1 May 2012
Editor’s note: Due to the contemporaneity of the subject of this biography, Tom Rosenstiel, I was unable to find information about years worked for institutions and places of birth in other sources besides Wikipedia. I excuse myself for the doubts the nature of the source might arise. I was unable to find a specific date of birth of the subject.Journalism is a changing industry, full of uncertainties yet full of space for innovation. The media are facing challenges, not only in terms of an economic model, but also in how to present content to their audiences. Now, more than ever, the press is in need of people who are striving to answer these questions and find options for the press to morph into something bigger and better. TomRosenstiel is a great example of a visionary who is as concerned about the journalism that is being done in the present as with where we need to be moving towards the future. Rosenstiel’s career as a journalist, author, media critic, among other roles, places him as a reference in the press field. His work and vision plays also a role in citizens’ relationship with the media and has inspired me in mylife as a first year journalism student.
Tom Rosenstiel grew up in Palo Alto, California according to a lecture he gave to journalism students in Stanford University. In the same lecture, Rosenstiel mentioned that he graduated from Columbia University’s journalism school, in 1980 according to the university’s website. Rosenstiel, according to the Poynter Institute’s website, has been a journalistfor over thirty years. Rosenstiel started his career as a reporter for Jack Anderson, political columnist. Rosenstiel is a former business reporter and editor for The Peninsula Times Tribune, media critic and Washington correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, where he spent twelve years, and started working in 1995 for Newsweek magazine as a chief congressional correspondent, according toWikipedia. His opinion pieces have been published in many other newspapers, including the New York Times.
Rosenstiel is also the director and founder of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, whose functions as an institution will be explained further on. According to the Committee of Concerned Journalists’ website, Tom Rosenstiel is the co-founder of this institution whose purpose is to help “anindustry in crisis find solutions that are consistent with the enduring values of journalism” (RJIconline.org). Rosenstiel is also the author of some of the most prominent books in the journalism field like The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect, book that has won several prizes such as Goldsmith Book Prize from Harvard University and Sigma Delta Chiaward from the Society of Professional Journalists, according to Discovery’s Curiosity.com.
In addition to talking about journalism’s present and future, Rosenstiel experienced being a journalist for over 30 years and it is interesting to analyze what his stories have that make them quality journalism. Because of the time passed since Rosenstiel left Newsweek magazine and started his owncompany, I was unable to find news reporting pieces. However, I did find several opinion pieces he has written for The New York Times. Even if those pieces the journalism values are evident. For example, in the story, “All the News That’s Fed,” his opinion (and his co-author’s, Marion Just, opinion) is based on research made by the Project for Excellence in Journalism. “It is independence of spirit andmind, rather than neutrality that journalists must keep in focus” says Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel in their book, The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect when discussing opinion in journalism (2007, 118). And that is exactly what his opinion pieces do. When opinion is based in facts and the motives behind writing the story are not ones of...