Editors elect Edward Seaton to head ASNE

WASHINGTON Edward Seaton, editor-in-chief of The Manhattan (Kan.) Mercury, was elected president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors today and assumed the leadership of the nation's largest and oldest organization of daily newspaper editors.

WASHINGTON Edward Seaton, editor-in-chief of The Manhattan (Kan.) Mercury, was elected president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors today and assumed the leadership of the nation's largest and oldest organization of daily newspaper editors.

Seaton, 55, succeeds Sandra Mims Rowe, editor of The Oregonian, Portland, who led ASNE during the past year. She will continue ex officio on the board.

"I plan to concentrate on three areas as president," Seaton said. "Continuing ASNE’s efforts to improve journalism credibility; to improve the coverage of international news in American newspapers; and to encourage states to adopt legislation modeled on the Uniform Correction of Clarification of Defamation Act."

Other officers elected were: N. Christian Anderson III, publisher of The Gazette, Colorado Springs, vice president; Richard A. Oppel, Austin (Texas) American-Statesman, secretary; and Tim J. McGuire, editor and senior vice president of new media for the Star Tribune, Minneapolis.

ASNE members re-elected two incumbent directors: Edward Jones, managing editor of The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, Va.; and Ralph Langer, editor of The Dallas Morning News.

Six other directors were elected to the ASNE board during the group's convention, March 31-April 3 in Washington. Newly elected to the board were Jennie Buckner, editor, The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer; Robert McGruder, executive editor, Detroit Free Press; Gregory L. Moore, managing editor, The Boston Globe; and Dave A. Zeeck, executive editor, The News Tribune, Tacoma, Wash.
Buckner, Jones, Langer, McGruder and Moore won three-year terms. Zeeck won a one-year term.

Seaton has been editor-in-chief of The Mercury since 1969. It is one of nine family-owned daily newspapers and broadcast stations in the Midwest and High Plains that he helps oversee. He is a graduate of Harvard University.

He began what grew into a lifelong love of Latin America with a Fulbright Scholarship to Ecuador in the 1960s. Since then, including a stint as head of the Inter American Press Association, Seaton has battled for press freedoms and freedom of speech throughout the hemisphere from Buenos Aires to Managua.

The Uniform Correction of Clarification of Defamation Act, which was developed by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, is an effort to encourage corrections in newspapers by limiting libel awards if they do.

During the coming year, ASNE's work will be organized through 15 committees, its board and the ASNE Foundation.

Board members continuing as directors are: Richard Aregood, editorial page editor, The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J.; Peter K. Bhatia, executive editor, The Oregonian, Portland; John S. Carroll, editor, The Sun, Baltimore; Karla Garrett Harshaw, editor, Springfield (Ohio) News-Sun; Deborah Howell, editor, Newhouse News Service, Washington; Linda C. Lightfoot, executive editor, The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.; Wanda S. Lloyd, managing editor/features administration and planning, The Greenville (S.C.) News; Diane H. McFarlin, executive editor, Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune; and Rick Rodriguez, managing editor, The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee.

Four members left the board: Gene Foreman, deputy editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer; Robert H. Giles, executive director, The Media Studies Center, New York; Robert J. Haiman, president emeritus, The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, St. Petersburg, Fla.; Marcia A. McQuern, editor and publisher, The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Calif.

ASNE does much of its journalism work through its committees. The 1998-99 committee chairs are:

  • The American Editor: John S. Carroll, The Sun, Baltimore; Deborah Howell, Newhouse News Service, Washington, co-chairs
  • Change: Arthur S. Brisbane, The Kansas City (Mo.) Star
  • Convention Program: Peter K. Bhatia, The Oregonian, Portland
  • Diversity: Gilbert Bailon, The Dallas Morning News
  • Education for Journalism: Gil Thelen, Columbia, S.C.
  • Ethics and Values: Diane H. McFarlin, Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune
  • Freedom of Information: Paul C. Tash, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times
  • International: Douglas C. Clifton, The Miami Herald
  • Management and Human Resources: Caesar Andrews, Gannett News Service, Arlington, Va.
  • Membership: Richard A. Oppel, Austin (Texas) American-Statesman
  • New Media: Kenneth A. Paulson, The First Amendment Center, Nashville, Tenn.
  • Nominations: Wanda S. Lloyd, The Greenville (S.C.) News
  • Readership Issues: Frank M. Denton, Wisconsin State Journal, Madison
  • Small Newspapers: Joy Franklin, Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times
  • Wire Content: Christopher Peck, The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.

The American Society of Newspaper Editors, with 850 members, is an organization of the main editors of daily newspapers in the Americas. Founded in 1922, ASNE’s principal purpose is to serve as a medium for exchange of ideas and the professional growth and development of its members.