About Robert Cox

About Robert Cox
Me and Zeke enjoy the sunshine.

Robert Cox is an investigative journalist. He writes news analysis, commentary and opinion at Words in Edgewise and is the Publisher of the news outlet Talk of the Sound. A U.S./EU citizen, after decades living in New York, Cox relocated with his wife and bull terrier to Ireland on July 4, 2023.

LAST UPDATED: May 21, 2024

In Westchester County, NY, residents know him as the person who built Talk of the Sound from scratch, an online media outlet that is today the most widely read and influential independent news publication in the county, with over 18 million readers since 2008–2.3 mm in 2023.

In the world beyond New Rochelle, Cox has been actively involved in citizen media and participatory journalism.

In 2004, Cox founded the Media Bloggers Association, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to promoting, protecting and educating its members; supporting the development of blogging or citizen journalism as a distinct form of media; and helping to extend the power of the press, with all the rights and responsibilities that entails, to every citizen.

As President of the organization, Cox has been quoted in the media hundreds of times on a wide range of topics including, blogger ethics on which he is often cited as an authority, having worked to develop one of the earliest Blogger Ethics policies in the United States.

Cox has worked with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Citizens Media Law Center at Harvard Law School, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the Freedom Forum, the First Amendment Center and many other organizations and law firms to provide legal services and other resources to defend citizen journalists in hundreds of First Amendment cases across the United States.

Cox worked with Axis/MediaPro Insurance to develop the first liability insurance product for citizen journalists.

Cox conceived and developed an online training program in media law for bloggers and other online journalists. He partnered with Harvard Law School to create an online course in media law for online publishers and bloggers at NewsU.org, a venture jointly funded by the Knight Foundation (i.e., Knight-Ridder) and the Poynter Institute (owners of the St. Petersburg Times).

Cox was part of a team of leading online journalists gathered by Poynter to discuss ethical issues surrounding online news media and create a set of guidelines for doing ethical journalism on the Web.

Cox was for years a regular contributor to The Washington Examiner Op-Ed page.

During the 2007-2008 Presidential Election cycle, Cox organized and ran The Ruckus, a bi-partisan political blog, for Newsweek.

Cox managed the Media Bloggers/Associated Press blog feed from the “Scooter” Libby Trial, a high profile political trial involving former Vice President Dick Cheney. The MBA/AP Libby Trial was controversial within the AP. Cox was the first to post to the feed, carried on hundreds of AP partner news sites around the world; by doing so he became the first non-AP member to publish on the AP Wire and only person to ever publish content on the AP Wire not first reviewed and approved by AP Editors.

Cox has written for Newsweek, BusinessWeek, USAToday, Congressional Quarterly, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Washington Examiner, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, MSNBC, PBS, The New York Daily News, The Associated Press and others.

Cox has made countless public appearances over the years.

Cox has appeared on numerous radio and television programs including on the BBC, NPR, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, BBC, NPR, and CBS Radio and has been featured in stories in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Online Journalism Review, PBS.org and many other news publications. He has hosted his own radio show on a local station in New York.

Cox has been featured in stories in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New York Daily News, the BBC, ABC News, Washington Post, Online Journalism Review, PBS.org and many other news publications.

Cox has been a guest speaker at many major media and technology industry conferences and served as a guest lecturer at colleges and universities across the country.

Cox has spoken at every major press association conference in the United States including the Society for Professional Journalists, the Radio & Television News Directors Association, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Newspaper Association of America as well as events for groups ranging from the U.S. Conference on the Judiciary, the First Amendment Center, the Newseum, the Conference of Court Public Information Officers, the National Press Club, the Kennedy School at Harvard University, the First Amendment Center, the U.S. National Archives, and more.

He has spoken at events for educational institutions including Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, the National Judicial College at the University of Nevada-Reno and the journalism programs at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, Penn State, UNC-Chapel Hill, Northwestern/Medill, USC/Annenberg, Nevada-Reno/Reynolds and many others including Middle Tennessee State University where he was introduced by former Vice President Al Gore.

Cox managed blogger credentialing for two Presidential debates in 2008 — the All-American Presidential Forums on PBS hosted by Howard University (Democrats) and Morgan State University (Republicans) with candidates including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and others — as well as the American Society for Newspaper Editors candidate appearances by Obama, Clinton, and John McCain and various corporate events including the Gannett Corporation shareholders meetings.

Cox worked with Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Justice Steven Breyer at the Conference for a Fair and Independent Judiciary.

Cox worked with White House Spokesperson Tony Snow on White House Social Media initiatives.

