After more than 10 years at The Wall Street Journal, I took the buyout offered to the newsroom this fall. My decision is bittersweet: Although I’ll miss my colleagues, I am excited for the opportunities coming my way this year.
I will be spending time with family and will start 2017 as interim communications director at the new Knight Institute for the First Amendment at Columbia University. The institute, funded jointly by the Knight Foundation and Columbia, works to protect and expand freedoms of speech and the press in the digital age.
As the Internet has shaken the media industry, traditional outlets have been less able to undertake First Amendment litigation. Simultaneously, changes in communications technology are raising First Amendment questions about things such as surveillance and the freedom of Internet platforms. The institute will aim to help solve these problems in favor of greater press freedoms. I’ll be working with them to get their website launched, get on social media, develop an introductory symposium and produce initial research and commentary.
I also will do some freelance work this year, so stay tuned. My plan is to head back to full-time journalism work late in 2017.