Jones joins WSJ masthead as editor of culture, training and outreach
Wall Street Journal editor Matt Murray sent out the following announcement on Thursday:
I’m delighted to share the news that Brent Jones, a leader who has had a transformative effect on training and culture at The Wall Street Journal in the last two years, is taking on a new and expanded newsroom role as Editor of Culture, Training and Outreach. He will join the masthead of The Wall Street Journal and report to me starting Monday.
Brent is well positioned to work closely with me, the rest of the senior team and the entire newsroom as we rethink diversity on staff and in coverage, develop further training and other outreach initiatives and help develop the business journalists of the future. Importantly, he also will work closely with colleagues across Dow Jones and especially the People Team, which is driving efforts across the entire company on diversity, inclusion and Dow Jones culture.
A tough and experienced journalist who has worked his way up through newsroom editing ranks, Brent is both realistic and optimistic about the work to be done at the Journal and in our industry. He is also a thoughtful, insightful leader who is passionate about improving newsroom culture, diversity and inclusion, talent development, training—and the social value and importance of fair, high-quality news and information. His voice and experience, which have been especially helpful to me as I focus more of my time on diversity and outreach, will enliven and advance our continuing efforts.
Brent joined the Journal in February 2018 as Assistant Managing Editor for Training & Outreach, reporting to Managing Editor Karen Pensiero. He will continue to work especially closely with Karen and Assistant Managing Editor for Talent Sarah Rabil, who runs all newsroom recruitment efforts. With a remit to design and implement robust, engaging training and outreach programming, Brent connected across Journal news teams to identify strategic pillars of learning; anchored weekly training sessions; helped to coordinate and elevate the newsroom’s presence at online news, investigative and diversity journalism conferences; reinvented our orientation; and successfully initiated and launched in February 2019 The Wall Street Journal – Morgan State University Business Journalism Exchange Program, our groundbreaking training collaboration with Morgan State University in Baltimore.
In describing that partnership, the dean of the School of Global Journalism and Communication, DeWayne Wickham, wrote: “As a founding member and former president of the National Association of Black Journalists, I have a deep appreciation for the need to move beyond talk, to action, when it comes to newsroom diversity. In initiating a partnership with Morgan’s School of Global Journalism and Communication, The Wall Street Journal speaks with a voice that rises above the din of those media companies whose talk about diversity doesn’t match their action.”
A second newsroom outreach training initiative, WSJ & Lehman Journo-Tech Program, was announced with CUNY’s Lehman College (Bronx, N.Y.) in February 2020 and is slated to launch remotely this fall. Lehman’s student body is majority Latino.
Before coming to the Journal, Brent served as head of standards and ethics for USA Today, a role that eventually expanded to support more than 100 local newsrooms across Gannett. As standards editor for USA Today, he created, produced and hosted the publication’s first media ethics podcast, Off the Record, a monthly program that focused on ethical considerations related to news coverage. His design and management of USA Today’s year-round internship program served as a template for Gannett’s enterprise student programming strategy for its business units and local newsrooms. He also has held a number of editing roles at USA Today and local papers.
Brent serves on the advisory boards of the Freedom Forum Institute’s Power Shift Project and the Center for Journalism Ethics for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also has advised The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and Online News Association as part of special outside-committee projects looking at the strategic direction and future of those organizations.
Brent has been integral to recent advances we have made in our newsroom, and in this new role will have an expanded remit and support to help the world’s leading business publication go further and faster. I’m grateful to him for taking this important role on, and ask all of you to join me in congratulating him.