the kicker

A Plan for ‘Best Practices’ on National Security Reporting

February 12, 2010

The stories about Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Barton Gellman’s departure from The Washington Post have generally emphasized his new job as a contributing editor-at-large and columnist for Time magazine. But Gellman will also have another new role, as a senior research fellow at the NYU School of Law’s excellent Center on Law and Security. According to a press release from the center:

Gellman will develop a new program on national security and investigative strategies for journalists and other public interest researchers who work in the uniquely challenging terrain of defense, intelligence, and foreign policy. Beginning in fall 2010, Bart will lead a select team of visiting fellows to build a set of best practices and investigative tools designed to shed light on vital policies that are ordinarily debated out of public view.

This sounds like a valuable thing; journalists on these beats can use all the help they can get. It also sounds, at first glance, like part of the larger trend in which reportorial talent and resources are increasingly drawn to institutions that are not traditionally “journalistic.” Best of luck to Gellman in both his new roles.

Greg Marx is an associate editor at CJR. Follow him on Twitter @gregamarx.