LAWRENCE — The 2014 William Allen White Foundation National Citation will go to one of the most accomplished editors in American journalism. Paul Steiger will receive the citation at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 7, in the Alderson Auditorium of the Kansas Memorial Union on the University of Kansas campus. Following the award presentation, he will deliver an acceptance address titled “Toward a New Golden Age of Journalism.” The ceremony and lecture are free to the public.
Paul Steiger was the founding editor-in-chief, CEO and president of ProPublica from 2008 through 2012. As executive chairman beginning in 2013, he remains actively involved in strategic issues, development, representing ProPublica in public venues, and consulting with management on business and editorial issues as needed. Before his work at ProPublica, Steiger was managing editor of the Wall Street Journal from 1991 to 2007, during which members of the newsroom staff were awarded 16 Pulitzer Prizes. In addition, ProPublica reporters received the first Pulitzer Prizes for online journalism in May 2010 and 2011.
Steiger serves on the steering committee for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, based in Arlington, Va., which provides free legal assistance to journalists. He is a trustee of the Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which funds efforts to enhance journalism and the functioning of American communities. From 2005 to 2011, Steiger was chairman of the Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based nonprofit that advocates for press freedom around the globe. From 1999 to 2007, he was a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board, serving as its chairman in his final year. He also worked for 15 years as a reporter, the Washington economics correspondent and the business editor for the Los Angeles Times.
His previous honors include the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award for Business and Financial Reporting, the Columbia Journalism Award, the University of Missouri Honor Award for Distinguished Service in Journalism, the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism from Harvard University’s Joan Shorenstein Center, the Gerald Loeb Award for lifetime achievement from the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA, the Dean’s Medal for Distinguished Leadership from Brandeis University, the Fourth Estate Award from the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., the National Press Foundation’s George Beveridge Editor of the Year Award, the Decade of Excellence Award from the World Leadership Forum in London, and the American Society of News Editors Leadership Award.
He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Yale in 1964 and an honorary doctor of laws from Columbia in 2013. Born in the Bronx, N.Y., in 1942, he has four children and two grandchildren. He and his wife, Wendy Brandes, live in New York City.
The William Allen White Foundation was established in 1945 to preserve the legacy of William Allen White, support journalism education at KU and promote regional and national excellence in journalism. It has awarded the William Allen White National Citation annually since 1950, and the recipient is chosen by the Foundation’s trustees. Previous notable recipients of the William Allen White Citation include: Frank Deford, 2013; Candy Crowley, 2012; John Carroll, 2011; Leonard Pitts Jr., 2010; Seymour Hersh, 2008; Gordon Parks, 2006; Gerald F. Seib, 2005, Cokie Roberts, 2002; Molly Ivins, 2001; Bob Woodward, 2000; Bernard Shaw, 1994; Charles Kuralt, 1989, Helen Thomas, 1986; James J. Kilpatrick, 1979; Arthur O. Sulzberger, 1974; Walter Cronkite, 1969, and James Reston, 1950. A complete list of past recipients is available at the School of Journalism’s website.