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Bulletin Winter 2014

A ‘Consummate Newsman’

Martin “Marty” Baron ’76, ’76G has won more than his share of honors over the course of his nearly 40-year career in journalism.

In 2001, Baron was named the nation’s top newspaper editor by Editor & Publisher magazine. Three years later, he won the same honor from the National Press Foundation. During his much-lauded tenure as editor of the Boston Globe, he and his staff won a remarkable six Pulitzer Prizes in categories ranging from public service to national reporting to criticism.

Now, Baron has another honor to brag about: Lehigh commencement speaker. Baron, who has served as executive editor for the Washington Post since Jan. 2, 2013, and was recently described by the National Journal as “the consummate newsman,” will deliver the address—and receive an honorary degree, as well— during Lehigh’s 148th commencement ceremony on May 19, 2014.

“His great experience and leadership throughout his impressive journalistic career will be an inspiration to our students,” said Lehigh President Alice P. Gast. “His work illustrates the critical role that good journalism can play in informing and engaging people on important issues.”

Baron earned his B.A. and MBA from Lehigh and landed his first newspaper job at the Miami Herald. He moved to the Los Angeles Times, where he became business editor. In 1996, he was appointed associate managing editor of The New York Times and in 2000 he was named executive editor of the Miami Herald.

In Boston, Baron became one of the leading figures in the news industry. His journalists won widespread praise for their coverage of the Catholic Church clergy abuse scandal, and were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2003.

While some observers predict that the 21st century will see newspapers fade into history, Baron remains steadfast in his belief that good journalism can form the basis for good business. Speaking to the New England Associated Press Executives Association in 2012, he said that newspapers were “badly bruised”—but “not beaten.

“While there is absolutely no reason to be comfortable or complacent, there is also no reason to lose confidence in our capacity to survive—and even eventually to prosper.”

Posted on Thursday, February 06, 2014

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