The Winship Legacy

Tom and Liebe Winship knew good journalism and were determined
to share it.

As the editor of The Boston Globe for 20 years, Tom oversaw coverage that earned his newspaper 12 Pulitzer Prizes. His wife wrote the paper’s frank advice column “Ask Beth,” which was syndicated around the United States.

Almost three decades ago, Tom and Liebe helped found the non-profit organization that is now the International Center for Journalists. When it was incorporated in 1984, the office had a manual typewriter and a broken coffeemaker. From these modest beginnings, the Winship family helped grow ICFJ into the global organization it is today.

They kept it going during the early years, and contributed to the planning of training programs for journalists from other countries. And they traveled overseas to promote ICFJ around the world at every opportunity. Their support continues through their daughter, Margaret “Peg” Winship, who is an active member of ICFJ’s Board of Directors.

As journalists, Tom and Liebe stood out among their peers. From 1965 to 1985, Tom brought the Globe to national prominence and respect. Under his leadership, the Globe was one of the first major papers to publish the Pentagon Papers and to call for the country’s withdrawal from Vietnam.

And before teenagers could turn to the Internet for all their pressing questions of adolescence, they could “Ask Beth.” Liebe’s honest and open advice moored teens during this turbulent time in their lives and the changing socio-cultural landscape of the 1960s and ’70s. In 1985, William McKibben wrote of her in The New Yorker: “If they awarded Pulitzers for good sense and stable judgment, she would win one every year.’’ Peg Winship also penned “Ask Beth” columns with her mother for 20 years.

Despite their personal success, Tom and Liebe always gave back.

IJNet honors them by providing frank, practical advice to journalists around the world, in seven languages and at no cost, to help them improve their craft. Like Tom and Liebe, who were always breaking new ground, IJNet is at the forefront of journalism’s digital revolution. Tom and Liebe Winship truly believed in the power of quality journalism to change lives, and IJNet helps realize that vision every day.