WJW welcomes new editor-in-chief

Former trial lawyer Geoffrey W. Melada has been named editor-in-chief at Washington Jewish Week. Photo by David Berker
Former trial lawyer Geoffrey W. Melada has been named editor-in-chief at Washington Jewish Week. Photo by David Barker

After a months-long search for a new leader, Washington Jewish Week has named Geoffrey W. Melada as its editor-in-chief.

Melada, a Pittsburgh native, is an award-winning journalist and former trial lawyer who began his career in 2000 as a reporter for Philadelphia magazine and the Jewish Exponent.

At the Exponent, he worked closely with current Baltimore Jewish Times editor-in-chief Joshua Runyan, who was instrumental in bringing him here from New York City, where Melada was a fellow at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

As he toured WJW’s newsroom last Thursday, Melada said he was experiencing a homecoming in two ways: first, to Jewish journalism where he started his career and “trained under the some of the brightest and most ethical journalists working in either Jewish or secular media”; and, second, to Greater Washington, where many of his family members live and are active in the Jewish community.


Melada said his priority is to maintain WJW’s historically strong coverage of local Jewish life while simultaneously expanding its coverage of politics, law, health care and higher education – “industries inextricably linked to the identity and success of this region and shaped in many ways by its Jewish residents.”

He called this “an ambitious plan,” stressing, however, that “the best news organizations operate with such an internal and external gaze.”

WJW, Melada said, is going to “strive to be nothing less than the best – an indispensable source of news and opinion on matters of importance to the local Jewish community and beyond.”

That means ramping up WJW’s multimedia storytelling capabilities, he said. In the coming months, readers should expect to see a more interactive website, more stories and discussions taking place via social media, and journalism enhanced by video, audio and data analysis.

“We are going to take advantage of every way stories can be told in the 21st century,” Melada said. “I want our stories to not just entertain and educate our readers, but to involve them.”

“Geoffrey’s ideas match up with the goals and vision we have for WJW,” said WJW Publisher Craig Burke. “He’ll develop and elevate our reporters. His knowledge and experience with digital media will help us become a faster-paced newsroom.
“I know our readers are going to find his changes to be engaging and consider WJW a ‘must read.’”

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