Sanford Professor Hired as Frontline Managing Editor

DURHAM, N.C. -- Philip Bennett, the Eugene C. Patterson Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy at Duke University, will join the PBS investigative documentary series “Frontline” in the newly created role of managing editor.

Bennett, former managing editor of The Washington Post, will join “Frontline” as it moves to a year-round broadcast schedule and remakes the series for the digital age. Bennett will continue his teaching position at Duke and will join the “Frontline” team in May.

“We are delighted and honored that Phil Bennett has decided to join us at “Frontline”,” said Executive Producer David Fanning. “We are in a moment of historic reinvention, both in journalism and public media, and Phil will be bringing his considerable experience and talent to help us navigate that change.”

Sanford Professor Phil BennettA professor at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy since 2009, Bennett has taught about national security secrecy and the news media, coverage of Islam, narrative journalism and digital media.

During 12 years at The Post, Bennett served as deputy national editor and as assistant managing editor for foreign news, supervising the newspaper’s international coverage. He was named managing editor in 2005, and during his tenure the newspaper won 10 Pulitzer Prizes, including one for the paper’s investigation into the treatment of wounded troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Prior to working at The Post, Bennett was a metro reporter, foreign correspondent in Latin America and foreign editor at The Boston Globe. His first job in journalism was at The Lima Times in Peru, where he became a stringer for The Post.

“ ‘Frontline’ has been a pioneer in combining fearless investigation and gripping storytelling, and that mission is especially vital today, as journalism searches for new ways to engage with complex issues and hold powerful institutions to account,” Bennett said. “I’m thrilled to join ‘Frontline’ as it keeps pushing on the frontiers of investigative journalism and exploring the world through documentary film.”

As Frontline’s managing editor, Bennett will help oversee the series’ editorial mission through its broadcasts and across multiple platforms. He will assist in developing long-term editorial strategy and focus on maintaining Frontline’s commitment to journalistic standards and ethics.

Bennett’s role with the series will benefit his students at Duke, said James Hamilton, director of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy in Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

“The collaboration will offer Duke students a unique opportunity to participate in the development of accountability journalism and see it is impact on society,” Hamilton said.

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