LAWRENCE – Martin Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post, has been selected to receive the 2020 William Allen White Foundation National Citation. The award, which recognizes individuals for outstanding journalistic service, comes from a vote of the trustees of the William Allen White Foundation, which is named in honor of White.
Baron will accept the award on William Allen White Day, which is April 16, 2020, on the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence. Baron’s speech, at 3 p.m. in the ballroom of the Kansas Union, is free and open to the public.
Baron, who became executive editor of The Washington Post in 2013, oversees the newspaper’s print and digital news operations and a staff of more than 800 journalists. Newsrooms under his leadership have won 16 Pulitzer Prizes, including nine at The Post. During his tenure, The Post has won four times for national reporting and once each for explanatory reporting, investigative reporting, criticism, feature photography and public service, the latter in recognition of revelations of secret surveillance by the National Security Agency.
Previously, Baron had been editor of the Boston Globe. During his 11-and-a-half years there, the Globe won six Pulitzer Prizes — for public service, explanatory journalism, national reporting and criticism. The Pulitzer Prize for Public Service was awarded to the Globe in 2003 for its investigation into a pattern of concealing clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church, coverage portrayed years later in the Academy Award-winning movie “Spotlight.”
“William Allen White used his words to work for his community and the world,” said Ann M. Brill, dean of the KU School of Journalism. “That’s the standard the trustees use to select the National Citation recipient. Throughout his career, Martin Baron has upheld that standard. His achievements speak loudly to the impact he has had on American life.”
Before the Globe, Baron held top editing positions at the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Miami Herald. Under his leadership, the Miami Herald won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Coverage in 2001 for its reporting of the raid to recover Elián González, the Cuban boy at the center of a fierce immigration and custody dispute.
He began his journalism career at the Miami Herald in 1976, serving as a state reporter and later as a business writer. In 1979, he moved to the Los Angeles Times, where he became business editor in 1983; assistant managing editor for page-one special reports, public opinion polling and special projects in 1991; and in 1993, editor of the newspaper’s Orange County Edition. In 1996, Baron moved to the New York Times, where he became associate managing editor responsible for the nighttime news operations of the newspaper in 1997. He was named executive editor at the Miami Herald at the start of 2000.
His honors include Editor of the Year by the National Press Foundation (2004), the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media (2017), the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Award (2017), and the Award for Public Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government (2016). In 2012, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the recipient of honorary doctorates from George Washington University, George Mason University, and his alma mater, Lehigh University.
Other notable recipients of the William Allen White Foundation National Citation include Cokie Roberts, Leonard Pitts Jr., Paul Steiger, Gerald F. Seib, Candy Crowley, Seymour Hersh, John Carroll, Walter Cronkite, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., Helen Thomas, Charles Kuralt, Bernard Shaw, Bob Woodward, Molly Ivins, Gordon Parks, Bob Dotson and Frank Deford. Last year’s recipient was Sally Buzbee, executive editor of The Associated Press news agency. A complete list of recipients is at www.journalism.ku.edu.
The William Allen White Foundation was founded in 1945, one year after the Kansas Board of Regents established the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at KU. The William Allen White Foundation has been recognizing outstanding journalists since 1950; the first National Citation medallions were awarded in 1970.