publisher, Detroit Free Press
Neal Shine has been called the “keeper of the staff conscience” in career that has spanned 40 years at the Detroit Free Press. Born in 1930, Shine joined the Free Press as a part-time copy boy in 1950. He became a reporter in 1955 after he returned from service in the U.S. Army. He was promoted to assistant city editor in 1963, city editor in 1965, managing editor in 1971 and senior managing editor in 1982. He retired in 1989 but continued to write his popular column. In March he was named publisher of the Free Press. Shine played a dominant role in developing Detroit-area news coverage and helped the Free Press gain a reputation for toughness and innovation. He stands dedicated to fairness, accuracy and a humanitarian approach to newspaper writing. He is respected, admired and loved by his colleagues, both co-workers and competitors. A graduate of the University of Detroit, he is committed to improving his community and makes no secret of his deep love for the city of Detroit.
Shine received the Pierrot Award in 1986 for his outstanding contributions to journalism, the Polk Award in 1970 for the Free Press investigation of the shootings at Kent State University and numerous other awards. He served as president of the Detroit Press Club and has been a journalism instructor for 20 years, most recently at Oakland University. He also hosts and moderates “Detroit Week In Review” for the public television station in Detroit. A colleague said of Shine: “He’s the journalist’s journalist, the consummate newspaperman who does more to help the public understand what’s best about our business than any other living representative in Michigan. At a time when the public continues to perceive our profession with some skepticism and disregard, Neal Shine is our white knight – our standard-bearer, hero, public conscience and mentor.”