David Newhouse, who as the editor guided The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., to a Pulitzer Prize for breaking the story that led to the conviction of the Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky for sexually abusing young boys, and to the firing of Joe Paterno, the school’s once-beloved head football coach, died on Wednesday at a hospital in Hanover, N.H. He was 65.
The cause was complications of leukemia, his brother Mark said.
Mr. Newhouse, a member of the powerful publishing family whose best-known media holding is its Condé Nast magazine division, led a modest central Pennsylvania outpost in the Newhouse empire.
But his small city daily gained national attention in March 2011 when a staff writer, Sara Ganim, reported that Mr. Sandusky was being investigated by a grand jury for allegations that he had “indecently assaulted a teenage boy.” The scandal mushroomed that November, when Mr. Sandusky was indicted on charges of sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year period.
That first article and nine others were cited by the Pulitzer board in 2012 for “courageously revealing and adeptly covering the explosive Penn State sex scandal.”
Peter Shellem that led to the release of five wrongly convicted prisoners.
In November 2011, Mr. Newhouse wrote a column for his newspaper that criticized The New York Times for its handling of an article about one of Mr. Sandusky’s victims. To protect his identity, the individual was referred to as Victim 1 in The Times, as he was in the indictment. But Mr. Newhouse said the article “was so detailed that, even though they do not name him, Googling certain information in the profile results in the young man’s name within seconds.”
Editors at The Times defended the article, but Arthur S. Brisbane, The Times’s public editor at the time, disagreed. Though he acknowledged that certain details about Victim 1 gave readers “a deeper understanding of the boy,” he asked: “Was that reason enough to include them and put his privacy at risk? I don’t believe so.”
About a month after the Pulitzer was awarded, Mr. Newhouse left The Patriot-News to become the editor at large of the family-owned Advance Local, helping to develop websites as the family’s newspapers evolved into digital operations.