The publisher of the Detroit Jewish News has been “a driving force” in Michigan media, his peers say.

Featured photo courtesy of Martin Chumiecki

Arthur Horwitz, publisher and former executive editor of the Detroit Jewish News, will be inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame on April 26, 2020.

The Hall of Fame is one of the highest honors for journalists in the state. Mike Smith, who works closely with Horwitz as the Alene and Graham Landau Archivist Chair for The Detroit Jewish News Foundation, nominated him for the award.

“I had no doubts whatsoever that Arthur meets, indeed, surpasses the criteria for inclusion in the Hall of Fame,” Smith said in his nominating letter. “Arthur is a great person — a real mensch — as my Jewish colleagues would say.” 

Horwitz began his career in journalism in 1970 as a copy trainee at the New Haven Journal-Courier and sister publication The New Haven Register while working toward his bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut. He also acted as editor-in-chief at the university’s student run newspaper, the Daily Campus.

After graduation, Horwitz continued working at the New Haven Register until 1980. He then pursued a master’s degree in public and private management and returned to the journalism world in 1982 as manager of planning, research and marketing for the Baltimore Sun.

In 1986, Horwitz took a big leap, exiting his post at the Baltimore Sun and moving to Detroit to come to the JN.

Throughout his tenure at the JN, Horwitz has dedicated his time to serving the Detroit Jewish community in print and digital formats. In addition to overseeing all aspects of the JN, Horwitz built up long-standing relationships with other local ethnic/minority media outlets.

“Arthur has been the driving force in growing Michigan’s ethnic/minority media outlets in the Midwest,” Martin Manna, publisher of The Chaldean News and president of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce, wrote in support of Horwitz’s nomination. “His inclusive nature and genuine concern for the reader provides an exemplary model for future journalists.”

In his spare time, Horwitz served as past chair and co-chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission and was a past board member of Detroit Public Television. Horwitz also played a vital role in establishing New Michigan Media, a network of ethnic and minority publications in Michigan, and along with Michigan Chronicle Senior Editor Bankole Thompson was co-founder of the Black-Jewish Forum, a series of conversations throughout Southeast Michigan.

Former editor of the JN Robert Sklar witnessed firsthand Horwitz’s leadership skills and vision.

“Arthur Horwitz sees the world from cruising altitude, not merely ground level,” Sklar wrote in support of the nomination. “His knack for cutting away the faux layers of governmental, communal and societal crusts and homing in on what truly matters… Arthur leads by example — and he sets the bar high.”

One of Horwitz’s biggest accomplishments was establishing The William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History in 2013. After a devastating fire at the JN offices in 2002, Horwitz created the archives and the Detroit Jewish News Foundation to preserve countless stories from the JN and the Detroit Jewish Chronicle (1916-1951) in digital format.

“It is very humbling to be selected for induction into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. The list of prior inductees comprises many of the most important and influential journalists, editors and publishers of their time,” Horwitz said.

However,” he added, “only a few devoted their careers to ethnic or minority media. One of them was Philip Slomovitz, the founding publisher and editor of the Jewish News. It is truly special to be joining Mr. Slomovitz, who was inducted in 1993. Through us, the hard work, professionalism and community service exemplified by the Jewish News staff continues to be recognized and appreciated.”

Joining Horwitz in the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame are Tom Gage, Angelo Henderson, Mike Lloyd, Bill Proctor and Mark Stryker.

Gage was as a beat writer for the Detroit Tigers from 1979-2015, while Henderson worked as a journalist, radio broadcaster and minister in Detroit. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1999 for Distinguished Feature Writing. Lloyd spent 31 years as editor for The Grand Rapids Press. Proctor worked for WXYZ Detroit for 33 years; he wrote about individuals wrongfully imprisoned, which led to the creation of the the University of Michigan Law School’s Innocence Clinic. Stryker is an art journalist and critic focusing on jazz, classical music and visual art.