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The Trust

Restoring the Trust

Conference Panelist Charles Lewis

Charles Lewis is the president of The Fund for Independence in Journalism, a bestselling author, founder and for 15 years the first executive director of the Center for Public Integrity, the largest nonprofit investigative reporting organization in the world.

In late 1988, he quit a successful career as a producer for the CBS News program 60 Minutes and began the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan watchdog organization in Washington that investigates political influence, corruption and other ethics-related issues. With a full-time staff of 35 and an unprecedented network of 92 premier investigative journalists in 48 countries available on a contract basis, the Center under Lewis published more than 250 investigative reports, including 14 books, its work honored by Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and others 28 times. During this time, the Center raised and spent $30 million on its wide-ranging programmatic work, utilizing roughly 200 paid intern researchers, its findings or perspective appearing in roughly 10,000 news media stories.

Lewis wrote or co-wrote several of the Center's studies and books that systematically track political influence, including The Buying of the President 2004 (Perennial 2004), on the New York Times short and extended bestseller list for three months, The Cheating of America (Morrow 2001), The Buying of the President 2000 (Avon 2000), The Buying of the Congress (Avon 1998) and The Buying of the President (Avon 1996).

For eleven years, from 1977 through 1988, Lewis did investigative reporting at ABC News and at CBS News as a producer for senior correspondent Mike Wallace at 60 Minutes. His stories twice received Emmy nominations in the "Outstanding Investigative Reporting" category by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Lewis has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Columbia Journalism Review, The Nation and many other publications.