Top Journalists Urge Acknowledgment of 1930s Abandonment of Refugee Journalists





As reported in today's New York Times, more than seventy leading journalists and journalism professors (see below) have signed a letter urging the Newspaper Association of America to acknowledge the failure of American journalists to aid German Jewish refugee journalists who were trying to flee Hitler in the 1930s.

The letter was initiated by The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies and former New York Times reporter Laurence Zuckerman. It has also been reported on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," in Editor & Publisher, and by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

The letter comes in response to new research by journalism professor Laurel Leff, of Northeastern University, who found that U.S. journalism schools refused to aid German Jewish refugee journalists in the 1930s. She also revealed that the American Newspaper Publishers Association (now known as the Newspaper Association of America) would not agree even to a ten-minute discussion of the refugee issue at its 1939 convention.

Prof. Leff unveiled her research at a panel sponsored by the Wyman Institute at the recent annual conference of the Association for Jewish Studies, in Washington, D.C.

The Wyman Institute's letter asks the Newspaper Association of America "to address the terrible wrong that was committed" by the leaders of American journalism during the Hitler years, by "publicly acknowledging that [the newspaper association] was wrong to turn its back on Jewish refugee journalists fleeing Hitler," and by inviting Prof. Leff to speak about her research at the NAA's April 2006 convention, in Chicago.

Prof. Leff is author of the acclaimed 2005 book Buried By The Times: The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper (Cambridge University Press) and a member of the Wyman Institute's Academic Council.

The letter emphasizes: "Just as various governments, industries, and institutions have in recent years faced up to the wrongs that they committed during the Hitler era, so too should the journalism community acknowledge what its leaders did, and did not do, during those years."

The signatories include:

* Marvin Kalb, former chief diplomatic correspondent for CBS News and NBC News, moderator of Meet the Press, and founding director and senior fellow at Harvard University's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy; and Prof. Alex Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center and Pulitzer Prize winner.

* Martin Peretz, editor in chief, and Leon Wieseltier, literary editor, of The New Republic, as well as Fouad Ajami, contributing editor of The New Republic and director of the Middle East Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University; and James F. Hoge, Jr., editor, and Jonathan Tepperman, deputy managing editor, of Foreign Affairs

* Nicholas Lemann, dean, and Arlene Morgan, associate dean, of the Columbia University School of Journalism; John Pavlik, chairman of the Department of Journalism at Rutgers University; James L. Baughman, director of the University of Wisconsin (Madison) School of Journalism, Lewis A. Friedland, director of the U. of Wisconsin's Center for Communication and Democracy; Lorraine E. Branham, director of the University of Texas (Austin) School of Journalism; Robert K. Stewart, director of the Institute for International Journalism at the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University; James W. Brown, executive associate dean of the Indiana University School of Journalism; Michael Mandelbaum, director of the American Foreign Policy Program at Johns Hopkins University; and David Mindich, chair of the Department of Journalism at Saint Michael's College

* former New York Times reporter Bernard Weintraub; former Wall Street Journal reporter Robert S. Greenberger; film critic Judith Crist; former Washington Post reporter Bill McAllister; Gabriel Schoenfeld, senior editor of Commentary; Neil Hickey and Russ Baker, contributing editors of the Columbia Journalism Review; PBS talk show host Ben Wattenberg; New York Observer columnist Ron Rosenbaum; syndicated columnist Jeff Jacoby; and Edward I. Koch, former mayor of New York City, and now a newspaper columnist and Bloomberg radio commentator

* Murrey Marder, sponsor of the Watchdog Project of Harvard's Nieman Foundation for Journalism; Morton Mintz, former Washington Post reporter and former chair of the Fund for Investigative Journalism; Prof. Linda Steiner, editor of Critical Studies in Media Communication; and Prof. Marvin Olasky, editor of World.

* Numerous other professors at the Journalism Schools of Columbia University (including Pulitzer Prize winner Jonathan Weiner); New York University, Northwestern University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, American University, Johns Hopkins University, Indiana University, Western Kentucky University, the University of Texas at Austin; Ohio University, the University of Colorado, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Rutgers University, the University of Montana; Bloomsburg University; and Saint Michael's College.

The complete text of the letter, with the full list of signatories, follows below.



