Sarah Baxter, director of the Marie Colvin Center for International Reporting at Stony Brook’s School of Communication and Journalism, was recently appointed to the Independent Press Standards Organization, a non-governmental agency designed to uphold and regulate ethical behavior in the British press.
Baxter was selected because of her extensive experience as an international reporter and editor. In the role, she will join 11 other members of the organization’s complaints committee, which investigates and rules on ethical breaches made by British media outlets.
“I’m a big supporter of the freedom of expression and a free press, and it’s very important to defend that,” Baxter said. “But the best way to defend freedom of expression is for newspapers to report fairly and accurately. I’ve always found these kinds of judgment calls to be very interesting as an editor, so I am looking forward to doing it as a member of IPSO’s complaints committee.”
As a reporter and editor, Baxter has covered significant international stories including the Obama and Trump campaigns, Nelson Mandela’s election in South Africa, the refugee crisis in Greece and the 50th anniversary of Emmett Till’s lynching for London’s Sunday Times and other newspapers and magazines. She was awarded the Gold Cross of the Order of Beneficence from the Greek government last year for her stories about efforts to repatriate the Parthenon Marbles.
In addition to her role as the director of the Colvin Center, Baxter teaches journalism at the SoCJ. She plans to bring what she learns on the committee into her classroom at Stony Brook.
“There can be no good journalism, or good journalists, without ethics and integrity,” said Laura Lindenfeld, dean of the SoCJ and executive director of the Alda Center for Communicating Science. “Sarah is an incredible journalist, and I’m so pleased that she is being recognized with this appointment to the IPSO. I’m also grateful that our undergraduate and graduate students get to learn from her and discuss journalistic ethics with her.”
By Ellice Wallace, science communication specialist