Dean Baquet, 2018
|Born||September 21, 1956|
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
|Alma mater||Columbia University|
|Occupation||Executive editor, The New York Times|
|The New York Times, Los Angeles Times|
Dean P. Baquet (//; born September 21, 1956) is an American journalist. He has been the executive editor of The New York Times since May 14, 2014. Between 2011 and 2014 Baquet was managing editor under the previous executive editor Jill Abramson. He is the first Black person to be executive editor.
In 1988, Baquet shared a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Journalism, leading a team of reporters that included William Gaines and Ann Marie Lipinski at the Chicago Tribune, for "their detailed reporting on the self-interest and waste" that plagued the Chicago, Illinois, City Council.
Early life and education
Baquet graduated from St. Augustine High School in 1974. Baquet received a scholarship to attend Columbia University, where he studied English from 1974 to 1978. He left to pursue a career in journalism.
Baquet began his journalism career at the New Orleans States-Item, which later merged with The Times-Picayune. After six years at the Times-Picayune, he joined the Chicago Tribune in 1984, where he won the Pulitzer Prize, before joining The New York Times in April 1990 as an investigative reporter on the Metro desk. In May 1992, he became the special projects editor for the business desk. In January 1994, he held the same title, but he operated out of the executive editor's office. In 1996, he became national editor.
In 2000, he joined the Los Angeles Times as managing editor, working as editor John Carroll's "right-hand man". Baquet became the top editor in 2005 after Carroll resigned amid clashes with the Tribune Company, which had acquired the Los Angeles Times from the Chandler family in 2000. Baquet was fired in 2006 after he publicly opposed plans to cut newsroom jobs.
Two months later, Baquet rejoined The New York Times as the Washington bureau chief. He became managing editor in September 2011, serving under executive editor Jill Abramson, and was promoted to executive editor on May 14, 2014. Baquet has made hiring reporters and editors of color a priority, saying that his efforts to diversify the newsroom have been "intense and persistent".
Baquet, who U.S. President Donald Trump has attacked by name, has spoken out against the president's anti-press rhetoric, telling The Guardian that Trump has put "his reporters' lives at risk". Baquet was formerly on the Board of Directors of the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Baquet was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 1988, in recognition of a six-month investigation that he conducted alongside Chicago Tribune reporters William C. Gaines and Ann Marie Lipinski documenting corruption and influence-peddling in the Chicago City Council in a seven-part series. Baquet was also a finalist for the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting, for stories that exposed "fraud and mismanagement" at the largest U.S. non-profit health insurer.
As managing editor at the Los Angeles Times, Baquet was involved in the newspaper's decision to publish, a few days before the 2003 California recall election, an article raising concerns about containing "a half-dozen credible allegations by women in the movie industry" that Arnold Schwarzenegger, a front-runner in the election, had sexually harassed them. The newspaper debated whether to withhold publication until after the election, ultimately deciding not to do so.
In 2006, Brian Ross and Vic Walter of ABC News reported that Baquet and Los Angeles Times managing editor Douglas Frantz had made the decision to kill a planned Times story about NSA warrantless surveillance of Americans, acceding to a request made to him by the Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte and Director of the NSA Michael Hayden. Baquet confirmed that he had spoken with Negroponte and Hayden, but said that "government pressure played no role in my decision not to run the story," and that he and Frantz had determined that "we did not have a story, that we could not figure out what was going on" based on highly technical documents submitted by a whistleblower. Baquet's decision was criticized by Glenn Greenwald, who said that Baquet had "a really disturbing history of practicing this form of journalism that is incredibly subservient to the American national security state."
I think that the New York-based and Washington-based ... media powerhouses don't quite get religion. We have a fabulous religion writer, but she's all alone. We don't get religion. We don't get the role of religion in people's lives. And I think we can do much, much better. And I think there are things that we can be more creative about to understand the country.
Baquet later characterized an article in which the New York Times public editor questioned whether the Times' prior coverage of President Trump's possible Russia ties had been unnecessarily and overly cautious as a "bad column" that comes to a "fairly ridiculous conclusion". In an interview after the Mueller report came in, Baquet said: "We wrote a lot about Russia, and I have no regrets. It’s not our job to determine whether or not there was illegality."
Awards and honors
In 1988, Baquet earned the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for coverage of corruption in the Chicago City Council, as well as the Peter Lisagor Award for investigative reporting. He received the Chicago Tribune's William H. Jones Award for Investigative Reporting in 1987, 1988, and 1989. He received an honorary degree from Loyola University New Orleans in 2013, was a guest speaker at Columbia College Class Day in 2016, and received the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press' Freedom of the Press Award in 2018. In 2019, Baquet received the Larry Foster Award for Integrity in Public Communication at the Arthur W. Page Center Awards, the Norman C. Francis Leadership Institute National Leadership Award for Excellence, and was named one of the "35 most powerful people in New York media" by The Hollywood Reporter. He received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Xavier University of Louisiana in 2020.
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The first black journalist to lead a top newspaper in the United States was Dean P. Baquet...
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- @realdonaldtrump (May 22, 2020). ".@deanbaquet is to be seriously respected. He has long been considered one of the dumbest men in the world of journalism, and he became Executive Editor of the Failing New York Times. Not easy to do. He has given up on "figuring Trump out". Called it all wrong from the..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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- Brian Ross and Vic Walter, "Whistle-blower Had to Fight NSA, LA Times to Tell Story", ABC News, March 8, 2007.
- "Glenn Greenwald On Dean Baquet: A 'Disturbing History' Of Journalism 'Subservient' To National Security State". The Huffington Post. May 16, 2014.
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- Gardner, Eriq (April 9, 2015). "New York Times' Dean Baquet Gives Look at Private Office, Says He Checks Facebook 15 Times a Day". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
Still, the newsman has a hard time switching off, even under pressure from his wife, Dylan, at their Greenwich Village house post-8 p.m.
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