Eric Newton joined Knight Foundation in 2001. He is senior adviser to the president.
As a program director and vice president during his first decade at Knight, he helped build the journalism and media innovation program from a department of one into a team of seven, overseeing the development of more than $300 million in grants.
Previously, Newton was founding managing editor of the Newseum, leading the content team at the world’s first museum of news. He started at California newspapers. As city editor, assistant managing editor and managing editor of the Oakland Tribune under Bob and Nancy Maynard, he helped the paper win more than 150 awards, including a Pulitzer Prize.
His most popular books are “Searchlights and Sunglasses: Field Notes From the Digital Age of Journalism,” “Crusaders, Scoundrels, Journalists: The Newseum’s Most Intriguing Newspeople” and “Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs.” A distinguished alumnus of San Francisco State University (BA in journalism), he was a Rotary International Scholar at the University of Birmingham, England (MA in international studies). Newton also was a Reynolds Fellow at the University of Missouri. He has taught journalism at all levels and is the co-founder of the First Amendment Project, a nonprofit that provides legal services on free speech and free press issues.
Newton shared a Peabody Award for Link TV’s “Mosaic: World News From the Middle East.” He won the Reddick Award at the University of Texas for service to the field of communications, the Radio Television Digital News Foundation First Amendment Award for Knight Foundation’s work to create Sunshine Week and the Markoff Award from the University of California Berkeley for Knight’s support of investigative reporting.