Charles Lewis (journalist)

Charles Lewis (born October 30, 1953) is an investigative journalist based in Washington D.C. since 1977. Charles Lewis founded the Center for Public Integrity and three other nonprofit organizations and is currently the executive editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University School of Communication in D.C. He left a successful career as an investigative producer for ABC News and the CBS news program 60 Minutes and in 1989 began the Center for Public Integrity, a non-partisan group which reports on political and government workings, from his home, growing it to a full time staff of 40 people.[1] When commenting on his move away from prime-time journalism, Lewis expressed his frustration that the most important issues of the day were not being reported.

The Center published roughly 300 investigative reports, including 14 books, (including The Buying of the President 2004, Lewis's fifth and last co-authored book with the Center and a New York Times bestseller)[2] from 1989 through 2004, and was honored more than 30 times by national journalism association. In 1996 the New Yorker called the Center "the center for campaign scoops."[3] That year Lewis and the Center published Fat Cat Hotel, a report which first revealed that the Clinton administration had been rewarding major donors with White House stays in the "Lincoln Bedroom." In 2003, weeks before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the Center posted secret draft "Patriot II" legislation, and in October posted all of the known U.S. contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The report, Windfalls of War first identified that Halliburton had received the most money from those contracts, and won the George Polk Award. In 2008, Lewis created, directed and co-authored "The Iraq War Card," a 380,000-word chronology and analysis of the pre-war public rhetoric by leading members of the Bush administration, which identified 935 "false statements" about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Since 1992 Lewis has traveled and spoken publicly in 24 countries. In late 1997 he began the Center for Public Integrity's International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the world's first working network of 100 premiere reporters in 50 countries, producing content across borders, which made the Center's website[4] the "first global website devoted to international exposés." Lewis has given interviews for various publications and appeared in the 2003 documentary Orwell Rolls in His Grave and the 2005 documentary Why We Fight. He has commented on the dismal state of U.S. political reporting which was and is woefully understaffed across the board. He also discussed the difficulties facing media in trying keeping the public informed when television, newspaper and radio outlets are owned almost entirely by a few major corporations such as General Electric, Disney, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

In 2005, Lewis co-founded Global Integrity,[5] an independent, nonprofit organization utilizing journalists and social scientists to track governance and corruption trends around the world.

Lewis was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1998. In 2004, PEN USA, a literary organization, awarded its First Amendment Award to him, as "an individual who has demonstrated exceptional courage in defending freedom of expression in the United States by displaying a selfless commitment to the privileges bestowed by the First Amendment."[6] In 2009, The Encyclopedia of Journalism cited Lewis as "one of the 30 most notable investigative reporters in the U.S. since World War I." He was a Ferris Professor at Princeton University in 2005, a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University in the spring of 2006, and is currently a tenured professor of journalism at American University in Washington, D.C.

In the spring of 2008, Lewis, along with fellow American University professor Wendell Cochran, founded the Investigative Reporting Workshop, a project of American University School of Communication.[7] A professional journalism center, the Workshop conducts significant, multimedia investigative journalism projects on a national and international scale and has collaborated with many major media outlets, such as MSNBC, FRONTLINE, and McClatchy Newspapers. Lewis is currently Executive Editor of the Workshop.

Lewis has appeared on NBC’s The Today Show and Nightly News; ABC's World News Tonight, Good Morning America, 20/20 and Nightline; CBS' 60 Minutes, Evening News and Morning News; CNN; C-SPAN; The Daily Show;[8] and numerous other TV and radio programs. He appears regularly on Democracy Now![9][10][11][12][13][14] Lewis was a featured speaker at the 2003 National Conference for Media Reform.[15]

Lewis is married to Pamela Gilbert (born October 3, 1958), former executive director of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission who works for a Washington law firm. She has previously served as an advocate for U.S. PIRG and Public Citizen.[16][17]


  1. ^ Ken Silverstein (June 30, 2007). "Undercover, under fire". LA Times.,0,1939913.story. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  2. ^ Center For Public Integrity: The Buying of the President
  3. ^ "2000 CPI Annual Report". The Center for Public Integrity. 2000. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  4. ^ "The Center for Public Integrity". Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  5. ^ "Independent Information on Governance and Corruption". Global Integrity. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  6. ^ "Charles Lewis Wins Pen USA First Amendment Award". The Center for Public Integrity. 2004-10-22. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  7. ^ "Charles Lewis". Investigative Reporting Workshop. 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  8. ^ Daily Show interview with Charles Lewis
  9. ^ "The New Yorker: Billionaire Brothers Charles & David Koch Have Quietly Given More Than $100 Million to Right-Wing Causes". 2010-08-25. 
  10. ^ "935 Lies (and Counting): Study Documents Bush Admin’s False Statements Preceding Iraq War". 2008-01-24. 
  11. ^ "The Buying of the President 2004". 2004-01-09. 
  12. ^ "Is Bill Frist Another Trent Lott?". 2002-12-24. 
  13. ^ "The Buying of the President 2000". 2000-01-06. 
  14. ^ "Money and Politics". 1996-03-01. 
  15. ^ "Rep. Bernie Sanders, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein and Watchdog Chuck Lewis Speaking From The National Conference on Media Reform". 2003-11-12. 
  16. ^ "Weddings Pamela Gilbert, Charles Lewis 3d". The New York Times. 1995-01-08. 
  17. ^ "Our Lawyers: Pamela Gilbert". Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP. 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 

External links

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