Tom Stites

Founder and President of the Banyan Project

Tom Stites is founder and president of the Banyan Project, which aims to strengthen democracy by pioneering a sustainable and scalable business model for Web journalism that serves everyday people and engages their civic energy.

As a 2010-2011 fellow of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Tom shaped the business plan for Banyan’s distinctive reader-owned co-op business model. With the support of the National Cooperative Business Association, he is in the process of launching a pilot site in Haverhill, Mass.

Tom is an editor and entrepreneur with a passion for strengthening journalism and democracy. As an editor he has supervised reporting that has won an array of major journalism awards including the Pulitzer Prize; as an entrepreneur he has been the founding publisher of two print magazines and three Web publications. His writings and speeches on strengthening democracy and on journalism have won a respectful following.

Tom has served as a national correspondent, national editor and associate managing editor for project reporting at the Chicago Tribune; as night national editor of the New York Times and as managing editor of the Kansas City Times. He later served for a decade as the editor and publisher of UU World, the national magazine of the Unitarian Universalist religious denomination, and subsequently served as a consulting editor for the Center for Public Integrity.

Tom grew up in Kansas City and attended Williams College. He has taught in the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Public Policy and conducted seminars at several journalism schools. In 2006, he was a resident fellow at Harvard Divinity School, where did research on power and the conscience.

Twitter handle: 

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good