CJ owner Gannett’s new head of investigative reporting: ‘They want someone who is exclusively focused on investigative work’

As The Courier-Journal’s owner advances on a takeover of the Los Angeles Times and more than 160 other titles, it has promised it won’t take a top-down approach to managing news at the company’s existing chain of more than 100 papers.

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Davis

A big test of that pledge comes with one of Gannett Co.’s newest editors, Chris Davis, hired for a new position leading the company’s chain-wide investigative reporting. He joined the company in July from the Tampa Bay Times, where he edited two Pulitzer Prize-winning projects.

In a new interview, Davis talked to industry trade site Columbia Journalism Review about what he sees in the future for the CJ and Gannett’s other dailies. Here’s an excerpt:

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Today’s paper.

What do you think this new position says about Gannett’s journalistic ambitions now and in the future, especially as the company continues to refine its strategy?

To me, it’s a clear signal that the editors here are putting journalism first, particularly investigative journalism. They could have hired all sorts of people, but they wanted someone who could come in and really drive the most important kind of journalism, which is watchdog and investigative work. I think it shows a clear commitment, and it was one of the reasons I was intrigued at the outset. They want someone who is exclusively focused on investigative work to be in a top-level position. I think that says a lot.

Read the full Q&A here.

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