Bill Keller, former New York Times executive editor, to join the Marshall Project as editor-in-chief
NEW YORK – Bill Keller, New York Times opinion columnist and its executive editor from 2003 to 2011, announced he is leaving the paper to join the Marshall Project as its first editor-in-chief. The Marshall Project is a not-for-profit, non-partisan journalism organization dedicated to covering the US criminal justice system.
“The Marshall Project is an irresistible opportunity to take some of what I’ve learned from The Times’s past decade of reinvention, to learn some new things, and to build a modern journalistic enterprise from scratch,” Mr. Keller said. “The New York Times has given me some of the best jobs in journalism, and many of the best colleagues. I’m deeply grateful for the adventures and the lessons and the camaraderie of the world’s finest news organization, and I’m proud to think I played some part in securing its future.”
The Marshall Project was founded by former hedge fund manager Neil Barsky, who will serve as publisher. Mr. Barsky is also a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and directed the 2013 documentary film KOCH.
“Our goal is to create a first-class news organization that will spark a national conversation about the troubled US criminal justice system,” Mr. Barsky said. “Bill Keller’s career as a reporter, editor and columnist exemplifies the principles of intellectual independence, fairness and creativity that will help the Marshall Project have an immediate impact. We are thrilled to have the benefit of his leadership.”
Bill Keller served as executive editor of The New York Times from 2003 to 2011. Keller’s journalism career has included stints at the Oregonian, Congressional Quarterly and the Dallas Times Herald. For the Times, he served as Moscow and Johannesburg bureau chief, foreign editor and managing editor, before being named executive editor of the paper in 2003. Mr. Keller won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1988.
The Marshall Project will have an annual operating budget of $4-$5 million, and a full-time staff of 20-25 journalists. Funding for the Marshall Project will come from foundations and individuals.
In recent years, non-profit digital news organizations have emerged as innovative leaders in the field of journalism, and routinely produce some of the nation’s highest caliber enterprise and investigative reporting. Two online non-profit organizations, ProPublica and Inside Climate News, have been awarded Pulitzer Prizes.
“We believe that with the tools now available for gathering, testing, presenting and distributing information, we can create a national hub where aggressive reporting, rigorous analysis and stimulating conversation converge,” Mr. Keller said. “One in 31 American adults lives under the supervision of the criminal justice system – in prison or jail, or on parole or probation. Millions more are tied to that system as enforcers or victims, advocates or academics, policymakers or journalists. This is a subject that defines us. If we are successful, we can hold the system more accountable for delivering on its promise of humane and effective justice.”
Mr. Keller begins his new role March 1st. The Marshall Project will begin publishing some time in the second quarter of 2014.
In addition to serving as publisher of the Marshall Project, Mr. Barsky will continue to serve as the chairman of the board of overseers at the Columbia Journalism Review.
The Marshall Project
Crystal Hayes: 212 803-5200
250 W. 57th
New York, NY 10107
Street, Suite 2514