Klein leaving Washington Post biz desk to teach at Northwestern

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Alec Klein, an investigative business journalist at the Washington Post, is leaving the paper and will begin teaching business journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in the fall.

His last day at the paper is today. Klein, a Loeb Award winner and Pulitzer nominee, just wrapped up a three-part series on the U.S. housing boom and bust.

Alec KleinIn an e-mail to Talking Biz News, Klein stated, “I’m glad that I’ve been able to make a difference; it’s why I became a journalist nearly 20 years ago. But I’m excited about joining Medill. I’ve loved teaching since I began doing it first at American University, then at Georgetown University. And the faculty position also gives me the time to continue writing books.”

Klein has worked at the Virginian-Pilot before moving on to the Baltimore Sun, The Wall Street Journal and The Post. His investigations have ranged from a yearlong examination of the reuse of single-use medical devices to an investigation of the powerful but unregulated credit-rating industry.

He also uncovered AOL’s accounting irregularities and wrote a series on a stealth campaign by tobacco makers to glamorize cigars despite the known health risks. His investigations have led to significant reforms, Congressional hearings, federal law, millions in government fines and criminal convictions.

His first book, “Stealing Time: Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Collapse of AOL Time Warner,” was an acclaimed national bestseller published by Simon & Schuster in 2003 that was translated into Japanese and Chinese and excerpted in Great Britain.

Longtime Medill business journalism professor George Harmon says he will still be teaching some classes this fall.