November 4, 2010

Center for Public Integrity press release

John Solomon Named Executive Editor

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 4, 2010 — John Solomon has been named executive editor of the Center for Public Integrity, one of the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit investigative news organizations.

Solomon will have responsibility for all editorial and digital operations at the Center. An award-winning journalist in his own right, Solomon brings 25 years of experience to the post. Solomon was a “Journalist-in-Residence” last spring at the Center and served most recently as chief digital officer at the 50-employee organization.

“John has proven again and again that he has the vision, the hands-on know-how and the skilled leadership to inspire the investigative staff and position the Center in the forefront of the digital news marketplace when it comes to accountability reporting,” said Executive Director William E. Buzenberg. “I’m confident he will do an outstanding job, and I am delighted to have him in this key role.”

Solomon, 43, will oversee a growing newsroom which will soon include the staff of the nonprofit Huffington Post Investigative Fund. The Fund and the Center have announced they will be joining operations Jan. 1, 2011.

He also will oversee all of the Center’s digital operations, which include a redesigned Web site set to launch early next year and the debut of a new e-reader technology called Treesaver, designed to make long-form accountability journalism more accessible to news consumers.

“This opportunity couldn’t come at better time,” said Solomon. “The Center for Public Integrity is in a unique position to be the leading digital news destination for national and international investigative journalism and I welcome the chance to make that happen.”

During his quarter-century career in print and broadcast media, Solomon has covered some of the country’s biggest stories, from the convicted serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer to President Bill Clinton’s fund-raising and impeachment scandals.

He also has led some of the industry’s most ambitious investigative projects, such as an in-depth look at teachers who returned to classrooms after child molestation convictions, an exposé on how federally funded researchers were using foster children to test drugs, and a joint project with 60 Minutes that divulged how the FBI knowingly used a flawed bullet analysis science to secure criminal convictions.

In 2008, Solomon joined The Washington Times as executive editor. During his tenure, he oversaw the launch of more than 50 new digital products that expanded readership and revenues. Under his leadership, the paper won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in 2008, the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2009 National Public Service Award, and finished in April 2010 as a Pulitzer finalist for a multimedia expose on the silent humanitarian crisis of rape as a tool of war in Congo.

Before joining the Times, Solomon was a national investigative correspondent at The Washington Post, where he uncovered former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s secret security firm clients, and former Sen. John Edwards’ relationship with a controversial hedge fund engaged in subprime lending.

Solomon also spent 20 years as a senior manager and investigative reporter for The Associated Press, where he served as Assistant Bureau Chief of its Washington Bureau and oversaw a seven-member investigative team. That team exposed Dubai Ports World’s deal to buy several major U.S. ports, which triggered political pressure forcing the company to re-sell the properties to an American firm. The team also uncovered a now-infamous Hurricane Katrina videotape contradicting President George W. Bush’s later claims that top government officials did not expect the storm surge to overrun New Orleans’ levees. And it found how millions of students were being left behind through little-known exemptions to the No Child Left Behind school testing law.

Solomon also won several awards for his ground-breaking reporting that uncovered the numerous missed intelligence signs and evidence that forewarned of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. His stories garnered worldwide attention, and led to well publicized efforts to unmask his sources. In 2001, the Justice Department and FBI secretly obtained Solomon’s phone records and intercepted his mail without a warrant in a failed effort to identify his sources. The efforts drew a national outcry and eventually led the FBI to apologize, return his mail and to work with the news industry to create new protections to avoid a repeat of such occurrences.

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From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August…
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