Katherine Fanning, editor of The Christian Science Monitor, becomes president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) today, as the organization's week-long convention here ends. During her year at the ASNE helm, Mrs. Fanning says, she will steer the organization toward ``taking an in-depth look at the future of the newspaper business, with a particular emphasis on editorial content.''
Other priorities for the next year include a study of minority employment in newsrooms, an assessment of ethics and values in the American press, and a campaign to promote literacy in the United States.
Fanning's election marks the first time in the ASNE's 65-year history that a woman will hold the top office.
``It's really an honor conferred on all the women who have been laboring in newsrooms for years,'' she says.
From her first newspaper job in Alaska as a staff librarian, Fanning went on to become owner, editor, and publisher of the Anchorage Daily News. Under her leadership, the paper won a Pulitzer Prize in 1976 for an investigative series on the Teamsters Union in Alaska. In 1983, Fanning became editor of The Christian Science Monitor.
The 970-member ASNE also installs four other officers today. Edward R. Cony, assistant editor of the Wall Street Journal, becomes the organization's vice-president. Loren Ghiglione, editor and publisher of the Southbridge (Mass.) News, is secretary. And John Seigenthaler, editor and publisher of the Nashville Tennessean, is treasurer.
Fanning is the third Monitor editor to serve as ASNE president, following Erwin Canham (1948) and John Hughes (1978).