Fred Brown was chief of The Denver Post's state Capitol bureau when he left full-time employment in early 2002 after nearly 39 years at the newspaper. In his semi-retirement, he continues to write a Sunday column for the Post’s editorial pages, does occasional political analysis for 9News KUSA, and teaches ethics at the University of Denver and reporting at Metropolitan State College.
He also has developed a two-hour workshop on journalism ethics which he has presented at several locations around the country. He has conducted several media training sessions and has moderated numerous panel discussions, candidate debates and fiscal-policy workshops throughout Colorado. He is often invited to speak to groups about political and ethical issues.
Fred went to work for The Post immediately after receiving his master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 1963. He also has a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University and has completed several professional development courses, including an American Press Institute seminar for editorial writers and editors, a journalism ethics course at the Poynter Institute and a workshop sponsored by Harvard University for reporters covering the 1992 presidential campaign.
In addition to supervising a four-member Capitol bureau, Fred spent 10 years (1979-88) on The Post’s editorial page, most of that time as assistant editorial page editor. He was in charge when the editorial page editor was gone, and was acting editor of the page for four months. Prior to that, he had been a general assignment reporter, rewrite specialist, science reporter, Statehouse reporter and assistant city editor.
Fred is very active in the Society of Professional Journalists, the nation’s largest journalism membership organization. He is a former national president (1997-98), former chairman and current co-chair of SPJ’s ethics committee, one of the authors and final editors of the 1996 SPJ Code of Ethics, and he writes a monthly column about journalism ethics for SPJ’s Quill magazine.
He is a board member of Colorado Public Radio, the Colorado Freedom of Information Council and the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation. He has won a number of writing awards, including a 1992 Sigma Delta Chi national Distinguished Service Award for editorial writing. He was named to the Denver Press Club Hall of Fame in 2004, named Colorado Newspaperperson of the Year for 2001, and in 1992 he was selected as an honor alumnus of Colorado State University. That was the year he gave the commencement speech for CSU’s College of Liberal Arts.
Fred likes to think that people continue to ask him to give speeches, moderate panels and facilitate workshops because he’s reasonably fair and objective, well organized, good at details and has a good sense of humor. For mental recreation, he writes bad haiku and worse limericks. He has a large collection of song parodies he wrote for the old Gridiron (a press show parodying current events), and he reads a lot. He’s still reasonably ambulatory for an older fellow; his other hobbies include travel, bicycling, swimming, skiing and occasional skydiving with his wife, Mary, a former advertising professional who also is recently retired.