Thursday, August 04, 2005

CJR welcomes Navasky "to its masthead" (not to CJR)

Blogger Matt Duffy reports that Columbia Journalism Review has published, at the bottom of the letters page of the print edition, an announcement of Victor Navasky's new title:

From the editors

CJR is delighted to welcome Victor Navasky, who heads the magazine program at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, to its masthead as Chairman. We believe he will help us sustain the kind of vital and financially sound journalism review that a new era demands. Dean Nicholas Lemann's note on the appointment can be found at

Duffy notes the cleverness of the wording. CJR is welcoming Navasky to the masthead, not to the publication, presumably since Navasky has already been with CJR for months. (As I've written, the precise number of months is not known, though one commentator believes, based on a note from Dean Nicholas Lemann, that Navasky has been secretly running for more than a year.)

For the uninitiated, here is the background:

CJR is a non-partisan media watchdog. For months, left wing intellectual ideologue Victor Navasky has been de facto in charge of CJR, although he was not so credited in the masthead until his role was exposed by this blog on May 31. In reaction to the exposure, the next day CJR told Editor & Publisher that Navasky would appear on the masthead as chairman.

On June 9, CJR posted online a not entirely satisfactory explanation (from Dean Nicholas Lemann of Columbia's journalism school) of Navasky's role at the publication. Lemann's note could be interpreted to mean that Navasky had been running CJR behind the scenes for as long as 21 months; other statements from CJR imply that the time is considerably shorter.

Eventually CJR did add Navasky to the print masthead as chairman. (The publication apparently delayed putting him on the online masthead, though he does appear there now.) Despite his role at the top of the organization, Navasky appears at the bottom of both the online and hard copy mastheads.