Lexington, Virginia • October 20, 2009
Caesar Andrews retired on a high note. In his last year as executive editor of the Detroit Free Press, his staff won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting.
On leaving the newspaper business, after nearly 30 years as an editor and manager at various papers, Andrews' first stop was Washington and Lee's Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, where he is the newest Reynolds Distinguished Visiting Professor. He will give a public lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 4.
The title of Andrews talk, which is free and open to the public, is "Journalism's Best Hope: Talent." It will be at 5 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater of the Elrod Commons.
Andrews is teaching two classes during W&L's 12-week fall term, including a course of his own design, "Covering Classic Journalism." His professorship is made possible by a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.
Andrews worked for a variety of newspapers in the Gannett Co. chain, and he was involved in the launch of USA TODAY. In addition to three years as executive editor at the Free Press, he served as editor of the Gannett News Service in Washington, D.C., for eight years. In that capacity he directed coverage of news from the nation's capital during the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Andrews has also served as a board member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and as president of the Associated Press Managing Editors (APME). During his 2002 term as APME president, an annual award was established recognizing outstanding diversity efforts in U.S. newsrooms - the Robert C. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership.
In the citation for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize, Andrew's Free Press staff was recognized "for a distinguished example of reporting on significant issues of local concern, demonstrating originality and community expertise...." The Pulitzer selectors cited The Free Press for uncovering "a pattern of lies by [Detroit] Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick that included denial of a sexual relationship with his female chief of staff, prompting an investigation of perjury that eventually led to jail terms for the two officials."
The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., it is one of the largest private foundations in the United States.