 good questions with David Bornstein of Solutions Journalism Network

The Solutions Journalism Network works to support reporting that examines potential solutions to social problems, rather than just chronicling the problems themselves. It just received a grant for $180,000 from the Knight Foundation to collaborate with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation on giving reporters data about solutions to health problems. We talked with […]

The danger of journalism that moves too quickly beyond fact

The best thinking about journalism’s future benefits from its being in touch with technology’s potential. But it can get in its own way when it simplifies and repudiates the intelligence of journalism’s past. That is happening, to a degree, in a discussion gaining momentum lately that journalism should now largely move beyond fact gathering and […]

Five qualities of innovative leaders in today’s media

In “The Boys on the Bus,” Timothy Crouse’s fabled book about the press and the 1972 presidential campaign, Jim Naughton was the quiet and contemplative New York Times reporter who toiled alongside the outsized and flamboyant Johnny Apple. After he left The Times 1977, Naughton became known to another two generations of journalists as a manager and leader — […]

Need to Know newsletter

The smart way to start your day

Each morning we scour the web for fresh useful insights in our Need to Know newsletter. Sign up below.

Featured topics

Go deeper on…

Dive deep on everything we produce about these key topics.

Youth news literacy

Transforming a longtime youth news product to match new behaviors: 7 good questions with Channel One News

Channel One News started 23 years ago as a 10-minute daily TV news program for children. But over the years it has recognized that students and teachers are using a variety of devices and platforms to consume information. We talked to CEO CJ Kettler about what changed and what stayed the same.