"As media organizations continue to merge and journalism becomes a relatively smaller piece of what they do and is no longer the reason many of these companies were created in the first place, then the fight to have the journalism values at the core of the company will be more challenging. It also could be determinant. The credibility, and the trust, the ethical force of the entire enterprise, may depend on it."
-- Sandra Mims Rowe, in May 10, 2000 Ruhl Lecture at the University of Oregon
Photo Linked From: http://www.copydesk.org/2003conference/photos/rowe.jpg
Sandra Mims Rowe, editor of The [Portland] Oregonian, the largest newspaper in the Pacific Northwest (daily, 345,000; Sunday, 425,000), is one of the highest-ranking female editors of a U.S. daily and is viewed as a mentor to women in the news industry. In a marketing-driven business climate, she lectures on the need to keep journalism the first priority of newspapers.
Under her leadership, The Oregonian has won three Pulitzer Prizes: for explanatory reporting in 1999, for feature reporting in 2001 and the Pulitzer Gold Medal in Public Service in 2001.
Daughter of a newspaper editor, Rowe started her newspaper career in 1971 in Norfolk, Va., where she worked as an editorial assistant at the afternoon daily, rising over 22 years to editor of the merged Virginian-Pilot and Ledger-Star. Under her leadership, the merged newspaper won the Pulitzer Prize for general news reporting in 1985. She is seen as a mentor of women in newsrooms.
"I think the news business hasn't provided enough mentoring," she was quoted as telling an interviewer in March 2004. "They offer crummy pay and benefits. Newsrooms have not done enough to diversify their environment."
"She's been a mentor for everybody, particularly for women all over the country," Amanda Bennett, editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, told a Womens eNews writer in Jan. 2004, adding: "You'd be hard pressed to find a woman editor who hasn't had some kind of inspiration or advice or help or something from her."
The National Press Foundation Board posted a profile of her when it gave her the annual Benjamin Bradlee Editor of the Year Award in 2003 - only the fourth woman to receive the award, earlier called the George Beveridge Editor of the Year Award.
In 1997, she was elected to a one-year term as president of the 870-member American Society of Newspaper Editors. Rowe has served the Knight Foundation Journalism Advisory Board as a chairperson, as a member of both Medill School of Journalism Board of Visitors and chairperson of the Board of Visitors of The Knight Fellowships at Stanford University.
Ms. Rowe served on the Pulitzer Prize Board from 1994-2003 and was its chairman in 2002-2003. She has chaired the Knight Foundation Journalism Advisory Board. The Knight Foundation, with approximately $2 billion in assets, is one of the 30 largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. She also has served as a board member of the Committee to Protect Journalists based in New York.
Rowe graduated from East Carolina University in 1970 and continued her education at Harvard Business School in 1990. She is married to Gerard P. Rowe, a lawyer, and is the mother of two daughters, Mims and Sarah.
(Researched by UMass student Kristina Freire and MGP Staff)