Another award for Nicholas Kristof

Alison Matas spotted this today: Nicholas Kristof has been named a 2011 Top American Leader by The Washington Post and the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership.

Other honorees are Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, Jared Cohen of Google Ideas and Sheila Bair, chair of the FDIC from 2006-2011.

I find it fascinating that a journalist has been identified as a leader in this company. Is Nicholas Kristof breaking the mold, or has he put a new polish on an older, more traditional role?

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3 Responses to Another award for Nicholas Kristof

  1. Emilie Stigliani says:

    Though I haven’t thought of journalists as leaders, I do think that this label suits Kristof. Government leaders, like Chris Christie, are often called public servants and I would say that many journalists, Kristof included, serve the public too. In fact, it’s touched on in one of Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel’s elements of journalism — “Its first loyalty is to citizens.”

  2. Kip Hill says:

    I would argue the latter. I think Kristof is engaging in what Walter Williams called “cementing world comradeship” back in the early 20th century. As far as the editorial slant he imposes in his work, I would argue that’s simply a more altruistic version of the progressive press that developed around the same time Williams was coining his Journalist’s Creed. The interesting question is whether the role Kristof has once again charted out for the journalist will be taken up by anyone when he’s finished with his career. I don’t know too many journalists out there that have had the education or the world weariness that Kristof experienced early in his life, which allows him to report with such authority on matters of international humanitarianism.

  3. MCadyKramer says:

    I’m actually in the middle of a blog post about my reflections on the film we watched about Nicholas and was inspired that he takes his journalism to every possible, extreme extent. Although, like Emilie, I never thought of journalists as leaders, Kristof fits the title. His bravery and determination to capture a story that moves America is uncanny and I think he absolutely deserves the recognition he is receiving.

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