Former ‘Times’ writer is dean of journalism school in US


FORMER The Manila Times senior writer Sheila Coronel was named the new Dean for Academic Affairs at Columbia Journalism School in New York, which she joined in 2006 as the Toni Stabile Professor of Professional Practice in Investigative Journalism and the director of Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism.

The school, which posted Coronel’s appointment on its website. She will assume her new post on July 1, 2014, according to Dean Steve Coll.

Coronel replaces Bill Grueskin (who spent 13 years at the Wall Street Journal), who held the position since 2008.

She was among the writers of the Philippine Panorama Magazine (1982). She moved on to the Times where she worked for a year until the staff went on strike in 1985 at its old printing press/office in Quezon City, recalled current Times managing editor (online) Fort Yerro.

Coronel focused on exposes and investigative reports, which later became the subject of her books.

She reported on the turbulent democratic transition that followed the fall of Ferdinand Marcos.

She was co-founder and for many years the director of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), a pioneering nonprofit news syndication which exposes political shenanigans. She reported on the turbulent democratic transition that followed the fall of Ferdinand Marcos, writing for Philippine newspapers as well as The New York Times and the Guardian.

She was the editor of iReport, the PCIJ’s quarterly publication.
Under her leadership, the PCIJ exposed cases of government corruption, political abuse and human and civil rights violations and became a model for journalists in other Southeast Asian countries.

Coll praised Coronel as a “superb journalist, teacher and leader.”

“Her deep commitment to investigative reporting, data science and global journalism makes her ideally positioned to advance the school’s most important priorities,” Coll said.
He said Coronel has earned the great respect of her colleagues “and has done much to improve the school since she arrived here. She has also established herself as a media leader through her service to groups working to advance investigative journalism worldwide and to protect reporters under pressure. I look forward to learning from her and supporting her new leadership role at Columbia.”

“Sheila will inherit an office that has been superbly led for six years by Bill Grueskin, who has creatively and inclusively led the faculty through important innovation in the school’s curriculum. Bill is a deeply intelligent journalist and industry expert. He has been an attentive manager while managing to maintain a wry sense of humor. We will miss his leadership in academic affairs, but trust he will continue to help us think ahead as a member of the faculty,” Coll added.

“I am honored and delighted to have this opportunity to serve as academic dean of a great institution,” Coronel said. “We are at a period of uncertainty, as well as tremendous possibility, for both journalism and journalism education. It’s an exciting time to be at a top-tier journalism school.”

Coronel authored and edited more than a dozen books, including “Coups, Cults and Cannibals,” a collection of reportage; “The Rulemakers: How the wealthy and well-born dominate Congress” and “Pork and other Perks: Corruption and Governance in the Philippines.”

She has received numerous awards and widespread recognition of her work, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2003, one of Asia’s premier prizes. In 2011, she received the Presidential Teaching Award, which honors Columbia University’s best teachers.

She got an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of the Philippines
in 1979 and a master’s degree in political sociology from the London School of Economics in 1991. Coronel will continue to teach and serve as Director of the Stabile Center.

Coronel is an alumnus of College of the Holy Spirit in Mendiola, Manila.


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  1. Now that is an amazing achievement. Some good news finally comes out from the Philippines.