J. Todd Foster

J. Todd Foster is a veteran, award-winning journalist who, as a writer, has comforted the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable and, as an editor, has led newspapers to national awards while building web audiences and growing print circulation.

Poaching Case In Long Hibernation Prosecutors Put Low Priority On Shooting Of Beloved Bear

To federal prosecutors, the killing of a grizzly bear named Sy is just another case of poaching, a low-profile incident overshadowed by humans peddling cocaine, wildlife defenders say. But to research biologist Jon Almack, Sy’s death is a murder - and there is a suspect - that saddens him like the loss of a family member. In 1983, north of Priest Lake, Idaho, Almack trapped the bear, the first in the Selkirk Mountains, and buckled a radio collar around her dark brown neck. Almack, then a Univ

Slow Greyhounds Electrocuted On 'Hot Plate,' Trainers Say Regulators Investigate Allegations That Dogs Killed Amid Party Atmosphere

Four years, and greyhound dog trainer Larry Conarty can’t shake the nauseating memories. He still recalls the festive atmosphere, the trainers who sipped beer, smoked marijuana and snorted cocaine after-hours at Coeur d’Alene Greyhound Park, priming themselves for 20 seconds of entertainment. An unlucky four-legged lady, a born loser on the track and unfit as a pet, was taken from her wooden crate, placed on a wet floor and prepped for the “Tijuana hot plate.” A stiff wire was oiled and shove

J. TODD FOSTER: Governor Answers Call of Parents on Education

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine appears to be a man of his word. As some of you will recall, my Feb. 10 column dealt with proposed changes to the state’s special-education regulations. It’s a complicated process, but in short, these Virginia Department of Education proposals would eliminate or reduce parental involvement in how the state handles children with disabilities. My 5-year-old son has benefitted from Virginia’s regulations, which allow interested parents to advocate strongly for their children and win such accommodations as speech therapy. On a Feb. 21 visit to Bristol, Kaine attended an editorial board meeting of the Bristol Herald Courier. I handed him my Feb. 10 column and got him to promise he would read it on the flight back to Richmond.

J. Todd Foster | Knight Digital Media Center

Fellow for News Leadership 2009 J. Todd Foster was named managing editor of the Bristol (Va.) Herald Courier in January 2007. He oversees the newspaper, as well as seven weeklies in Southwest Virginia. Foster is also in charge of working with the television partner, WJHL-TV in Johnson City, Tenn., and with TriCities.com. Foster joined the Bristol newspaper after four years as the top editor of The News Virginian in Waynesboro, Va. and since 2003 has won 38 Virginia Press Association awards, including 16 in 2005 for news, feature and opinion writing and page design. The Waynesboro paper won 106 statewide awards during Foster's 2003-06 tenure. A regular contributor to People magazine for four years, Foster learned the identity of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's secret Watergate source "Deep Throat" -- W. Mark Felt -- in 2002 but abandoned magazine and book projects with Felt's family in 2004 over issues of finance and ethics. Vanity Fair broke the story of Felt in 2005. Foster still freelances for the national magazine Campaigns & Elections and was a finalist for the national Genesis magazine award in 2000 for a six-month investigation for Reader's Digest into no-kill animal shelters across the U.S. He spent 14 years from 1985-1998 as an investigative reporter, specializing mainly in government corruption and animal abuse, for The (Portland) Oregonian, The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash., the Pensacola News Journal and the Chattanooga Free Press. A native of Tullahoma, Tenn., Foster began his journalism career in 1978 as a 17-year-old sports editor for a weekly in Winchester, Tenn. He graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1982.

'Stop Crying in Our Beer,' Pulitzer-Winning Editor Tells Media

While the nation's struggling big media honchos bemoan the end of print, an obscure newspaper in the coalfields of southwestern Virginia turned off the endless white noise and captured a Pulitzer Prize. Let's look at the small picture. Instead of complaining about how American newspapers have lost 43 percent of their ad revenue in three years, the Bristol Herald Courier believed in the impossible. They dug for news, while others kept groaning about cutbacks.

American Journalism Review

WEB EXCLUSIVE Two months after the paper he edited in Virginia won a Pulitzer, J. Todd Foster returns to the town where his career began, this time as executive editor. By Abby Brownback Abby Brownback is an AJR editorial assistant.      n the heels of a Pulitzer, J. Todd Foster is going home--or close to it. The editor of Virginia's Bristol Herald Courier, which won a Pulitzer Prize for public service this year, began his career at the Chattanooga Times Free Press in Tennessee in 1985 an

J. Todd Foster column: This is the little paper that could ... and did

One of my life’s greatest disappointments was spending 10 hours interviewing for a reporting job at The Washington Post in late 1998 and, a couple of weeks later, being told by a senior editor that Post brass feared I already had “reached my potential and was as good as I was ever going to get.” I was 38 years old at the time and, in my opinion, my star was still rising. But I couldn’t dissuade this Post editor from her misguided prognosis of my career. I went to People magazine instead and was grateful for the job.

Former News Virginian editor part of Pulitzer-winning team

The Bristol Herald Courier won the top prize for journalism–- the Pulitzer Prize gold medal for public service–- for reporter Daniel Gilbert's series on natural gas royalties. The paper's managing editor, J. Todd Foster, was editor of the News Virginian in Waynesboro for four years before joining the Herald Courier in 2007. While working as a contributor for People magazine, Foster also got the jump on the identity of Watergate's "Deep Throat," Mark Felt, in 2002, three years before Vanity Fa

J. TODD FOSTER COLUMN: My Battle with a Marine for Air Supremacy

In the eight years since 9/11, I avoided flying until last Sunday. That experience on Delta Airlines validated my choice to stay grounded. Publisher Carl Esposito and I flew from Tri-Cities Regional Airport to Atlanta for a flight to Los Angeles. The trip was the culmination of a four-month fellowship through the University of Southern California’s Knight Digital Media Center – a leading think-tank on New Media.

J. TODD FOSTER: Thank You, Andrea Mitchell, For The Ready-Made Column

I learned something about myself Thursday that I did not know: I’m a redneck. But then again, so is every one of you reading this column. Or so says Andrea Mitchell of NBC News. Mitchell, the wife of former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, actually went on MSNBC on Thursday as Barack Obama was leaving the stage in Bristol and quipped live: “Interesting images today. Barack Obama, Mark Warner, in Southwest Virginia. This is real [chuckle] redneck ... sort of ... uhm ... bordering on Appa

Mitchell Apologizes For “Redneck” Comment

MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell apologized today for calling southwest Virginia, “real redneck” country. Toward the end of her 1pmET hour, she said, “I owe an apology to the good people of Bristol, Virginia for something stupid that I said.” The editor of the Bristol Herald Courier (in Bristol, Virginia), J. Todd Foster, wrote a column published yesterday in response to the comment. “I’m a redneck. But then again, so is every one of you reading this column. Or so says Andrea Mitchell of NBC News,
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