WASHINGTON -- January 3 -- Roberta Baskin, one of the nation's preeminent investigative journalists, has been named executive director of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative reporting and research organization based in Washington, D.C.
Baskin was selected following a six-month, nationwide search, and will join the Center on Jan. 31. She replaces Chuck Lewis, founding executive director of the Center, who stepped down Dec. 31, 2004, after 15 years in the post.
"Roberta offers a dynamic mix of probing intelligence, journalistic savvy, and personal courage that will be essential to push the Center's work to new heights in a new era," said Charles Piller, chairman of the Center's board of directors. "Now more than ever, the nation needs the Center's brand of independent, in- depth reporting, and Roberta's creativity and leadership make her an ideal successor to Chuck Lewis."
In hundreds of enterprising reports, Baskin has uncovered public corruption, health and safety violations, drug testing inequities and unfair labor conditions by American companies overseas. A former Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, she has been honored more than 75 times for her investigative and consumer reporting, including two duPont-Columbia Journalism awards, two George Foster Peabody awards and seven National Press Club awards. Baskin previously served as a senior Washington correspondent for the PBS program, NOW With Bill Moyers, and as a senior producer for the ABC news magazine, 20/20. She has also managed the Washington bureau staff of 20/20 and Primetime. Earlier, she served as chief investigative correspondent for the CBS news magazine, 48 Hours.
"I'm eager and honored to build on the Center's muckraking tradition and work with such talented journalists. It's not enough to call them dedicated. The staff truly believes what they do can make a difference, and so do I," Baskin said. "As media companies grow and gobble up their competition, their appetite for investigative reporting has diminished. The mission of taking on powerful interests has been all but lost to budget cuts and queasy stomachs. In too many cases, corporate profits trump journalism values. Now more than ever there's a critical need to `speak truth to power.' "
Lewis will continue to serve the Center as a consultant on strategic, institutional development issues. "Chuck's daily presence will be deeply missed, but his brilliant insights will continue to inform our work for years to come," Piller said.
The Center for Public Integrity conducts investigative research and reporting on public policy issues in this country and around the world. Many of the Center's investigative reports expose the failure of accountability by corporate executives, government officials and elected leaders.
For more information about the Center for Public Integrity, go to http://www.publicintegrity.org.