Journalism that changes lives
Leadership that inspires newsrooms
Innovation that drives revenues
Howard Witt is an award-winning journalist,
accomplished editor, inspiring executive and
dynamic new media innovator. His specialty
is finding stories that actually change
people's lives. His talent is leading others to
do the same. And his experience spans the
globe, from Johannesburg to Moscow to
Witt finds solutions.
As an Internet visionary, he directed the
Chicago Tribune's early forays onto the web,
pioneering a bold front-page web design in
1998 that today is a news industry design
He forged new relationships between
bloggers and the mainstream media,
demonstrating how journalists could utilize
social media to reach vast new audiences.
He oversaw the complete overhaul and
expansion of the website for Stars and
Stripes, boosting traffic and creating new
content niches that attracted advertisers and
opened fresh revenue streams.
He created and taught new metrics-driven
journalistic decision-making in Gannett
newsrooms across the country.
Witt fixes problems.
As the Senior Managing Editor at Stars and
Stripes, he turned around a newsroom and
inspired reporters and editors to challenge
the military with hard-hitting journalism
rather than reprint handouts from public
He restructured four different newsrooms to
reduce staff and expenses while
simultaneously increasing productivity and
awarding incentive raises to top employees.
As the editor of one of the nation's leading
alternative newspapers, he taught the
nuances of long-form narrative journalism to
a staff of young and hungry reporters at the
Washington City Paper.
Witt wins prizes.
In his first six months at the Lafayette
Journal & Courier, Witt led the newsroom in
producing major enterprise work that
garnered first place prizes from the Society
for Professional Journalists, the Hoosier
State Press Asssociation and the Best of
In 2009, under Witt's direction -- and for the
first time in its history -- Stars and Stripes
won a Polk Award and a National Headliner
In 2008, he was honored as a Finalist for the
Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting for his
groundbreaking coverage of civil rights
issues. He also received the Nieman
Foundation's Taylor Award for Fairness in
Journalism, the American Judicature
Society's Toni House Journalism Award and
several other major national citations.
Witt's groundbreaking national reporting in
the Chicago Tribune:
* Unmasked one of America's most
notorious spammers, who was forced to shut
down his operations and pay a $1 million
* Won the release from prison of a
14-year-old girl sentenced to up to 7 years in
prison for shoving a teacher's aide.
* Led to a $9 million civil verdict for a
mentally-retarded black man beaten and left
for dead by a group of whites who received
only a slap on the wrist for the crime.
* Revealed the story of the Jena 6 in
Louisiana that led to the largest American
civil rights protest in decades.
Witt knows the world.
As a foreign correspondent stationed in
Canada, South Africa and Russia, Witt
reported from more than 70 countries over
nine years. He stood outside the gates as
Nelson Mandela walked free from prison; he
chipped chunks of concrete from the Berlin
Wall when it fell; he followed Charles Taylor
on his murderous march through the jungles
of Liberia; and he chronicled two bloody
coups in Moscow as the Soviet Union broke
As a national correspondent based in Los
Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Houston,
Witt witnessed the lunacy of the O.J.
Simpson trial; he stepped over body parts at
the scene of the Oklahoma City bombing; he
illuminated the nuances of American foreign
policy in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist
attacks; he waded through the flooded streets
of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina; and
he broke some of the most significant civil
rights stories of the last decade.
"Howard Witt is one of a
handful of American
journalists whose stories
of official wrongdoing
and racial injustice not
only inspire moral
outrage among his
readers but actually impel
them to take real,
-- Morris Dees, civil rights
attorney and founder, Southern
Poverty Law Center