CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (650) 723-2558
Veteran print/broadcast journalist named news service director
STANFORD -- Douglas Foster, a journalist with 18 years' experience in both print and broadcast news, will join Stanford University Aug. 1 as director of the Stanford News Service.
Foster, 41, has been a newspaper reporter, senior editor at the Center for Investigative Reporting, documentary and news producer in public television, and magazine editor. He has just completed a year as a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford.
"I am excited about the intellect, talent and broad experience Doug brings to the job," said Terry Shepard, director of university communications. "In all of his many journalistic roles, he has earned a reputation for fairness, accuracy and integrity."
A national search for the new director involved participation by faculty members, the News Service staff and administrators. Two of those were Gail Mahood, professor of geological and environmental sciences, and James V. Risser, professor of communication and director of the John S. Knight Fellowships for Professional Journalists.
Mahood said that Foster demonstrated "the intellectual horsepower to connect with the faculty" and the vision and experience to help present Campus Report and all Stanford's news in a "lively, thoughtful and engaging" manner.
Said Risser: "Doug Foster is a superb journalist, with an outstanding record of professional accomplishment in both print and broadcast journalism. We felt lucky to have Doug as a Knight Fellow this year, and Stanford is very fortunate to secure him as the next director of the News Service."
For Foster, the position is a homecoming of sorts. His father was a doctoral student of Professor Paul Hanna's in Stanford's School of Education, and the family lived in Escondido Village in the early 1960s.
As a Knight Fellow, Foster's studies focused chiefly on constitutional law and the role of children in society. He said the year, and his exposure to a wide range of experiences and ideas across the campus, made the position particularly attractive to him.
"What excites me about this job is the opportunity it provides to continue to explore the intellectual frontier at Stanford," he said. "There is interesting work here that ought to be publicized more widely, both on campus and beyond the university's borders. Campus publications ought to reflect the depth and vitality of new ideas being generated here."
Foster, a graduate of the University of California-Santa Cruz, began his career in daily journalism at the Salinas Californian, where he covered agriculture, politics and the courts. He later was senior editor at the Center for Investigative Reporting in San Francisco, where, among other duties, he researched and developed story ideas for the CBS News program 60 Minutes.
For several years, Foster was investigative producer at KQED-TV, the PBS affiliate in San Francisco, where he reported and produced documentaries and news programs, including several for the MacNeil- Lehrer NewsHour. For more than five years, he was the editor of Mother Jones, a national magazine.
As a writer, Foster has contributed to numerous other magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Columbia Journalism Review, Rolling Stone and Harper's.
Among other awards, Foster has been honored for news reporting by the California Newspaper Publishers Association (1981); outstanding investigative reporting by Investigative Reporters and Editors (1983); honorable mention for public service in magazine journalism by the Society of Professional Journalists-Sigma Delta Chi (1983), and for best magazine journalism by the World Affairs Council (1986). He received a local Emmy award for best investigative documentary for "White Terror," an investigation of neo-Nazi and white supremacist organizations (1987).
As director of the News Service, Foster will manage a staff of 16 full-time equivalent employees, providing news releases and information services to off-campus media, producing Campus Report and the Stanford Observer, and assisting faculty and staff in dealings with the news media. His reporting line is to Shepard, his predecessor as News Service director.
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