Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Nation editor and publisher running CJR, but not on masthead

Imagine this scenario: A supposedly unbiased publication is being run by someone with a clear political bias, and that person is not listed on the publication's masthead. It's just the type of story that media watchdog Columbia Journalism Review would love to uncover.

Only in this case CJR is the perpetrator.

This blog has learned that Victor Navasky, publisher, editorial director and apparently co-owner of iconic left wing journal The Nation, is running CJR; however he is not on the masthead.

CJR executive editor Michael Hoyt said in a phone conversation today with this blog, "I think he should be on the masthead as soon as possible."

Commenting on Navasky's organizational role, Hoyt said, "I answer to him. But honestly, to date, he hasn't done much editorially. Most of his work has been on the business side." Hoyt said Navasky had been with CJR for a couple of months in an incrementally responsible role.

Reached by phone at his office at The Nation, Navasky confirmed for this blog that he was playing a role at CJR. He downplayed the role, stating, "I'm trying to help them out. I'm hoping to provide more editorial direction down the road, but I'm focused now on improving the finances. " He also stated that he had been "given the dean's green light to do what needed doing."

Commenting on why he is not on the masthead, Navasky said it is too soon since he is still working out precisely what his role will be.

Asked if he has been providing any editorial direction to CJR, Navasky said that he feels free to provide editorial direction to anyone he wants, including the New York Times or anyone else.

Update: Welcome, Power Line readers. Welcome also to readers from Hugh Hewitt, Romenesko/Poynter and Editor & Publisher. Feel free to have a look around.

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