Jim Dwyer (journalist)
March 4, 1957 |
New York City
|Education||BS, General Sciences, Fordham College; MS, Journalism, Columbia University|
|Notable awards||Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Reporting (team)|
Jim Dwyer (born March 4, 1957, in New York City) is an American journalist who is a reporter and columnist with The New York Times, and the author or co-author of six non-fiction books. A native New Yorker, Dwyer wrote columns for New York Newsday and the New York Daily News before joining the Times. He graduated from the Loyola School (New York City), earned a bachelor's degree in general science from Fordham University in 1979 and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in 1980. He appeared in the 2012 documentary film Central Park Five and was portrayed on stage in Nora Ephron's Lucky Guy . He also developed a 135 kW cogeneration plant and a 50.54 kW photovoltaic solar panel system  for his cooperative apartment building in Manhattan.
In 1992, Dwyer was a member of a team at New York Newsday that won the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Reporting for their coverage of the 1991 Union Square derailment, and in 1995, as a columnist with New York Newsday, he received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Besides the Times and Newsday, he has worked at the Hudson Dispatch, the Elizabeth Daily Journal, The Record of Hackensack, and The New York Daily News. He joined the Times in May 2001 and contributed to the paper's coverage of 9/11,the invasion of Iraq, and how intelligence was manipulated to create the illusion that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. He has been the About New York columnist at the Times since April 2007. Dwyer is the author or co-author of six books, mentioned below.
More Awesome Than Money
His latest, More Awesome Than Money [October 2014], is a non-fiction account of four boys who set out to save the world from Facebook's monopoly by building an alternative social network called Diaspora (social network). The book follows the four New York University undergraduates as they are inspired by the law professor and historian Eben Moglen to create a better social network, through a deluge of support they receive on Kickstarter in 2010, the death of co-founder Ilya Zhitomirskiy in 2011, up until the transfer of the project in 2013 to a community of free software developers who continue to refine it. Their work is placed in the context of the dynamic relationships between the open web, digital surveillance, and free society, and the continuing efforts of groups like the Mozilla Foundation to prevent domination of the web by commercial interests. "In the shadows, more and more idealists express their opposition in code -- hackers with a moral compass," Marcus Brauchli wrote in the Washington Post, calling the book a "lively account" that "finds heroism and success, betrayal and even, ultimately, tragedy in the hurtling pursuit of a cause." Writing in The Daily Beast, Jake Whitney described it as "a thrilling read, astoundingly detailed and researched, alternately suspenseful and heartbreaking."
False Conviction: Innocence, Science and Guilt , is an interactive book created in collaboration with Touch Press, the leading developer of "living books," and the New York Hall of Science. Using video, animations, and text, the book explores the science behind errors in the courtroom and criminal investigations and shows routine safeguards that other fields use to guard against them. The reader can play interactive games in the book that show how everyday mistakes can turn into false convictions. Conceived by Eric Siegel, the chief content officer of the Hall of Science, and Peter Neufeld, the co-founder of the Innocence Project, the book was developed by the Hall of Science, in consultation with the Innocence Project, with a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's program for Public Understanding of Science, Technology & Economics. "Nonscientists will find the book's discussion of these complex scientific questions clear and accessible, and scientists will find them deep and detailed enough to maintain interest and spark further inquiry," Hugh McDonald wrote in the museum journal, Exhibitionist. "False Conviction makes its case for reform...and does so strongly and engagingly....These compelling stories of tragedy, science and the search for the truth are available for a much broader audience than if they were the subject of a classic bricks and mortar exhibition. With False Conviction, The New York Hall of Science proves that museums can move beyond their own walls to create compelling investigations of complex issues at the intersection of science and society."
102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers , co-written with Kevin Flynn, an editor at The New York Times Company, was a 2005 National Book Award finalist. The book chronicled the 102 minutes that the twin towers of the World Trade Center stood after the attacks of September 11, 2001 began. The sources included interviews with survivors, tapes of police and fire operations, 911 calls, and other material obtained under freedom of information requests including 20,000 pages of tape transcripts, oral histories, and other documents.
