Tom Rosenstiel

Director, Project for Excellence in Journalism

Tom Rosenstiel designed the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ; at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. In 2006, PEJ became affiliated with the Pew Research Center, where Rosenstiel directs its activities.

According to the PEJ website, “Our goal is to help both the journalists who produce the news and the citizens who consume it develop a better understanding of what the press is delivering, how the media are changing, and what forces are shaping those changes. We have emphasized empirical research in the belief that quantifying what is occurring in the press, rather than merely offering criticism, is a better approach to understanding.”

At PEJ, Rosenstiel is the editor and principal author of PEJ’s “Annual Report on the State of the News Media,” ( a comprehensive report on the health of American journalism. He also directs the Project’s other research efforts, including the News Coverage Index and the New Media Index. 

Rosenstiel’s newest book, with Bill Kovach, former editor, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and former curator, the Nieman Foundation, is “Blur: How to Know What’s True in the Age of Information Overload,” (Bloomsbury 2010). 

Among his other books, Rosenstiel is the author, with Kovach, of “The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect” (Crown 2001, updated 2007), winner of the Goldsmith Book Prize from Harvard University, the SPJ Sigma Delta Chi award for research in journalism and the Bart Richards Award for Media Criticism from Penn State. Rosenstiel and Kovach are also the authors of “Warp Speed: America in The Age of Mixed Media”(Century Foundation 1999).

Rosenstiel is also vice chairman of the Committee of Concerned Journalists, ( Rosenstiel previously was a media critic for the Los Angeles Times and chief congressional correspondent for Newsweek.

[B7-E 0101] - Epiphany LXXXVIII: Director: Tom Rosenstiel, Project for Excellence in Journalism (3:21)

Tom Rosenstiel’s first epiphany came when his new high school newspaper seized a mandate to write the news “the way they want to write it.” The authorities objected, and Rosenstiel discovered lessons were being taught at School Board meetings as well as in the classroom.