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Inside the editorial page

By

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 16, 2000


I often hear from readers who want to know why our editorials are unsigned. The reason is simple: Editorials speak for the paper. The editorial page is nothing more than a newspaper's value system. It's one of the ways newspapers try to shape the public debate on issues they care about. Someone has to write editorials, of course, and that is the job of members of the Times Editorial Board. To the extent possible, the board runs on consensus, if not unanimity. In past years we have occasionally introduced readers to members of the editorial board, and we do so again today. The make-up of the editorial board changes from time to time, and we think it is a good idea to keep you up to date on who the people are who write the editorials that give this newspaper its institutional voice.

Philip L. Gailey, editor of editorials

Editorial board members

Philip Gailey, Editor of Editorials

Philip Gailey, 55, grew up on a farm outside Homer, Ga., and received a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia. He worked at the Atlanta Constitution, the Miami Herald, the Washington Star and the Washington bureau of the New York Times before joining the St. Petersburg Times as Washington bureau chief in 1987. In 1991, he was named editor of editorials. He also is a company vice president and a member of the Times Publishing Co. board of directors. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Joyce O'Neal Gailey, and their son, Daniel, a senior at the Canterbury School of Florida.

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Robert Friedman, Deputy Editor of Editorials

Robert Friedman, 49, grew up in Sandersville, Ga. He received degrees in journalism and political philosophy from the University of Georgia and completed course work toward a doctorate in mass communications research at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. For 12 years, he taught various courses in journalism and political science at the University of South Florida and UNC-Chapel Hill. He joined theTimes editorial board in 1981. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Mary Stein.

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Don Addis, Cartoonist

Don Addis, 64, was born in Hollywood, Calif., and raised in Hollywood, Fla. After three years as an Army information specialist, he earned a degree in advertising design in 1962 from the University of Florida, where he edited the college humor magazine and served on the campus newspaper. A Times Publishing Co. staffer for 35 years, he cartooned for the Evening Independent before moving to the Times. He has drawn three syndicated cartoon features, and his work has appeared in several national magazines. He's a father of four and grandfather of four and lives in St. Petersburg.

Robyn Blumner, Editorial Writer and Columnist

Robyn Blumner, 38, grew up in Glen Cove, N.Y. She graduated from Cornell University with a degree in industrial labor relations and from New York University School of Law. She is admitted to the New York State Bar. She worked for 10 years as director of American Civil Liberties Union affiliates in Utah and Florida, before joining the editorial board in 1997. She writes a Sunday column on civil rights, civil liberties and gender issues. She lives in St. Petersburg with her partner, Damian Cristodero.

C.T. Bowen, Pasco Editor of Editorials

C.T. Bowen, 40, is a native of Olean in southwestern New York state. He earned a degree in mass communications from St. Bonaventure University and worked at the Jamestown Post-Journal and Syracuse Herald-Journal and Herald American before moving to Florida in 1987. He was a Pasco County-based reporter, bureau chief and columnist at the Tampa Tribune before joining the Times in 1998. He and his wife, Mary Beth, live in Land O' Lakes with their two sons, Ryan, 6, and Kyle, 2.

Martin Dyckman, Associate Editor and Columnist

Martin Dyckman, 62, came to Florida when he was 9, was raised in Pinellas County and graduated from Florida State University with a degree in American studies. He has written for the St. Petersburg Times since then, except for 18 months with WJXT-TV in Jacksonville. He has covered Tallahassee and Washington and has been a member of the editorial board for 20 years. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Ivy. They have two sons, Ben and Jeremy, who attend St. Petersburg High School.

Jon East, Perspective Editor

Jon East, 44, grew up in Winston-Salem, N.C., and received a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He worked at theOcala Star-Banner and the St. Petersburg Evening Independent before joining the Times editorial board 13 years ago. He writes about education, state and local government issues, and is editor of the Sunday Perspective section. He lives in Clearwater with his wife, Janice, and two daughters, Megan and Erika, who attend Palm Harbor University High School.

John Hill, Tampa Editor of Editorials John Hill, 36, joined the Times editorial board in 1996. He was raised in Tampa, studied international relations at the University of South Florida and spent 1984 in Britain following the coal miner's strike. Before joining the Times, he covered local and state government for The Ledger in Lakeland and was a computer-assisted reporting specialist for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Hill writes about Hillsborough County and state government and lives in Tampa with his wife, Sue Carlton.

Bill Maxwell, Editorial Columnist

Bill Maxwell, 54, a Fort Lauderdale native, was raised in a migrant farming family. He has a bachelor's degree in English from Bethune-Cookman College and a master's degree in English language and literature from the University of Chicago. Before joining the Times in 1994, he taught college English and journalism for 18 years and was a reporter for the Fort Pierce Tribune and a weekly columnist for theGainesville Sun. His Times column is syndicated by Scripps Howard and the New York Times Syndicate. He has a daughter, a son and a grandson.

Jack Reed, North Pinellas Editor of Editorials

Jack Reed, 54, grew up in Orlando and earned degrees from the University of South Florida and the University of Central Florida. He was a social worker and teacher before beginning his journalism career at the Tallahassee Democrat. In 1982, he was hired by the Times, where he has been a reporter and editor. He has won the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting and a John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University. He and his wife, Nancy, have two children and two grandchildren.

Diane Roberts, Editorial Writer

Diane Roberts, 40, was born in Tallahassee. She earned degrees in English and creative writing at Florida State University and Oxford University and a doctorate in American Literature at Oxford. Before joining the editorial board last year, she was an English lecturer at Oxford and an associate English professor at the University of Alabama. She is the author of books on William Faulkner and the history of slavery, a commentator for National Public Radio and a former Florida Flambeau legislative columnist. She lives in St. Petersburg.

Anne Striphas, Editorial Writer

Anne Striphas, 30, was born and raised in New York. She studied at the State University of New York at Binghamton and Cornell University, where she was the recipient of a Sage Fellowship for graduate studies in government and sociology. Before joining the editorial board in 1996, she was the assistant editorial page editor of the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, N.Y. She writes about health care, the environment and local government. She lives in Tampa with her boyfriend, Rick Gershman.

Deborah Hardin Wagner, Editorial Writer

Deborah Hardin Wagner, 40, grew up in Tampa. She received a political science degree from Duke University and a law degree from Florida State University. Before joining the Times, she served as legislative aide to U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd, counseled the governor and Cabinet and directed a state Supreme Court commission on racial bias in the courts. She specializes in children's and social-services issues. She lives in South Tampa with her husband Alan and their two children.

Peter Wallsten, Editorial Writer

Peter Wallsten, 27, grew up in Chapel Hill, N.C., and graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with a degree in political science. He joined the Times in 1994 as a reporter covering local news in the Clearwater bureau. In 1996, he moved to Tallahassee to cover state government and politics. He joined the board in June 1999 and lives in St. Petersburg with his cat, Cokie.

Jeff Webb, Hernando and Citrus Editor of Editorials

Jeff Webb, 43, joined the editorial board in 1992. He grew up in Tennessee, enlisted in the U.S. Air Force when he was 18 and left four years later to study English literature at Delaware State College in Dover, Del. He began his newspaper career in 1978 with the Delaware State News and went on to work in various writing and editing positions at The Times in Trenton, N.J., and the Herald-News in Passaic, N.J. He and his wife Nancy live in Spring Hill.

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