I’m not sure where to begin introducing you to Jim Simon, who joined us last week as our new managing editor.

Maybe with the Pulitzer Prize-winning projects he’s worked on — one award for The Seattle Times’ coverage of a deadly landslide in northwest Washington in 2014, another for the paper’s reporting on a manhunt for the guy who in 2009 murdered four police officers while they were sitting in a Lakewood, Washington, coffee shop.

Or his guidance of one of my favorite multimedia projects, “Sea Change,” that in 2013 took a reporter and photographer to New Guinea, Hawaii and other far-flung places to explore the impacts of ocean acidification throughout the Pacific Ocean.

Jim Simon is Civil Beat’s new managing editor.

Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Or maybe we go back about 20 years to when Jim was a Jefferson Fellow at the East-West Center here in Honolulu. He’s since trained journalists in Indonesia and East Timor. His first reporting job was with United Press International in the Philippines, covering the government of Ferdinand Marcos.

Full disclosure: I first met Jim in the early 1990s when we were both political reporters in Olympia, Washington — he for The Seattle Times, me for the Tacoma News Tribune. I drifted on but Jim stayed in the Northwest and over the next couple of decades helped lead the Times in many capacities — from metro editor to managing editor.

We’ve been looking for the perfect managing editor for awhile now. So I was thrilled to start talking with Jim last year about possibilities with Civil Beat.

It seems Jim was also looking for the next step in an already awesome career and he and his wife, Lori Fujimoto, were interested in a move to Lori’s home state of Hawaii. She grew up on Lanai and was thinking it might be a good time to come home where her parents, siblings and many other relatives live.

And we’ll get this out of the way before you ask: Lori is a Mid Pac graduate.

More importantly for Civil Beat and our readers, Jim is well-positioned to help lead Civil Beat to a new level of public service journalism, growing our focus on investigative projects, enterprise reporting and community outreach.

You can read more about Jim here. But suffice it to say he is an exceptionally experienced reporter, editor and manager with a track record for innovative ideas as well as excellent journalism. We think he’ll be a great addition to our newsroom and our island home.

About the Author