October 15, 1999
Tapscott has been a newspaper editor and reporter since 1985. Before that he was a Capitol Hill press secretary and manager of one of the Reagan administration's most successful agency public relations programs.
"With more than two decades of Washington experience on both ends of the news-making process, Mark is well-qualified to explain conservatism to the media, and vice versa," said Heritage Vice President for Communications Herb Berkowitz. "He is an award-winning journalist and First Amendment advocate whose conservative roots go all the way back to Ronald Reagan's 'A Time for Choosing' speech in 1964 for Barry Goldwater."
As a managing editor of The Journal Newspapers in the Washington suburbs for the past three years, Tapscott has been a member of the Freedom of Information panel of the Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Press Association. His editors, reporters and photo journalists won 31 professional journalism awards during 1997 and 1998, including citations in all major news categories.
Previously, Tapscott was an assistant managing editor for night news at The Washington Times, where he also served as national editor, business editor and investigative reporter, among other positions. He also has been editor of The Federal Employees Weekly News Digest and covered Congress for Defense Electronics magazine.
During the Reagan administration, Tapscott was assistant director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management where he directed a public relations program that, according to a Washington Post columnist, "would make Liz Taylor's press agent green with envy." Before that, he was communications director for Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and a senior aide to two House Republicans.
At Heritage, Tapscott will oversee the Media Visitor's Center, establish a series of domestic and international fact-finding tours for journalists, and forge links between Heritage's Center for Data Analysis and the nation's top practitioners of computer-assisted reporting.
The Media Visitor's Center provides a "home-away-from-home" on Capitol Hill for visiting journalists. The center is a full-service facility that allows a journalist to conduct interviews, do research, write stories and file electronically.
The fact-finding tours will take selected journalists seeking unique angles "to the scene" for exclusive on-location interviews, as well as allow independent research on emerging national and international news stories. Tapscott will schedule and coordinate the tours.
The Heritage Center for Data Analysis has state-of-the-art analytical capabilities unmatched among the nation's think tanks. Under Tapscott's management, journalists conducting significant computer-assisted-reporting projects will gain access to those capabilities through the Center for Media and Public Policy.
Finally, Tapscott will help organize a series of issues seminars that allow journalists covering major national and international beats and top analysts representing a variety of perspectives to discuss how important stories are developing. The seminars will also explore ways to ensure balance, accuracy and comprehensiveness in coverage.
The Heritage Foundation is one of America's largest and most influential non-profit research organizations, with a staff of 180 and an annual budget of $30 million. It has offices in Washington, D.C., Hong Kong and Moscow.
The purpose of the Center for Media and Public Policy is two-fold: to improve the communications knowledge and abilities of the Heritage staff and other conservatives involved in public policy; and to increase the national media's understanding of conservatives, conservatism and the conservative approach to problem-solving.