ABOUT THE WYMAN INSTITUTE: The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, located on the campus of Gratz College (near Philadelphia), is a research and education institute focusing on America’s response to the Holocaust. It is named in honor of the eminent historian and author of the 1984 best-seller The Abandonment of the Jews, the most important and influential book concerning the U.S. response to the Nazi genocide.

The Institute’s Advisory Committee includes Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel, Members of Congress, and other luminaries. Its Academic Council includes more than 50 leading professors of the Holocaust, American history, and Jewish history. The Institute’s Arts & Letters Council, chaired by Cynthia Ozick, includes prominent artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers. (For a complete list, please visit www.WymanInstitute.org)


* * *


February 15, 2006

John Sturm, President / CEO
Newspaper Association of America
1921 Gallows Road, Suite 600
Vienna, VA 22182-3900 / fax: (703) 917-0636

Dear Mr. Sturm:

As journalists, we are saddened by the new research documenting the refusal of the American Newspaper Publishers Association to aid Jewish refugee journalists who were trying to flee Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Prof. Laurel Leff, of the Department of Journalism at Northeastern University, discussed her research on this topic during a panel sponsored by The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, at the annual conference of the Association for Jewish Studies, in December 2005.

Prof. Leff described the unsuccessful efforts by Professors David Riesman and Carl Friedrich to persuade journalism schools and newspaper publishers to hire Jewish refugee journalists. Not only did the American Newspaper Publishers Association (ANPA) refuse to aid the refugee journalists, but it even rejected a request by Prof. Friedrich to speak about the problem for ten minutes at the ANPA's 1939 convention.

Since the ANPA later merged into the Newspaper Association of America, we turn to you to address the terrible wrong that was committed in 1939. We believe that the Newspaper Association of America should publicly acknowledge that the ANPA was wrong to turn its back on Jewish refugee journalists fleeing Hitler. In addition, we ask you to invite Prof. Leff to address the April 2006 convention, in Chicago, of the Newspaper Association of America, concerning her important research.

Just as various governments, corporations, and institutions have acknowledged the wrongs they committed during the Hitler era by publicly apologizing, paying reparations, or taking other appropriate steps to face up to their past, so too should the Newspaper Association of America squarely face up to the mistakes made by the journalistic community during those terrible years.

We must all learn from those mistakes, so they will never be repeated.


Sincerely,

Marvin Kalb
Founding Director and Senior Fellow, Shorenstein Center
on the Press, Politics and Public Policy - Harvard University

Martin Peretz
Editor in Chief, The New Republic

Nicholas Lemann
Dean, Graduate School of Journalism
Columbia University

Alex Jones
Director, Shorenstein Center on the
Press, Politics and Public Policy - Harvard University

Leon Wieseltier
Literary Editor, The New Republic

Murrey Marder
Sponsor, Nieman Watchdog Project,
Nieman Foundation for Journalism,
Harvard University

Bernard Weinraub
former reporter, New York Times

Laurence Zuckerman
former reporter, New York Times

Morton Mintz
senior adviser to the Nieman Foundation's Watchdog Project
former reporter, Washington Post
former chair, Fund for Investigative Journalism.

Arlene Morgan
Associate Dean
Columbia Graduate School of Journalism

Neil Hickey
Contributing Editor, Columbia Journalism Review

James F. Hoge, Jr.
Editor, Peter G. Peterson Chair
Foreign Affairs
Council on Foreign Relations

Jonathan Tepperman
Deputy Managing Editor
Foreign Affairs
Council on Foreign Relations

James W. Brown
Professor and Executive Associate Dean
Indiana University School of Journalism

Edward I. Koch
Mayor of New York City, 1978-1989;
newspaper columnist & Bloomberg Radio commentator

Robert K. Stewart
Director, Institute for International Journalism
E.W. Scripps School of Journalism
Ohio University

James L. Baughman
Director and Professor
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Lorraine E. Branham
Director, School of Journalism
University of Texas at Austin

Lewis A. Friedland
Director, Center for Communication and Democracy
Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Department of Sociology
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Michael Mandelbaum
Professor and Director of the American Foreign Policy Program,
The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International
Studies and frequent op-ed columnist

Russ Baker
Editor-in-chief, The Real News Project
Contributing Editor, Columbia Journalism Review

