James W. Ewert, CNPA general counsel and chief legislative advocate, has announced that he will retire at the end of 2020 after 25 years working to advance the interests of news publishing and a free press. Ewert joined the association in 1995 and became general counsel in 2011.
“Jim’s accomplishments speak for themselves,” said Charles Ford Champion II, CNPA president and chief executive officer. “He has been at the forefront of successful lobbying programs to expand the public’s freedom of information rights, protect reporters covering protests, and preserve freedom of the press.
“His most recent success occurred at the end of this legislative session,” Champion said. “He led the effort that resulted in the near-unanimous passage of Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio’s AB 323, the ‘Save Local Journalism’ bill that literally prevented the collapse of 20% of the state’s community and ethnic newspapers. It is a crowning achievement for a great professional.”
Ewert was a coach and civics/history teacher at Alhambra High School for 11 years before he decided to change careers. He earned his JD degree in 1993 from Glendale University College of Law and joined Los Angeles firm Nouskajian & Cranert as an associate after graduation.
“I’ve had the honor and privilege of working with publishers and editors who have played such a vital role in connecting readers and their communities,” Ewert said. “I’m so grateful for the chance to represent an industry with such high integrity. I will miss the wonderful friends and colleagues I have worked with over the years and will cherish many fond memories of CNPA. While newspapers face stiff challenges in the immediate future, I am confident that CNPA will continue to be there to help guide the industry in overcoming those challenges.”
Ewert earned a James Madison Award in 2019 from the SPJ NorCal Chapter’s Freedom of Information Committee for his role in the passage of legislation that gives the public access to certain peace officer personnel records that were previously unavailable.