Kantor at the 2018 Pulitzer Prizes
|Alma mater||Columbia University|
|Organization||The New York Times |
Jodi Kantor (born April 21, 1975) is a Pulitzer-prize winning American journalist. She is a New York Times correspondent whose work has covered the workplace, technology and gender. She has been the paper's Arts & Leisure editor and covered two presidential campaigns, chronicling the transformation of Barack and Michelle Obama of Chicago into president and first lady of the United States. Kantor, the author of the best-selling book The Obamas, is a contributor to the CBS This Morning and has also appeared on Charlie Rose, The Daily Show, The Today Show, and many others.
Education and early career
Born and raised in a Jewish family in New York City, Kantor moved to Holmdel Township, New Jersey where she graduated from Holmdel High School. Her grandparents were Holocaust survivors. Kantor graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University in 1996. She was selected for and participated in the Dorot Fellowship in Israel from 1996–97, where she studied Hebrew and worked with Israeli-Palestinian organizations in East Jerusalem, and later served as a New York City Urban Fellow. Later, she attended Harvard Law School for one semester, taking a leave to work at Slate, where she became an editor.
The New York Times
After corresponding with New York Times columnist Frank Rich about how that paper could improve its arts coverage, she was brought on as editor of the Arts and Leisure section by Howell Raines. She is thought to be the youngest person to edit a section of the New York Times. Under the guidance of Rich and others, she made the section more visual, added new features and more reporting and recruited writers like Emily Nussbaum, Jesse Green and Manohla Dargis.
In 2007, Kantor turned to covering politics for the Times, including the 2008 presidential campaign and Barack Obama's biography. Starting in 2007, she wrote some of the earliest articles about Michelle Obama, the role of the Obama daughters in their father's career, the role of basketball in the president's life, his relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his career as a constitutional law professor. She broke the news of initial strain between Obama and Reverend Jeremiah Wright. In autumn of 2009, she co-authored the story of Michelle Obama's slave roots and authored a cover story in the New York Times magazine about the first marriage, for which she interviewed the president and first lady in the Oval Office. In the interview, she asked them "How can you have an equal marriage when one person is President?"
Kantor's book, The Obamas, published in 2012, chronicled the first couple's adjustment to the new world of the White House, revealing Michelle Obama's initial struggle and eventual turnaround in her role. Shortly after the book's publication, Michelle Obama said in a television interview that she was tired of being portrayed as an "angry black woman." However, she also stated that she had not read Kantor's book, and a diverse array of figures, including David Brooks, Jon Stewart, Farai Chideya, and Glenn Loury responded by calling Kantor's portrayal of Michelle Obama well-rounded and respectful. White House officials initially distanced themselves from the book, but then reversed their tack after journalists called the book "deeply reported and nuanced" and "largely sympathetic."
In The New York Times, Connie Schultz, a Pulitzer-prize-winning columnist, praised The Obamas. "A meticulous reporter, Ms. Kantor is attuned to the nuance of small gestures, the import of unspoken truths," Schultz wrote. "She knows that every strong marriage, including the one now in the White House, has its complexities and its disappointments. Ms. Kantor also — and this is a key — has a high regard for women, which is why hers is the first book about the Obama presidency to give Michelle Obama her due. In the process we learn a great deal about the talented and introverted loner who married her, and how his wife has influenced him as a president." Other reviewers called the book "insightful and evocative, rich with detail" and "an honest portrayal of people who are put under unprecedented scrutiny with unusual rapidity." Ezra Klein, of The Washington Post, called The Obamas "among the very best books on this White House" and "a serious, thoughtful book on the modern presidency."
Investigative and long-form reporting
Kantor's story on the class gap in breastfeeding inspired the creation of the first free-standing lactation stations, now installed in hundreds of airports, stadiums and other workplaces around the country. She has reported on the treatment of women on Wall Street and in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Her story on Harvard Business School's attempts to improve its treatment of women led to a discussion of gender at business schools (as well as class and money issues.) After it was published, Nitin Nohria, the dean, apologized to all female alumni for the negative experiences many of them had at Harvard and pledged to boost the number of case studies with female protagonists.
Kantor has explored how technology is changing the workplace. In August 2014, Kantor's article "Working Anything but 9 to 5," about a Starbucks barista and single mother struggling to keep up with a work schedule set by automated software, spurred the coffee chain to revise scheduling policies for 130,000 workers across the United States.
In the summer of 2015, Kantor and David Streitfeld published "Inside Amazon", a 6,000 word article about the company's methods of managing white-collar employees. The article drew a response from Jeff Bezos, broke the newspaper's all-time record for reader comments, prompted veterans of the secretive company to come forward about their experiences online, and sparked a national debate about fairness and productivity in the technological workplace. In the wake of the article's publication, Amazon granted paid paternity leave to employees for the first time and dropped the "stack ranking" performance evaluation system that pitted employees against one another.
In 2016, Kantor co-authored "Refugees Welcome," spending 15 months chronicling how everyday Canadian citizens adopted tens of thousands of Syrian refugees. The series won millions of readers and praise from across the globe, including from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who called it "remarkable & very human."