Todd Gitlin
Professor of Journalism and Sociology
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Marvin Olasky
Professor of Journalism, University of Texas at Austin
Editor-in-chief, World

Fouad Ajami
Professor and Director, Middle East Studies Program, Johns Hopkins University;
Contributing editor, The New Republic

Ben Wattenberg
Moderator, 'Think Tank' - PBS Television
Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

Maxwell McCombs
Jesse H. Jones Centennial Chair
School of Journalism
University of Texas at Austin

Philip Meyer
Knight Chair in Journalism
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Bill McAllister
former reporter, The Washington Post

John V. Pavlik
Professor and Chair, Department of Journalism and Media Studies
Director, Journalism Resources Institute
School of Communication, Information and Library Studies
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

David T. Z. Mindich
Professor and Chair
Department of Journalism and Mass Communication
Saint Michael's College

Linda Steiner
Editor, Critical Studies in Media Communication
Department of Journalism and Media Studies
Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey

James L. Hoyt
Professor Emeritus and former Director
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jeff Jacoby
Syndicated columnist, The Boston Globe

Bernhard Debatin
Associate Professor for Multimedia Policy
Director of Tutorial Studies in Journalism
E.W. Scripps School of Journalism
Ohio University

Julie Triedman
Senior Reporter, The American Lawyer
Adjunct Professor of Journalism
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Robert S. Greenberger
former reporter, Wall Street Journal

Mary T. Rogus
Associate Professor, Broadcast Journalism
E.W. Scripps School of Journalism
Ohio University

Lynn Schofield Clark
Assistant Research Professor and Director, Teens & the New Media@Home
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of Colorado at Boulder

David Abrahamson
John Deering McCormick Professor
Medill School of Journalism
Northwestern University

Jerry L. Sloan
Professor Emeritus
E.W. Scripps School of Journalism
Ohio University

Barbara S. Reed
Department of Journalism & Media Studies
School of Communication, Information and Library Studies
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

Jonathan Weiner
Professor
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Gabriel Schoenfeld
Senior Editor, Commentary

Judith Crist
Adjunct Professor of Journalism
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Christopher Simpson
Professor, School of Communication
American University

Robert Trager
Professor
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of Colorado at Boulder

James W. Carey
CBS Professor of International Journalism
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Ellen Willis
Department of Journalism
New York University

Walter M. Brasch
Professor of Journalism
Bloomsburg University

LynNell Hancock
Associate Professor of Journalism
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Abe Peck
Sills Professor, Medill School of Journalism
Northwestern University

Jo-Ann Huff Albers
Professor, School of Journalism & Broadcasting
Western Kentucky University

Bella Mody
The deCastro Professor of Global Media
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of Colorado

Sharon Kornely
Senior Lecturer, Medill School of Journalism
Northwestern University

Joseph Bernt
Professor of Journalism
Associate Director of Graduate Studies & Research
E. W. Scripps School of Journalism
Ohio University

Kathleen Bartzen Culver
Faculty Associate, School of Journalism & Mass Communication
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Bill Huntzicker
Assistant Professor, Journalism and Mass Communication
St. Cloud State University

Tom Linden
Glaxo Wellcome Distinguished Professor of Medical Journalism
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Aaron Klein
Cohost, The John Batchelor Show - ABC Radio
Jerusalem bureau chief, WorldNetDaily.com

Judith Matloff
Adjunct Professor of Journalism
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

David Standish
Lecturer, Medill School of Journalism
Northwestern University

Ron Rosenbaum
columnist, New York Observer; author of Explaining Hitler

Bill Israel
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication
The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Jack McLeod
Maier-Bascom Professor Emeritus
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Printer Bowler
Adjunct Professor, School of Journalism
University of Montana

Gwenda Blair
Adjunct Professor of Journalism
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Julie Hartenstein
Deputy Director of Career Services
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Lloyd Schwartz
Classical Music Editor, The Boston Phoenix

Debbie Schlussel
Syndicated columnist

William S. Bingham
former reporter, Capital Cities Communications
and WCNI - New London, CT

Jonathan Stern
Publisher, Decision Health

Mrs. Ruth Lichtenstein
Publisher, Hamodia

Benyamin Korn
former executive editor, Philadelphia Jewish Exponent
Associate Director, The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies

(Publications and institutions listed for identification purposes only.)



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