News Leadership 2006

ASNE recognizes Gulf Coast editors for leadership

Posted 3/9/2006 4:35:00 PM

The American Society of Newspaper Editors has selected Jim Amoss, editor, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, and Stanley R. Tiner, executive editor, The Sun Herald, Biloxi, Miss., as the recipients of the ASNE Award for Editorial Leadership. The award, the society’s most prestigious honor, will be presented at ASNE’s annual convention in Seattle, April 25-28.

Tiner and Amoss guided their staffs through Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, producing the highest quality journalism for their communities, while operating under the worst of conditions. Many of the Times-Picayune’s and Sun Herald’s editors, reporters and photographers were left homeless by the storm.

“Great leaders step forward during times of crisis and that's exactly what Jim and Stan did at their newspapers and for their communities,” said ASNE President Rick Rodriguez, executive editor of The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee. “Their leadership was strong and inspirational. Their efforts and those of their staffs showed how important newspapers — in print and online — are to the fabric of American communities.”

When told of the award, Tiner said, “Katrina's awful surge devastated Mississippi's entire coast and destroyed the homes and lives of so many of our friends, neighbors and readers. The staff of the Sun Herald was devastated on a personal level, yet they went about the job of telling this story without missing an edition. I have been privileged to stand among these colleagues and the volunteers from across Knight Ridder whose solidarity helped support and sustain us in the most difficult days. I dedicate this wonderful award to the Sun Herald newsroom whose journalism and sacrifice have been an inspiration to many, including their editor.”

Amoss said, “I’m deeply honored to receive the ASNE Award for Editorial Leadership, along with my Gulf Coast colleague Stan Tiner. In a newsroom no single journalist has a monopoly on leadership. In the throes of Hurricane Katrina, our leaders included owners and a publisher who held us together when we couldn’t begin to imagine our future as a business. But leadership also came from less obvious quarters — the features editor and the art critic who bicycled to the levee breach and gave us the first news that New Orleans was drowning; the sports editor who led a team of journalists reporting from the broken city; the editorial page editor who insisted on writing amid the ruins; the photographer who alternated between shooting pictures and rescuing people; the gossip columnist who transformed himself into the resilient voice of our battered, homeless readers. They and others are our leaders. I accept the award in their name.”

The Leadership Award was first given in 2002 to recognize the leaders who guide America’s newspapers. Past recipients of the award are Paul Steiger, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal; H. Brandt Ayers, editor and publisher of The Anniston (Ala.) Star; John Carroll, editor of the Los Angeles Times; and Zack Stalberg, former editor of the Philadelphia Daily News.

Amoss and Tiner will be presented with the award at a ceremony Friday, April 28.

ASNE, with about 750 members, is the largest organization of directing editors of daily newspapers in the Americas. It is a leader in improving diversity in newsrooms, strengthening newspaper credibility and improving high school journalism.