Joe Kahn named editor of the New York Times
Joseph Kahn edited his high school newspaper and later served as president of Harvard’s undergraduate daily, The Crimson, before graduating in 1987 with a degree in history. He briefly covered Plano, Texas, for The Dallas Morning News. But inspired by a professor’s observation that China could be the big story of the next decade, Kahn re-enrolled at Harvard in a master’s program in East Asian studies and began learning Mandarin. .
In 1989, he was writing freelance articles from Beijing for The Morning News. After covering the Tiananmen Square protests, he persuaded his editors in Dallas to keep him in China as a correspondent. His reporting was not without risk: he was detained by Chinese authorities at one point and ordered to leave the country. In 1994, he shared a Pulitzer Prize awarded to The Morning News for his international reporting.
By then, Mr. Kahn had been hired by the Wall Street Journal, where he was assigned to Shanghai. After a stint as editor and publisher of The Far Eastern Economic Review, a now-defunct weekly owned by the Journal’s parent company, Dow Jones, Mr. Kahn moved to The Times in 1998.
He covered Wall Street and the economy before returning to Shanghai; in 2003, he became the newspaper’s Beijing bureau chief. He spent the next five years in China, sharing another Pulitzer, in 2006, with Times correspondent Jim Yardley for an investigation into China’s flawed legal system.
Mr. Kahn returned to New York in 2008 as deputy foreign editor and was named international editor in 2011. He oversaw a 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into the hidden wealth of China’s ruling elite, prompting authorities Chinese authorities to block access to The Times website and expel some of its journalists.
In elevating Mr. Kahn to editor-in-chief, Mr. Baquet described his charge in bold terms: “to lead our efforts to build The Times of the future and to tackle questions about what we will cover in the future. “.
In recent remarks at an internal Times meeting, Kahn outlined some priorities.
He cited maintaining editorial independence at a time of polarization. He reiterated his commitment to building a workforce that is representative of the diversity of opinions, gender, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. And he charted an ambitious course for the Times’ place in the news business, saying the paper should see itself as a direct competitor to dozens of media outlets, ranging from global television networks like CNN and the BBC to corporate niche like The Marshall Project and The Information. .