- The Washington Times - Monday, March 9, 2009

The Washington Times on Monday named Richard Miniter as editor of the editorial pages and vice president of opinion, the latest of a series of dramatic moves to boost the newspaper’s global impact.

He is a veteran of the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the Sunday Times of London investigative team and a best-selling author who has reported from Iraq, Darfur and Southeast Asia.

“Richard is one of those rare journalists with ironclad credibility, impeccable taste and good cheer. He is also fearless. Richard has a grasp on the dynamics of national and world events, which is rare these days,” said Thomas P. McDevitt, president and publisher of The Times.

“We want the editorial pages to lead the public discourse on conservative values with vitality and insight, with fairness and guts. America is in a tough situation; the world is in a tough situation. These times and our readers demand clear thinking, and Richard will provide it,” Mr. McDevitt said.

The role of vice president of opinion is new, encompassing the editorial page, the Op-Ed page and commentary pages. Since the paper’s founding in 1982, editorial and commentary pages have been managed separately. The new vice president of opinion also will oversee all online opinion, the opinion component of the new Washington Times wire service that distributes to more than 90 newspapers, and other new products to be unveiled in the coming months.

The Washington Times opinion pages will feature a new design in its print editions starting on Wednesday; the online version will boast a new, easier-to-navigate design later this spring.

“While many of our readers’ favorite syndicated columnists will continue to appear on the WashingtonTimes.com, the mix on our print pages will emphasize original, news-breaking and exclusive content,” Mr. Miniter said.

While remaining true to its conservative traditions, the operations of the opinion pages will change radically.

“The market for pure opinion is saturated. We are going to be different. Readers want editorials, Op-Eds and columns based on reporting and news. We expect our editorial writers to act like reporters and then add insight and perspective to explain what it all means,” Mr. Miniter said. “And we will respond at blog speed.”

“I will work to ensure that our voice continues to speak to those tens of millions of conservatives whose perspectives are all too frequently underrepresented in the other major media,” Mr. Miniter said.

“Though our two departments operate separately, I’m thrilled to have our opinion pages under the stewardship of such an accomplished journalist as Rich. I know Rich will honor the Times’ extraordinary editorial tradition built on the shoulders of giants like Tony Snow and Tony Blankley while transforming our print and online opinion for the 21st century with the same deep reporting and insight he has demonstrated through his career as an editorial writer, reporter and best-selling author,” said John Solomon, executive editor of The Washington Times.

Mr. Miniter’s two New York Times best-selling books include “Losing bin Laden,” a groundbreaking investigation that used senior Clinton administration sources to reveal that the terrorist’s menace was known long before the Sept. 11 attacks.

He also was a member of the award-winning investigative team at the Sunday Times of London. Mr. Miniter’s work has appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic monthly, Reader’s Digest, National Review and the New Republic.

Reporting from the Darfur region of Sudan, he was the first to publish an interview with a Janjaweed warlord in the field. Reporting from the Iranian-Turkish border, Mr. Miniter’s account of the plight of 17 persecuted Iranian Christians saved their lives and cleared the way for them to resettle in the United States.

He is also a regular commentator on Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNN, C-SPAN, and CNBC, as well as on nationally syndicated radio programs, serving as guest host for “The G. Gordon Liddy Show,” “The Michael Reagan Show” and “The Wilkow Majority” on Sirius-XM Radio.

Mr. Miniter, 41, is a veteran newsman who has reported from the outposts of U.S. Marines in Iraq, rebel war zones in Uganda, Sudan and Burma — and from smugglers´ routes in Laos, Thailand and Cambodia. He has interviewed military heroes and prime ministers, as well as diplomats, soldiers and spies.

“While Iraq and Sudan have their charms,” Mr. Miniter said, “this is by far my most exciting assignment.”