Alex Jones (journalist)

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Alex S. Jones is an American journalist who has been director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government since July 1, 2000. Jones is also a lecturer at the school, occupying the Laurence M. Lombard Chair in the Press and Public Policy.[1] He won a Pulitzer Prize for journalism in 1987.[2]

Jones covered the newspaper industry for The New York Times from 1983 until 1992. His prize-winning story "The Fall of the House of Bingham" concerned events that ended in 1986 with the sale of Louisville, Kentucky media — two newspapers and three broadcast stations — after 15 years of management by Barry Bingham, Jr. The following year Jones won the annual Pulitzer Prize for Specialized Reporting (predecessor of the Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting), recognizing that work as "a skillful and sensitive report of a powerful newspaper family's bickering and how it led to the sale of a famed media empire."[3]

He and his wife Susan E. Tifft (1951–2010) wrote long books about two newspaper dynasties, beginning with the Binghams in 1991 and focusing on Barry Bingham, Sr., The Patriarch: The Rise and Fall of the Bingham Dynasty (Summit Books, 574pp). A review in the Los Angeles Times called it "the best kind of family history — one so packed with archival fact and telling anecdote that a reader can be excused for believing that at times he or she understands the Binghams far better than they seem to have understood themselves."[4][5] Jones and Tifft followed The Dynasty with a 1999 book about the history of Adolph S. Ochs and his descendants, The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family behind the New York Times (Little, Brown, 870pp).[4] The book was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and selected by Time magazine as one of the five best nonfiction books of that year.[6]

Jones's third book, Losing the News: The Future of the News That Feeds Democracy (Oxford, 2009, 234pp) explored the changing U.S. media landscape and its implications for American democracy.[7] Writing for the Nieman Reports, Jones asserted that despite market pressures, "authentic journalistic objectivity" must remain at the center of the future of news reporting.[8] Writing for the New York Times, Sir Harold Evans, former editor of the Sunday Times of London, called Jones a "bringer of light in the encircling gloom."[9]

From 1995 until 1997 Jones was host of NPR's "On the Media", and from 1996 until 2003 he was executive editor and host of PBS's "Media Matters". Jones was a Nieman Fellow in 1982, and currently sits on the organization's advisory board.[10] He also sits on the boards of the Columbia Journalism Review, the International Center for Journalists, the Committee of Concerned Journalists, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the World Economic Forum's Council on the Future of Media.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Jones' family owns The Greeneville Sun in Greeneville, Tennessee. The newspaper is the flagship of the Jones Media Network, a group of small-town dailies, weeklies and monthlies in Tennessee and North Carolina.[12]

In 1985 Jones married Susan Elizabeth Tifft (born February 14, 1951), a Time magazine journalist from 1982 to 1991. In 1998 they became jointly Patterson Professor of the Practice of Journalism at the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2007 and died in her Cambridge, Massachusetts, home April 1, 2010. They had no children.[4][13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alex S. Jones". Harvard Kennedy School. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  2. ^ "Specialized Reporting". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
  3. ^ "Pulitzers Honor Array of Investigative Reports". PBS NewsHour (pbs.org/newshour). April 17, 2006.  Transcript and audio-video recording.
  4. ^ a b c "Susan Tifft, Chronicler of News Dynasties, Is Dead at 59". New York Times. 2010-04-01. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  5. ^ "The Making of The Patriarch". Gannett Center for Media Studies. 1991. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  6. ^ The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family Behind the New York Times. Google Books. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  7. ^ "Alex Jones On 'Losing The News,' And Why It Matters". NPR.org. 2009-04-18. Retrieved 2014-04-25. 
  8. ^ "An Argument Why Journalists Should Not Abandon Objectivity". Nieman Foundation for Journalism. Fall 2009. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  9. ^ "The Daily Show". New York Times. 2009-08-20. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  10. ^ "The 2012 Nieman Advisory Board". Nieman Foundation. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  11. ^ "Alex S. Jones". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  12. ^ "Greeneville Sun Media Kit". Jones Media Network. 2010-01-01. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  13. ^ "Noted Journalist/Author/Professor Susan Tifft Dies". Greeneville Sun. 2014-03-26. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 

External links[edit]