American Society of News Editors

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American Society of News Editors
"ASNE" in a Serif font with the text "LEADING AMERICA'S NEWSROOMS" underneath
Abbreviation ASNE
Motto Leading America's Newsrooms
Formation 1922[1]
Type NGO
Purpose Journalism-related and First Amendment issues[2]
Headquarters Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, Missouri.[3]
President David Boardman
Formerly called American Society of Newspaper Editors

The American Society of News Editors (ASNE) is a membership organization for editors, producers or directors in charge of journalistic organizations or departments, deans or faculty at university journalism schools, and leaders and faculty of media-related foundations and training organizations.[2]


The American Society of Newspaper Editors formed after two United States publications took the newspaper industry to task. In January 1922 The Atlantic Monthly featured two articles by Frederick Lewis Allen and Moorfield Storey were critical and requested change in how newspapers were published. After reading the articles Casper Yost saw the need for forming an organization of editors willing to combat criticism.[4]

Yost wrote to a few dozen editors soliciting support. The responses were positive and, just a month later, in February 1922, a small meeting was held in Chicago. Attendees included Yost and editors from Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago. They gathered to discuss action they could take for the advancement of the news and editorial side, to develop a constitution and a code of ethics and to launch a recruiting campaign for the group. The editors called a meeting in New York that April, when editors would be joining their publishers and congregating for the annual ANPA meeting (despite no formal mention of them by ANPA in its bulletins). Their efforts were so successful that by October nearly 100 charter members had signed up.

The organization amended its bylaws and changed its name to American Society of News Editors in April, 2009.[5]

Organizational goals[edit]

The founders decided that ASNE would be an organization of individual editors of big-city papers — limiting membership to editors of newspapers in cities of 100,000 or more. In October 1922, ASNE was launched with directors and officers; they hammered out a code of ethics, named committees and made preparations for the first convention at the New Willard Hotel in Washington the next April. Since then, rules have been loosened extensively. Many more people are now eligible to join.

Annual meetings[edit]

President George W. Bush speaking at the annual convention of the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 2001.

The convention is held annually - with the exception of 1945 and 2009 - mostly in Washington.

Every U.S. president has spoken at the organization's convention and it is considered a premier venue for politicians to appear. Notable examples are President Coolidge's Press Under a Free Government speech[6] and President Eisenhower's Chance for Peace speech.[7]


ASNE has several initiatives carried out by its committees. The Diversity Committee was formed to evaluate employee diversity using the Newsroom Employment Census. The census queries every daily newspaper and online news site in the United States to determine the number of news staffers as well as their gender and race as part of the organization's yearly census.


The ASNE Awards are another feature offered by the organization. The Distinguished Writing Awards and Jesse Laventhol Prizes are designed to foster, recognize and reward excellence in writing in daily newspapers, eligible news services and ASNE member publications.[8] The Community Service Photojournalism Award recognizes a body of work that contributes to an improvement or heightened awareness in the community through photography. They are for work in a calendar year and are generally announced in February. Winners are invited to come to the ASNE convention to discuss their work. Given that the overlap of winners for the ASNE Awards and the Pulitzer Prize correlates very closely, they are said to be second only to the Pulitzers in importance.


ASNE also runs several projects, generally carried out by staff with advice from committees. Projects subject areas have included diversity, credibility and readership. Additional projects have included the Institute for Journalism Excellence, a program for reacquainting educators in journalism schools with the newsroom and the International Journalism Exchange, which brings international journalists into U.S. newspapers to share ideas and work experiences.

A major project of ASNE is the High School Journalism Initiative, launched in 2000. Supported by grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, the initiative hopes to reinvigorate scholastic journalism and student media through partnerships between high schools and daily newspapers and by providing resources to high school journalists like a wire service and a major educational Web site.

The association started the national Sunshine Week initiative promoting the importance of open government. Sunshine laws were enacted to make sure journalists have access to all government meetings.


  1. ^ "About". American Society of News Editors. Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "ASNE's Mission Statement". American Society of News Editors. August 27, 2009. Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  3. ^ "ASNE Moves to University of Missouri In New Partnership". American Society of News Editors. Retrieved April 24, 2012. 
  4. ^ Storey, Moorfield (1922). "The Daily Press" 129. The Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved October 10, 2011. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "The Press Under a Free Government: Address before the American Society of Newspaper Editors Washington, D.C.". January 17, 1925. Retrieved October 10, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Chance for Peace Speech American Society of Newspaper Editors April 16, 1953". Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission. Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Awards season begins: narrative highlights from ASNE and Polk awards; announcement of CRMA finalists". Nieman Storyboard. Retrieved October 10, 2011. 

External links[edit]