William Kovach

Curator 1989-2000

William Kovach began his long and distinguished journalism career in his home state of Tennessee before accepting a journalism fellowship at Stanford. He later worked at The New York Times, where he became Washington bureau chief, and as editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution before joining the Nieman Class of 1989. Directly after his fellowship, he became curator of the Nieman Foundation.

During his years as curator, Kovach lectured widely on the emerging free press in former East Bloc countries and the developing world, and the changing role of newspapers. As an editor, Kovach supervised reporting projects that won four Pulitzer Prizes and personally won a number of journalism awards and honors.

He is the founding chairman and acting director of the Committee of Concerned Journalists; Senior Counselor to the Project for Excellence in Journalism; and board member for several leading journalism organizations.

In a 2001 interview, he commented on his profession stating, “It's the nearest thing I have to religion…The relationship between journalism and citizen is the most important job there is.”