James D. Ewing

James D. Ewing was a co-owner of The Keene Sentinel for nearly four decades and a force in the fields of government reform, social service and international journalism training.

Under Ewing's leadership, which extended into the early 1990s, The Sentinel expanded its geographic reach to become a regional newspaper for southwestern New Hampshire, and the paper made the transition from industrial- age machinery to modern printing and computer technology.

During his tenure as publisher, the newspaper successfully campaigned for a wide range of local and state-level causes including, among others, land-use planning, freedom of information and public services for the needy.

To carry out those missions and to otherwise inform The Sentinel's readership, Ewing consistently maintained a newsroom far larger than industry standards -- a reflection of the fact that he regarded newspapering very much as a public service.

His belief in the ability of aggressive newspapers to help readers make wise decisions about government and society extended beyond Keene. After leaving day-to-day newspapering to his employees in the mid-1980s, he helped launch the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), a Washington-based training institute for journalists around the world.

Ewing's interest in world affairs led to the founding of ICFJ. Funded with private donations and millions of dollars from foundation grants, ICFJ conducted training programs in the United States, South America, Africa, Central Europe, Russia and Asia. During Ewing's tenure, ICFJ trained more than 12,000 journalists from 173 countries.

Some participants in those programs wound up visiting Keene and The Sentinel for periods ranging from a few days to a month. The visits combined professional concerns with social and cultural exchanges. One of the trainees who visited was Hamid Karzai, previously a member of the Afghan National Liberation Front and now the President of Afghanistan, who was trained by Ewing and ICFJ in 1987.