American Public Media and the Missouri School of Journalism announced today that professor Jacqui Banaszynski, a 2009-2010 Donald W. Reynolds Fellow, will steer reporting efforts for APM's Public Insight Network (PIN), an initiative that connects trusted journalists with knowledgeable sources and each other. Banaszynski, a respected journalist, editor and educator, will begin immediately.
With Banaszynski as collaborations editor, PIN will expand its editorial team in order to produce stories of national importance and regional relevance and support similar reporting projects in PIN newsrooms around the country. Banaszynski also will embed PIN in her journalism classes and help establish a foundation for a sustained partnership between APM, the University of Missouri's journalism school, newsrooms and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.
"Jacqui has a stellar reputation in professional journalism and is a talented and inspiring leader," said Jon McTaggart, president and CEO, APM. "We are proud to be working with her and to be partnering with one of the preeminent journalism schools in the country."
Dean Mills, dean of the School of Journalism, said the collaboration has "nearly limitless" potential to strengthen journalism in the public interest. "The partnership with PIN," he said, "is a perfect fit with the Reynolds Institute and its mission to join citizens and journalists in programs that benefit democracy."
Banaszynski holds the Knight Chair in Editing at the University of Missouri and is a long-time faculty member at the Poynter Institute. She's mentored and motivated journalists around the world to tell stories of meaning and consequence. As a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, she won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for "AIDS in the Heartland," an intimate look at the life and death of a Minnesota farm couple. She was a finalist for the 1986 Pulitzer in international reporting for her coverage of the famine in sub-Saharan Africa. Her reporting has taken her to all seven continents, including Antarctica.
Banaszynski, a former editor for The Seattle Times and The Oregonian in Portland, says she has turned down numerous offers to return to a central newsroom role, but finds the prospect of working with PIN irresistible. "PIN is one of the few current journalistic ventures I've seen that is as exciting as it is practical and principled," said Banaszynski. "I look forward driving the work forward and fostering inclusiveness that is essential to true journalistic purpose in our fragmented and fast-moving world."