The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is excited to welcome McClatchy Opinion Editor Colleen McCain Nelson, Los Angeles Times Executive Editor Norm Pearlstine, and The E.W. Scripps Company President and CEO Adam Symson to its steering committee.
“We are thrilled to have Colleen, Norm and Adam join us in guiding the Reporters Committee’s work to protect press freedom, especially as we expand our services to serve more journalism communities across the country,” Steering Committee Chair Stephen J. Adler said. “They each bring valuable experience, perspective and enthusiasm, and we’re looking forward to working with them.”
Supporting journalists, especially in local newsrooms, is a large focus of the Reporters Committee’s work. In their respective roles across the U.S., Nelson, Pearlstine and Symson have led their newsrooms in strong reporting that focuses on their communities.
McCain Nelson, who is also vice president and editorial page editor for the Kansas City Star, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer. She joined The Star in December 2016 after working as a White House correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and as an editorial writer and columnist for The Dallas Morning News.
“At a time when the news media is facing escalating threats to press freedom, the work of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is more essential than ever,” McCain Nelson said. “Too many news organizations are trying to combat attacks on the rights of journalists with diminished resources. I’m honored to join in the invaluable work that RCFP is doing to ensure that media organizations have legal representation in the fight to protect the First Amendment rights of journalists.”
Pearlstine is executive editor of the Los Angeles Times, a position he has held since 2018. Previously, he worked for five decades as a reporter and editor in the U.S., Asia and Europe, and has held multiple newsroom leadership and management positions at Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Time Warner, Time Inc. and Bloomberg.
“The Los Angeles Times and everyone we serve benefits from the Reporters Committee’s work to protect the First Amendment and hold government officials accountable,” Pearlstine said. “I am delighted to join the RCFP Steering Committee to help advance its work, which supports newsrooms across the country.”
Symson became president and CEO of The E.W. Scripps Company in 2017. Prior to that, he was chief operating officer and held numerous leadership positions within Scripps, including serving as chief digital officer from 2011-2016, and overseeing and directing Scripps’ interactive businesses, news strategy and operations, and investigations and special projects. Earlier in his career, Symson worked as an investigative journalist and producer for local news stations in Chicago, Los Angeles and Phoenix, and as an independent producer for CBS News and NBC News.
“Press freedom is a crucial tenet of a healthy democracy, and I am passionate about our country’s need to uphold these rights granted by our Constitution,” Symson said. “As a veteran journalist and the leader of a 141-year-old journalism company, The E.W. Scripps Company, I’m proud to join the Reporters Committee steering committee to support efforts to further protect the newsgathering rights of journalists.”
View a complete list of steering committee members here.