Two former colleagues at The Washington Post will be working together again at Duke. Philip Bennett, managing editor of The Post, will join the Sanford Institute's DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy (DWC) as the new Eugene C. Patterson Professor of the practice of journalism and public policy. Sarah Cohen, a Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter and database editor at The Post since 1999, will assume the title of Knight Professor of the practice of communications and journalism at the DWC.
Bennett joined The Post in 1997 as deputy national editor, became assistant managing editor for foreign news in 1999, overseeing twenty international bureaus, and rose to managing editor in 2005. He directed The Post's coverage of wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and helped lead the team whose reporting on substandard care of veterans at Walter Reed Army Hospital won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2008. It was one of six Pulitzers The Post won last year, the largest number in the paper's history.
Bennett will begin teaching in the fall 2009 semester and teach three classes a year, including a media ethics course, as well as two new courses he will design. The chair, endowed by a gift from the Poynter Fund, has been occupied since 1998 by former Time magazine writer and editor Susan Tifft '73 (a member of the Duke Magazine Editorial Advisory Board), who is stepping down at the end of this academic year.
Cohen is an expert in the emerging field of computational journalism, a form of investigative reporting that uses information technology to compile news stories. She has taught journalism courses at the University of Maryland and is the author of Numbers in the Newsroom: Using Math and Statistics in News. She will take the place of William Raspberry, former Washington Post columnist, who retired in 2008.