Leonard Downie Jr.

Leonard Downie Jr.

Advisory Board

Leonard Downie Jr., the Weil Family Professor of Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is vice president at large of The Washington Post, where he was executive editor from 1991 to 2008. During his 44 years in The Washington Post newsroom, he was also an investigative reporter, editor of the local and national news staffs, London correspondent, and, from 1984 to 1991, managing editor under then executive editor Ben Bradlee.

As deputy Metro editor from 1972 to 1974, Downie helped supervise the newspaper’s Watergate coverage. He oversaw the newspaper’s coverage of every national election from 1984 through 2008. During his 17 years as executive editor, The Washington Post news staff won 25 Pulitzer prizes.

Downie received bachelor’s, master’s and honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from The Ohio State University. He is the author of five books, including "The New Muckrakers," about investigative reporting; "The News About the News: American Journalism in Peril" (with Robert G. Kaiser), and "The Rules of the Game," a novel about Washington.

He is also the author of "The Obama Administration and the Press," published by the Committee to Protect Journalists in 2013, and co-author, with Columbia University Professor Michael Schudson, of "The Reconstruction of American Journalism," published by The Journalism School of Columbia University in 2009.

Downie is a founder and current board member of Investigative Reporters and Editors and chairman of the board of advisers of Kaiser Health News and of the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.

Incubating new economic models for journalism.

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Truth and lies in the Trump era

Trump’s presidency, and the way it is being reported in the media and perceived by the public, has led me to ask some basic questions — about my profession of journalism; the relative power of truth and lies; and the future of democratic self-government in these United States. Does truth even matter in covering this president? Are he and his proclivity for telling falsehoods the problem, or is he a symptom of a deeper affliction in our political-economic system?

Blogs

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Editors: 'We are not at war with Trump'

Top editors of two of the country’s leading news organizations said that their reporters were at the forefront of covering the Trump administration, but they were not competing with each other to topple the presidency.

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Graduate student and Workshop intern Reis Thebault was a contributing reporter to a recent Washington Post investigation into congressional action that many in the Drug Enforcement Agency saw as hampering their efforts to stem the opioid crisis.

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Partners

Workshop Partners

We publish online and in print, often teaming up with other news organizations. We're working now on a new program with FRONTLINE producers, to air later in the year, and on the "Years of Living Dangerously," a series on climate change that has begun airing on Showtime. A story last year on the use of solitary confinement in immigration detention centers was co-published with The New York Times. Our updates to our long-running BankTracker project, in which you can view the financial health of every bank and credit union in the country, have been published with msnbc.com, now nbcnews.com, and we co-published stories in our What Went Wrong series on the economy with The Philadelphia Inquirer and New America Media. Our graduate students are working as researchers with Washington Post reporters, and our new senior editor is a member of the Post's investigative team. Learn more on our partners page.

Projects

Investigating Power update

Investigating Power update

Profiles of notable journalists and their stories of key moments in U.S. history in the last 50 years can be found on the Investigating Power site. See Workshop Executive Editor Charles Lewis' latest video interviews as well as historic footage and timelines. You can also read more about the project and why we documented these groundbreaking examples of original, investigative journalism that helped shape or change public perceptions on key issues of our time, from civil rights to Iraq, here.