Leading the Way to Better News: The Role of Leadership in a World Where Most of the “Powers That Be” Became the “Powers That Were”

By Geoffrey Cowan

A paper by Geoffrey Cowan, fall 2007 fellow, argues that although many of the major news organizations that dominated the landscape a generation ago have lost ground during the disruption of the news industry, leadership is key to a path forward. The motives of a publication’s owners – profits, influence, or personal prestige – each present distinct challenges and opportunities. Looking at the fate of a number of large media organizations over the past decade, this paper argues that the most important model for success is outstanding leadership that combines a talent for business, entrepreneurship and innovation with a profound commitment to great journalism.

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