On October 5, 2017, Kantor and Megan Twohey broke the story of three decades of allegations of sexual harassment and abuse by film producer Harvey Weinstein. Their investigation documented numerous accusations, including from the actress Ashley Judd, internal records and memos showing that Weinstein had harassed generations of his own employees, and settlements dating back to 1990 that covered up Weinstein's trail. Weinstein was subsequently fired by the board of his production company, The Weinstein Company, and his membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was revoked. Women around the world began coming forward with accusations of sexual harassment and assault by Weinstein, sending shock waves through the entertainment industry. The discussion soon turned into a worldwide reckoning, spread beyond the entertainment world, with women using the social media hashtag #metoo to describe their common experiences, powerful men brought to account in a wide range of fields, and shifting attitudes and policies around the globe. Speaking on Meet the Press, Rich Lowry, the editor of the National Review, called Kantor and Twohey's Weinstein investigation "The single most influential piece of journalism I can remember. It instantly changed this country."
Kantor is the recipient of awards from Columbia College, PEN America, the Feminist Press and the Los Angeles Press Club. She was selected by Crain's Magazine as one of "Forty Under Forty" promising New Yorkers, by the Hollywood Reporter as one of the most powerful women in entertainment, and by ReCode as one of the most influential people in media or technology in 2017. In 2018, she received the George Polk Award, the McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage from the Grady College of Journalism. The New York Times won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for Kantor's and Meghan Twohey's reporting, sharing the award with Ronan Farrow at The New Yorker.
- Marieclaire Magazine: "How These Two Women Finally Exposed Harvey Weinstein" By Rose Minutaglio October 23, 2017
- Minutaglio, Rose (October 23, 2017). "How These Two Women Finally Exposed Harvey Weinstein". Marie Claire. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
- Rubin, Debra. "Obama marriage to be spotlight of fund-raiser", New Jersey Jewish News, April 26, 2010. Accessed January 10, 2012. "Kantor grew up in Queens, Staten Island, and Holmdel and graduated from Holmdel High School."
- "Dorot Fellows". Dorot Foundation. Archived from the original on July 10, 2014. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
- Times Appoints Two as Editors in Culture News The New York Times. January 23, 2003. Retrieved January 14, 2012
- Tonti, Alexis (Summer 2012). "Jodi Kantor '96 Offers Revealing Portrait of the First Couple". Columbia College Today. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
- Kantor, Jodi (April 30, 2007). "A Candidate, His Minister and the Search for Faith". The New York Times.
- Swarns, Rachel L.; Kantor, Jodi (October 8, 2009). "In First Lady's Roots, a Complex Path From Slavery". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
- Kantor, Jodi (November 1, 2009). "The Obamas' Marriage". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
- Kantor, Jodi (October 26, 2009). "The Obamas' Marriage". Retrieved April 16, 2018 – via NYTimes.com.
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- Chideya, Farai (January 12, 2012). "Opinion: For Michelle Obama, what's wrong with strong?". CNN: In America.
- "John McWhorter (The Root, What Language Is) and Glenn Loury (Brown University)". Bloggingheads.tv. January 24, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
- Smith, Ben (February 2, 2012). "'The Obamas': How not to kill a book". Politico.
- Schultz, Connie (January 8, 2012). "Partners in Love and the Presidency". The New York Times.
- Luft, Kerry (January 9, 2012). "'The Obamas' a portrait of their evolution inside the White House". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
- Hogue, Ilyse (January 11, 2012). "Why the Obamas Should Embrace 'The Obamas'". The Nation. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
- ""Chick nonfiction"?". Wonklife. February 19, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
- Kantor, Jodi (September 1, 2006). "On the Job, Nursing Mothers Find a 2-Class System". Retrieved April 16, 2018 – via NYTimes.com.
- Reeves, Hope (August 8, 2013). "Breast-Feeding in the Airport? A New Lactation Station Solution". Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- Kantor, Jodi (August 13, 2014). "Working Anything but 9 to 5". The New York Times. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
- Kantor, Jodi (August 14, 2014). "Starbucks to Revise Policies to End Irregular Schedules for Its 130,000 Baristas". The New York Times. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
- Kantor, Jodi; Streitfeld, David (August 15, 2015). "Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace". The New York Times. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
- Kantor, Jodi; Twohey, Megan (October 5, 2017). "Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades". The New York Times. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
- Williams, Janice (October 30, 2017). "Harvey Weinstein Accusers: Over 80 Women Now Claim Producer Sexually Assaulted or Harassed Them". Newsweek. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
- "Meet the Press - December 31, 2017". nbcnews.com. December 31, 2017. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- "The New York Times Never Set Out to Take Down Harvey Weinstein and Bill O'Reilly". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "Times topics - Jodi Kantor". New York Times. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- "Winners | LIU". www.liu.edu. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
- "New York Times reporters receive 2018 McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage - Grady College". Grady College. 2018-03-06. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
- The New York Times, for reporting led by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, and The New Yorker, for reporting by Ronan Farrow
- "The 2018 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Public Service". pulitzer.org. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- "Jodi Kantor". Kantor website. Retrieved January 8, 2012.