FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 19, 2007
CONTACT: Christa Scharfenberg, 510-809-3171, christa@cironline.org

BERKELEY–Robert J. Rosenthal, an award-winning journalist with nearly 40 years of experience, has been named Executive Director of the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), the first and oldest nonprofit journalism organization in the world devoted to producing original investigative reporting. Since 1977, CIR has produced hundreds of investigations for print, television, radio and web and is best known for close to 25 co-productions with PBS FRONTLINE.

Rosenthal has worked for some of the most respected newspapers in the country, including the New York Times, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer and, most recently, the San Francisco Chronicle.

In recent months, he has led a group of reporters representing numerous Bay Area media organizations to investigate the assassination of Chauncey Bailey, editor of the Oakland (Calif.) Post.

While Rosenthal was managing editor of the Chronicle, the paper received the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography, the George Polk Award for its BALCO coverage of steroid use in baseball, and the White House Correspondents Association’s Poe Award for national reporting, among many others.

As a reporter, Rosenthal (known as “Rosey” to his colleagues) won numerous awards, including the Overseas Press Club Award for magazine writing, the Sigma Delta Chi Award for distinguished foreign correspondence, the National Association of Black Journalists Award for Third World Reporting, and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in international reporting.

“We conducted an extensive, nationwide search and Rosey delivered on all fronts–a great reporter, unquestioned integrity and strong management experience,” said CIR Board President Tom Goldstein. “He’s the perfect choice to lead CIR as it enters its fourth decade of hard-hitting, investigative reporting,” he added. Rosenthal begins his new assignment on January 2, 2008.

“I’m very excited to join CIR and hope to build on its strong foundation of fine work,” said Rosenthal. “This is the time to grow CIR and to develop bold new strategies for producing more work and distributing it in new ways. I look forward to the opportunity to work in multiple mediums, bringing journalists together to tell great stories that will resonate across a wide audience and have impact. This is going to be fun.”

Rosenthal worked for 22 years at The Philadelphia Inquirer as reporter, foreign correspondent, city editor, foreign editor, associate managing editor and as editor and executive vice president.

From 1982 through 1986, he was the Inquirer‘s Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya. He reported in 25 countries in Africa. He covered the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and spent three months in Beirut in 1983-84. Before joining the Inquirer in 1979, Rosenthal worked as a reporter for six years at The Boston Globe and three-and-a-half years at The New York Times, where he was a news assistant on the foreign desk and an editorial assistant on the Pulitzer-Prize winning Pentagon Papers project.

CIR’s original reports appear regularly in national and international news outlets and on its website, www.centerforinvestigativereporting.org. Over the past 30 years, partner news outlets have included FRONTLINE and FRONTLINE/World, 60 Minutes, 20/20, ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, CNN, National Public Radio, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Salon.com and U.S. News & World Report.

CIR investigations have sparked congressional hearings and legislation, United Nations resolutions, public interest lawsuits and change in corporate policies, and have received prestigious awards such as the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton, George Polk Award, Emmy Award, Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award, Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, and National Magazine Award for Reporting Excellence.