June 23, 2015 — Staff, faculty, fellows and friends gathered to bid farewell to Alex S. Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center for 15 years. Jones is the Center’s longest serving director (2000-2015), and will leave his post on July 1. Bradlee Professor Thomas E. Patterson will serve as acting director, and will co-chair a search committee for the new director with HKS Acting Dean Archon Fung.
Jones’ strong belief in the importance of quality journalism has informed all of the work that we do at the Center. He strengthened the financial underpinnings of the Center; emphasized the importance of new technology by recruiting visiting fellows and faculty such as Aneesh Chopra, Nick Sinai, Clay Shirky, Nicco Mele, Susan Crawford, Micah Sifry, and Zephyr Teachout; and was asked to lead a consortium of journalism school deans at research universities known as the Carnegie- Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education.
New programs created during Alex’s tenure include the David Nyhan Prize for Political Journalism, the Richard S. Salant Lecture on Freedom of the Press, the A.M. Rosenthal Writer-in-Residence program, the Lynette Lithgow Summer Internship award, and the Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellowship. One of the widest-reaching initiatives is the award-winning Journalist’s Resource website, providing scholarly research on news topics.
In an email to friends and colleagues, Jones wrote, “As for the future, I am embarking on what in Cuba is known as “Third Life,” meaning the rich and exciting period in which to pursue long delayed projects, to study and learn, and to follow one’s own peculiar interests. My feelings at this moment are overwhelmingly of gratitude – for the chance to work at such a wonderful institution and to do work I consider so very important. I believe that high quality journalism is essential to democracy, and it has been my great pride to do all I could to ensure that the Shorenstein Center stood for that standard of excellence.”
Thank you Alex for a remarkable 15 years, and we wish you the very best in your next adventure!