Jacqui Banaszynski To Lead Reporting Efforts For American Public Media’s Public Insight Network

Contact: Tara Schlosser
American Public Media
651 290-1436

Jacqui Banaszynski To Lead Reporting Efforts For American Public Media’s Public Insight Network

Pulitzer Prize winner to lead PIN editorial staff

(St. Paul, Minn, October 6, 2011) – American Public Media and the Missouri School of Journalism announced today that professor Jacqui Banaszynski will steer reporting efforts for APM’s Public Insight Network (PIN), an initiative that connects trusted journalists with knowledgeable sources and each other. Banaszynski, a respected journalist, editor and educator, will begin immediately.

With Banaszynski as collaborations editor, PIN will expand its editorial team in order to produce stories of national importance and regional relevance and support similar reporting projects in PIN newsrooms around the country. Banaszynski also will embed PIN in her journalism classes and help establish a foundation for a sustained partnership between APM, the University of Missouri’s journalism school and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.

“Jacqui has a stellar reputation in professional journalism and is a talented and inspiring leader,” said Jon McTaggart, President and CEO, APM. “We are proud to be working with her and to be partnering with one of the preeminent journalism schools in the country.”

Dean Mills, dean of the School of Journalism, said the collaboration has “nearly limitless” potential to strengthen journalism in the public interest. “The partnership with PIN,” he said, “is a perfect fit with the Reynolds Institute and its mission to join citizens and journalists in programs that benefit democracy.”

Banaszynski holds the Knight Chair in Editing at the University of Missouri and is a long-time faculty member at the Poynter Institute. She’s mentored and motivated journalists around the world to tell stories of meaning and consequence. As a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, she won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for “AIDS in the Heartland,” an intimate look at the life and death of a Minnesota farm couple. She was a finalist for the 1986 Pulitzer in international reporting for her coverage of the famine in sub-Saharan Africa. Her reporting has taken her to all seven continents, including Antarctica.

“As the number of PIN newsrooms multiplies, so do the opportunities to work together and with the public, to do reporting that is more accurate, thoughtful, transparent and trustworthy,” said PIN director Linda Fantin. “I can think of no one better than Jacqui to inspire and lead those collaborations.”

Banaszynski, a former editor for The Seattle Times and The Oregonian in Portland, says she finds the prospect of working with PIN irresistible. “PIN is a 21st Century journalistic venture that is as exciting as it is practical and principled,” said Banaszynski. “I look forward to working in partnership with newsrooms to foster the inclusiveness that is essential to true journalistic purpose in our fragmented and fast-moving world. Today’s journalism students — tomorrow’s journalism leaders — will be a core part of this initiative, and help us determine our role in the future.”

American Public Media is one of the largest producers of public radio programming in the world, with a portfolio reaching 16 million listeners via nearly 800 radio stations nationwide each week. Programs include A Prairie Home Companion, Marketplace, Performance Today, The Splendid Table, Being, American RadioWorks and many others. American Public Media’s nearly 100,000 member-strong Public Insight Network promotes deep connections between journalists across the country and the communities they serve. American Public Media is the parent organization for Minnesota Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio and Classical South Florida. A complete list of stations, programs and additional services can be found at www.americanpublicmedia.org. Source: Data are copyright Arbitron, Inc. Arbitron data are estimates only. Spring 2010/Fall 2010 average.

The Missouri School of Journalism, the world’s first, is an international leader in journalism education. Some of the best journalists in the world have learned their profession through the Missouri Method, which provides practical hands-on training in real-world news media and strategic communication agencies. The School works with the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute to create the future of journalism and has six research centers dedicated to journalism. More than a dozen professional organizations, programs and centers are headquartered here.