Leonard Downie Jr. is the Weil Family Professor of Journalism at the Cronkite School and the former executive editor and vice president of The Washington Post. During his 44 years in the Post newsroom, he was also an investigative reporter, editor on the local and national news staffs, London correspondent, and managing editor from 1984 to 1991 under then-executive editor Ben Bradlee. As deputy metro editor from 1972 to 1974, Downie helped supervise the Post’s Watergate coverage. He also oversaw the newspaper’s coverage of every national election from 1984 through 2008.
Downie is also the author of six books, including All About the Story: News, Power, Politics and The Washington Post; The New Muckrakers, about investigative reporting; The News About the News: American Journalism in Peril (with Robert G. Kaiser); and The Rules of the Game, a novel about journalism and politics in Washington. He is co-author, with Columbia University Professor Michael Schudson, of a major report on the state of the news media, The Reconstruction of American Journalism, published by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2009.