Mike Kanin

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This week we’re sitting down with Mike Kanin, publisher of the Texas Observer.

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 Mike Kanin is the publisher of the Texas Observer.

He has many years of media experience, including a role as the founding publisher of the nonprofit local daily the Austin Monitor. Before that, he spent some time on the other side of the wall as both a freelancer and a staffer. His work has appeared in the Washington City Paper, the Washington Post’s Express, the Boston HeraldBoston’s Weekly Dig, the Austin Chronicle and the Texas Observer. He’s also served as the Washington City Paper’s City Lights Editor and as the co-founding editor of Unfit Times. He currently sits on the board of Capital of Texas Media Foundation. 

Mike holds a BA from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He lives in Austin.

About the Texas Observer

The Texas Observer is an Austin-based nonprofit news organization known for fearless investigative reporting, narrative storytelling and sophisticated cultural criticism about all things Texan. The nonprofit Texas Democracy Foundation publishes the Texas Observer bimonthly magazine and texasobserver.org.

Since its founding in 1954, the Observer has covered issues that are often ignored or underreported by other media. We strive to expose injustice and to produce the kind of impact journalism that changes people’s lives for the better. Our thoughtful arts and culture coverage recognizes the diversity and talent of Texas’ creative community.

The Observer covers stories crucial to the public interest and provoke dialogue that promotes democratic participation and open government, in pursuit of a Texas where education, justice and material progress are available to all.  The Observer’s reporting is often picked up by the national media, including: the New York Times, the Washington Post, Harper’s, “60 Minutes,” “20/20,” “Frontline,” Mother Jones, The Nation, TIME magazine, National Public Radio and ABC News.

The Observer’s reporting has prompted investigations and hearings in the U.S. Congress and the Texas Legislature and led to the exonerations of several wrongly convicted Texans.

Their work has garnered widespread acclaim: In 2015, the Observer was recognized with an Emmy award and a National Magazine Award — the most prestigious magazine reporting prize in the country. In 2016, our reporting won the Hillman Prize for Magazine Journalists, two Sigma Delta Chi awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, and received accolades from Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, Texas Medical Association, The Media Consortium, and more. They also were named finalists for the National Magazine Award in 2013 and 2014. And we’ve won dozens of awards from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies and been recognized for the nation’s Best Political Coverage by the Utne Reader and twice been a finalist for the Livingston Award.


For more information, please go to Texas Observer. You can contact Mike Kanin at kanin@texasobserver.org. Find him on Twitter at @MKanin.