Good grief. Look at the members of ProPublica’s Journalism Advisory Board:
Jill Abramson, a managing editor of The New York Times; Martin D. Baron, the editor of The Boston Globe; David Boardman, the executive editor of the Seattle Times; Robert A. Caro, historian and biographer of Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson; John S. Carroll, the former editor of the Los Angeles Times and the Baltimore Sun; L. Gordon Crovitz, a former publisher of The Wall Street Journal; David Gergen, professor of public service at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and director of its Center for Public Leadership; Shawn McIntosh, the director of culture and change at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Gregory L. Moore, the editor of The Denver Post; Priscilla Painton, the new editor-in-chief of Simon & Schuster; Allan Sloan, a senior editor at large for Fortune magazine; and Cynthia A. Tucker, the editor of the editorial page of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Board will advise ProPublica’s editors from time to time on the full range of issues related to ProPublica’s journalism, from ethical issues to the direction of its reporting efforts.
Great people and journalists, every one of them. But what a disappointing list in one major respect.
This is not a group with any serious understanding of the Web, nor a board that will instantly grasp why the new digital platforms are made to order for melding traditional investigative journalism with what technology enables. Not one of these people is a digital native, or even close to it.
That’s a stunning oversight, and it the journalism will almost certainly reflect it.
UPDATE: Paul Steiger, ProPublica’s editor in chief, replies via email: “Understood and anticipated. Watch whom we hire.”