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.