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SPJ names four fellows of the Society

For Immediate Release:

Heather Porter, Programs Coordinator, (317) 927-8000, ext. 204
Beth King, Communications Manager, (317) 927-8000, ext. 211

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to name Muriel Dobbin, Ken Paulson, John Markoff and Carl Bernstein as Fellows of the Society.

Being named a Fellow of the Society is the highest honor SPJ bestows upon a journalist for extraordinary contributions to the profession.

Muriel Dobbin

Muriel Dobbin was born in Scotland, graduated from high school but did not attend college. At age 17, Dobbin went to work on a Scottish weekly newspaper, covering courts, crime, criminal trials, local politics, cattle shows and dog shows. After six years of working for the Scottish media and at the suggestion of an American friend, Dobbin came to the United States on an immigrant visa and was hired as a Sunday feature writer at the Baltimore Sun.

In 1963, Dobbin was sent to the Sun's Washington Bureau as the first woman reporter in a bureau of fifteen men, assigned to cover Jackie Kennedy. She arrived in time for the assassination of JFK, covered the funeral and was assigned as one of two reporters covering Lyndon B. Johnson. She remained as a member of the White House Press Corps through part of the Nixon administration and then covered the two years of Watergate, from criminal trials to Senate hearings.

After the Watergate trials and Senate hearings, Dobbin went back to the White House to cover Gerald Ford and the two assassination attempts on his life. During this time, the Sun sent her to California to open a San Francisco bureau where she covered the twelve western states and western Canada for eight years.

Fulfilling a long-standing career with the Sun, Dobbin worked for U.S. News & World Report briefly. Following the death of her husband, who worked for CK McClatchy, owner of McClatchy Newspapers, Dobbin was hired by McClatchy, which was expanding national coverage in its Washington Bureau. For the next twelve years, she covered the White House of George HW Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as national politics before retiring two years ago.

Today, Dobbin keeps busy doing book reviews and writing books. She’s had four books published, one that is currently optioned for a movie. She is a member of the Gridiron Club of Washington and was the second woman in the club to become president. The first was Helen Thomas.

Ken Paulson

Ken Paulson, is the editor and senior vice president/News of USA TODAY and

For the past 27 years, Paulson has drawn on his background as both a journalist and lawyer, serving as the editor or managing editor of newspapers in five different states and in recent years as the executive director of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University.

Paulson was on the team of journalists who founded USA TODAY in 1982 before moving on to manage newsrooms in Westchester County, NY, Green Bay, Wisc., Bridgewater, NJ and at FLORIDA TODAY in Brevard County, Fla. He's widely known for his efforts to inform and educate Americans about First Amendment freedoms and as a strong voice for tougher confidential sourcing policies and ethics guidelines in America's newsrooms.

Paulson also served as the host of the Emmy-nominated PBS television program Speaking Freely and the author of “Freedom Sings,” a multimedia stage show celebrating the First Amendment that continues to tour the nation's campuses.

An early advocate of Internet news, Paulson launched online newspapers in both Florida and New York in 1993.

For the past 10 years, Paulson has been a regular guest lecturer at the American Press Institute, speaking to more than 5,000 journalists about First Amendment issues.

Paulson also is the chair of the American Society of Newspaper Editors First Amendment committee and is heading up The Liberty Tree Initiative, a new nationwide campaign to build nonpartisan support for First Amendment freedoms.

He is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law and the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University Law School and is a member of both the Illinois and Florida bars.

John Markoff

John Markoff joined The New York Times in 1988 as a reporter for the business section. He writes about computers and technology issues and is based in San Francisco as a senior writer. Before joining the Times, he worked for The San Francisco Examiner.

Markoff has written about the field of technology since 1977. He covered technology and the defense industry for The Pacific News Service in San Francisco from 1977 to 1981; he was a reporter at Infoworld from 1981 to 1983; he was the West Coast editor for Byte Magazine from 1984 to 1985 and wrote a column on personal computers for The San Jose Mercury from 1983 to 1885.

Outside the newsroom, Markoff He has been a lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley School of Journalism. He is currently an adjunct faculty member of the Stanford University Journalism Department where he teaches a course on reporting on Silicon Valley.

In 2005, with a group of Times reporters, Markoff received the Loeb Award for business journalism. This year he shared the Society of American Business Editors and Writers Breaking News award. In 2007, he became a member of the International Media Council at the World Economic Forum.

Markoff is a graduate of Whitman College and the University of Oregon. He is the co-author of “The High Cost of High Tech,” published in 1985 by Harper & Row. More recently he wrote “Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier” with Katie Hafner, which was published in 1991 by Simon & Schuster. In January of 1996 Hyperion published "Takedown: The Pursuit and Capture of America's Most Wanted Computer Outlaw," which he co-authored with Tsutomu Shimomura. “What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture shaped the Personal Computer Industry,” was published in 2005 by Viking Books.

Carl Bernstein

Carl Bernstein shared a Pulitzer Prize for public service in 1973 with Bob Woodward for his coverage of Watergate for The Washington Post. He is the author, with Woodward, of All the President’s Men and The Final Days, and, with Marco Politi, of His Holiness: John Paul II and the History of Our Time. He also authored Loyalties, a memoir about his parents during McCarthy–era Washington. Next year, Knopf will publish Bernstein's biography of Hillary Rodham Clinton, on which he began work in 1999.

In the political season of 1999-2001, Bernstein became editor and executive vice president of, a ground-breaking Web site that Forbes Magazine named one of the 100 best sites in the world, and which pioneered the now-standard practice of amassing and consolidating content from multiple sites., designated the best political site on the Web by Forbes and other critics, ceased business during the technology-downturn of the era.

In addition to his books, Bernstein has written for Vanity Fair and served as a contributing editor. He’s also contributed to Time, USA Today, Rolling Stone, and The New Republic. He was a Washington bureau chief and correspondent for ABC News. At The Washington Post, Bernstein also was a part-time rock critic, and he still occasionally writes about music.

SPJ Fellow nominations are open to all members of the journalism profession. These individuals will be recognized during a dinner at the 2007 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference in Washington, D.C., Oct. 4-7 at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave., NW.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information about SPJ, please visit


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