Actual Innocence and Two Seconds Under the World
Dwyer is also the co-author of Actual Innocence: Five Days to Execution and Other Dispatches from the Wrongly Convicted , which examined the causes of wrongful convictions. He is co-author of Two Seconds Under the World , an account of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center that explored the early signs of fundamentalist terrorism, and poor coordination by investigating agencies, including the FBI.
Dwyer is the author of Subway Lives: 24 Hours in the Life of the New York Subways , a work that follows the lives of six New Yorkers and is set on the day the last graffiti-covered train was in service. Much of the material for the book came from his job as the subway columnist from 1986 to 1989 for New York Newsday.
Film and theater
The filmmaker Ken Burns described Dwyer as the Greek chorus of the 2012 documentary, Central Park Five, made by Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon, on the wrongful convictions of five teenagers in an attack on a jogger. The actor Michael Gaston portrayed Dwyer in Lucky Guy, a play by Nora Ephron about Dwyer's friend Mike McAlary, the late Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist, that ran on Broadway in 2013, starring Tom Hanks as McAlary. Dwyer wrote about McAlary and his conversations with Ephron for The New York Times.
Distributed generation: solar panels and co-generation
Dwyer developed a 50 kW photovoltaic system and 135 kW cogeneration system that, in combination, provide most of the power for the 217-unit cooperative apartment building where he lives in Manhattan.
- Subway Lives: 24 Hours in the Life of the New York Subways New York: Crown, 1991.
- (With Dee Murphy, David Kocieniewski and Peg Tyre) Two Seconds Under the World New York: Crown, 1994.
- (With Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck) Actual Innocence: Five Days to Execution and Other Dispatches from the Wrongly Convicted New York: Doubleday, 2000.
- (With Kevin Flynn) 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers. New York: Times Books, 2005
- False Conviction: Innocence, Science and Guilt Touch Press, 2014
- More Awesome Than Money: Four Boys and their Heroic Quest to Save Your Privacy From Facebook New York: Viking 2014
- Times Topics Page: Jim Dwyer, New York Times Online
- Kassie Bracken, Patrick Farrell, Jim Dwyer, Solar City, New York Times Video, January 22, 2008
- New York Times, April 8, 1992: "1992 Pulitzer Prize Winners and Their Works in Journalism and the Arts"
- "J-School Grads Awarded 4 of 14 Pulitzer Prizes," Columbia University Record, April 28, 1995"
- "Objects/The Squeegee: Fighting for Life 50 Floors Up, With One Tool and Ingenuity," Dwyer, Jim, The New York Times, October 9, 2001
- "102 Minutes: Last Words At the Trade Center; Fighting to Live As the Towers Die," Dwyer, Jim; Lipton, Eric; Flynn, Kevin; Glanz, James; Fessenden, Ford, The New York Times, May 26, 2002
- Dwyer, Jim; Flynn, Kevin; Fessenden, Ford, "Fatal Confusion: A Troubled Emergency Response; 9/11 Exposed Deadly Flaws In Rescue Plan," The New York Times, July 7, 2002
- Dwyer, Jim, "The Screaming Eagles Fly to the Gulf," The New York Times, March 4, 2003
- "Defectors' Reports on Iraq Arms Were Embellished, Exile Asserts" Dwyer, Jim, The New York Times, July 9, 2004
- Rosen, Christine, "The Boys Who Tried To Protect Our Privacy," Wall Street Journal, October 15, 2014
- Brauchli, Marcus, "Book Review: 'More Awesome Than Money,' on the founders of an alternative social network by Jim Dwyer," Washington Post, October 31, 2014
- Whitney, Jake, "How Four Upstarts Built and Crashed the Anti-Facebook," The Daily Beast, November 12, 2014
- Ibooks Catalogue
- Sloan Foundation New Media Website
- McDonald, Hugh, "Book Review: False Conviction: Innocence, Guilt and Science," p 80-81, Exhibitionist, Spring 2015
- USA Today: Doctorow, Didion Among National Book Award Finalists
- Simonich, Milan, "Powerful book details how DNA evidence frees innocent prisoners," Pittsburgh Post Gazette, January 1, 2000 accessed August 4, 2011.
- "Fall Listings" New York Magazine, September 23, 1991 accessed August 4, 2011.
- New York Times, March 28, 2013, "From Tabloid Myth To Opening Night"
- Home Energy, July-August 2008, "Energy Savings In A Manhattan Co-Op"