Who’s the Boss?

The editors of 135 of the country’s biggest English-language newspapers are a well-educated bunch: Almost a third have an advanced degree, and they attended private high schools at nearly twice the national rate. But the idea that they’re all coastal parachuters is a myth. Many still work in the same area where they grew up or graduated.

Check Their Privilege

73% are male
9 in 10 are white
109 different undergraduate colleges and universities are represented in this pool of 135 editors
60% have a journalism degree
27% have an advanced degree
7% went to an Ivy League school

No College Degree

At least 5 of 135 editors never finished college at all, including The New York Times’s Dean Baquet and the New York Daily News’s Jim Rich.

Those Who Stayed

1 in 3 editors are local—they work near where they grew up.

Each dot represents one newspaper whose editor went to high school within 150 miles of the paper’s location



CJR compiled data on the backgrounds of the top editors at newspapers with a daily and/or weekend circulation greater than 50,000, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. We included only English-language newspapers, and excluded news and commercial products of larger newspapers, and newspapers with interim editors. Where an editor was responsible for more than one title, we included them only once, under the title with the highest circulation. We also excluded the Anchorage Daily News, the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Metro, and Warren Weekly due to a lack of adequate data on their editors. We are missing high school data for 16 editors. Editors’ background data was manually collected from a combination of public records searches (including LinkedIn and Facebook) and anonymized surveys returned to us directly. Data accurate as of 03/16/18.

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Jon Allsop, Kelsey Ables, and Denise Southwood are the authors of this story. Jon Allsop is a CJR Delacorte Fellow. Kelsey Ables is a CJR Editorial Assistant. Denise Southwood is CJR's Department Administrator.