Award-Winning Journalist Indira Lakshmanan Named the Craig Newmark Chair in Journalism Ethics at Poynter
Lakshmanan, a Washington columnist for The Boston Globe and longtime national and foreign correspondent, will join Poynter faculty to expand the Institute’s vital work in media ethics.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 2, 2017) – Indira Lakshmanan, a Washington columnist for The Boston Globe and longtime national and foreign correspondent, will join the faculty of The Poynter Institute as the Craig Newmark Chair in Journalism Ethics. She will write about media ethics, lead teaching and organize conferences on a range of ethics issues, including fake news, trust in journalism and media literacy.
Lakshmanan has worked for newspapers, a wire service, digital and print magazines, TV and radio, reporting from the U.S. and more than 80 countries, and traveling with U.S. presidents, secretaries of State, and presidential candidates. In her new role at Poynter, Lakshmanan will be a prominent voice in the national conversation about the role of journalism in our democracy.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled about this incredible opportunity to work on challenging ethical questions at a signal moment for our industry. I’m looking forward to collaborating with journalists, newsroom leaders, tech companies and other stakeholders on questions of access, objectivity, and fake news at a time when our profession is under pressure from multiple directions,” Lakshmanan said. “Poynter’s national and international reach educating and advocating for press freedom makes it an ideal place to collect and share ideas widely and seek partners in addressing the ethical foundations of our profession, including audience trust and media literacy.”
The Newmark Chair is supported by a $1 million gift from the Craig Newmark Foundation to fund a major, multi-year initiative in journalism ethics. In conjunction with the creation of the Newmark Chair, Poynter will host annual conferences on ethics issues over the next five years. Lakshmanan will write regularly for Poynter.org, the leading news and information site for the media industry, and provide ethics training across Poynter’s in-person and online curriculum.
“The Poynter Institute helps American news media live up to the ideal of being ‘the immune system of democracy,’ and Indira will be a big part of that,” said Craig Newmark of the appointment.
Ethics has always been part of the foundational skills that Poynter considers critical to journalism.
“The profession of journalism cannot serve democracy unless our ethics keep pace with the needs of our audience,” said Poynter Vice President Kelly McBride. “Lately, we’ve been moving at warp speed, which is why I’m thrilled to have Indira joining our faculty. She has the intellect, the experience, and the energy to help journalism fulfill its promise.”
Before beginning her column for the Globe, Lakshmanan was a senior correspondent for Bloomberg News in Washington for eight years, covering politics and foreign policy. For two years, she wrote a “Letter from Washington” column for the International Herald Tribune, then the overseas edition of The New York Times, and Bloomberg. Previously, she was a foreign correspondent on three continents for 12 years, covering the end of the Bosnian War, the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the drug war in Colombia. She started at The Boston Globe as a police reporter and spent 10 years as the Globe’s bureau chief in Asia and in Latin America. She began her career on NPR’s foreign desk and as NPR’s reporter-stringer in Chile.
Since 2015, Lakshmanan has contributed to Politico Magazine and guest-hosted NPR programs including “Here & Now,” “1A,” “The Diane Rehm Show,” and “Weekend Edition.” She appears as an analyst on MSNBC and has contributed to PBS. She graduated from Harvard University, and did graduate studies at Oxford University as a Rotary Scholar. She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard from 2003-2004.
Tim Franklin, president of Poynter, said Lakshmanan’s journalistic experience across multiple platforms and her reporting work in the U.S. and abroad make her uniquely qualified for this position.
“Indira has worked inside print, digital and broadcast newsrooms at a high level, and she’s done it all over the world,” Franklin said. “That gives her the credibility and the gravitas to tackle the very big ethical issues facing American news organizations today. Trust in media is a huge issue right now, and Indira will be on the front lines writing about timely ethical issues and helping lead an important national conversation.”
Lakshmanan begins in her new role as the Craig Newmark Chair in Journalism Ethics at Poynter in mid-March.
About The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., and at conferences and organizational sites around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, www.newsu.org, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum in 7 languages, with more than 400 interactive courses and 330,000 registered users in more than 200 countries. The Institute’s website, www.poynter.org, produces 24-hour coverage of news about media, ethics, technology, the business of news and the trends that currently define and redefine journalism news reporting. The world’s top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcast producers, and to build public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and protected discourse that serves democracy and the public good.
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