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Articles by Richard Tofel

Richard Tofel is general manager of ProPublica, with responsibility for all of its non-journalism operations, including communications, legal, development, finance and budgeting, and human resources. He was formerly the assistant publisher of The Wall Street Journal and, earlier, an assistant managing editor of the paper, vice president, corporate communications for Dow Jones & Company, and an assistant general counsel of Dow Jones. More recently, he served as vice president, general counsel and secretary of the Rockefeller Foundation, and earlier as president and chief operating officer of the International Freedom Center, a museum and cultural center that was planned for the World Trade Center site. He is the author of Eight Weeks in Washington, 1861: Abraham Lincoln and the Hazards of Transition, Restless Genius: Barney Kilgore, The Wall Street Journal, and the Invention of Modern Journalism, Sounding the Trumpet: The Making of John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, Vanishing Point: The Disappearance of Judge Crater, and the New York He Left Behind and A Legend in the Making: The New York Yankees in 1939.
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News organizations can help prepare voters as they head to the polls.
“Behind all of the best press lawyers stand great reporters.”
“If it is, I hope we use the space freed up in our heads to learn some lessons from the craziness we have been through.”
“Any national donor large enough to put out press releases that issues one about making a bunch of $25,000 grants is either trying to fool other people or themselves.”
“Readers would be better served by less on the politics of how the government is being run and more on its actual running.”
“Publications whose economic survival depends entirely on giving readers what they want may shy from giving them anything they might not want, or might not like.”
“It is increasingly clear that the operation of the platforms, both from an antitrust perspective and even more importantly from the perspective of democratic governance, has received remarkably little scrutiny.”
“Where are the people getting their negative impressions of their new leader? They are getting them from the same press they say they do not trust.”
“Surely it has become clear that publishing and then fact-checking is not enough.”
“Resisting the temptation to greater profit now could go some ways to mitigating loss later.”