Cox worked with John Siegenthaler, founding editor of USA TODAY, on his series of Justice & Journalism conferences in partnership with the Judicial Conference of the United States, an organization of federal judges led by Chief Justice John Roberts.

Honored for his work on opening up the Federal Courts to citizens journalists, Cox was featured among the inaugural exhibits at the Newseum in Washington, DC. when it opened in 2008. Cox was the first blogger formally credentialed as media for a federal trial (U.S. v. I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby).

Cox helped settle a high-profile lawsuit brought by the Associated Press against a blogger whose site aggregated news headlines from the AP. Confusion over the role played by Cox and his organization led to significant controversy at the time.

In 2006, Cox was nominated for the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award for his article What America Should Share with the World: Justice Holmes’ Dissent in Abrams v. United States and the Marketplace of Ideas published by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as part of a series where ten Americans were asked to select a document that best shared an essential American value with the rest of the world in the aftermath of 9-11 and the Global War on Terror. The award is given to eligible entries from communications media that have been “exemplary in helping to foster the American public’s understanding of the law and the legal system.”

In 2004, Cox took on the New York Times and won after he published a satirical New York Times’ “Columnist Correction Policy” for Op-Ed columnists such as Maureen Dowd and Tom Friedman. The Times took legal action and shut down Cox’s site; Cox fought back and won. The site went back online, and The Times formally announced a policy change as a result.

THE PUBLIC EDITOR; The Privileges of Opinion, the Obligations of Fact By Daniel Okrent, March 28, 2004

This seminal case has been the subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, and several books on new media (National Coalition Against Censorship’s Will Fair Use Survive? Free Expression in the Age of Copyright Control and We the Media: Grassroots Journalism By the People, For the People by Dan Gillmor)

Cox received international recognition for his work organizing the MBA’s Tsunami Video Hosting Initiative, a pre-YouTube video aggregation site through which the MBA served up millions of video streams of footage of the Christmas 2004 Tsunami shot by bloggers around the world in partnership with major web content providers such as Mirror Image and The Washington Post/Newsweek.

Cox received further international recognition for his work with reporters and broadcasters in Nepal after King Gyanendra’s direct assumption of power and censorship of the media. Working for the restoration of democracy, RFN was a site that carried firsthand information about Nepal to the world. Its contributors posted anonymously, as there was a serious threat from the authorities for doing so. Cox created Radio Free Nepal as an outlet for reports, photographs, and video smuggled out of Nepal to be published to a global audience. The site was nominated for numerous awards, including Reporters Without Borders Freedom Blog Award.

Cox worked with various organizations in a similar capacity in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and China and organized the first “Anoniblogging Conference” at Vanderbilt University to develop ways to disseminate news and information out and inside of countries controlled by repressive regimes. The site was featured in Reporters Sans Frontiers’ Handbook For Bloggers And Cyber-Dissidents.

Cox organized BlogNashville in Tennessee, which was, at the time in 2005, the largest gathering of bloggers ever held.

Cox began blogging in 2002 while working as a marketing and business development professional for various start-up technology companies.

Before attending business school at the University of Chicago, Cox worked on Wall Street as a bond trader for two European banks and a foreign exchange trader for Citibank.

After business school, Cox provided strategy-consulting services to leading companies in North America, Europe, and Asia as an independent consultant and while working for the firm of Booz-Allen & Hamilton. Clients included Reuters in New York City, Citibank in Delaware, Merrill Lynch in London, the Thai Stock Exchange in Bangkok, Bank of Montreal in Toronto, Fannie Mae in Washington, DC, and many others.

The Booz-Allen & Hamilton client in Thailand was the Ministry of Finance. The project received a firm award for Best Project Asia/Pacific Project. The Booz-Allen & Hamilton project at Fannie Mae initially reported to Vice Chairman Franklin Raines who left to become Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in the Clinton Administration.

Cox left strategy consulting to launch a venture-financed startup Internet business providing voice-to-text services to major U.S. corporations such as 3M and DuPont.

After 8 years on the national “blogging” stage, Cox turned his attention away from national issues and towards hyper-local concerns beginning in 2008 and full-time in 2010.

Cox launched Talk of the Sound in 2008 to provide the residents of New Rochelle, NY with the sort of media attention he felt the seventh largest city in New York State deserved. The site has become the “go to” source for news and information about New Rochelle and a source for every major media outlet in the New York area and beyond.

Cox’s tenacious reporting spurred numerous public integrity investigations, arrests, indictments and successful public interest lawsuits. His exposure of malfeasance of public employees working for the City government and local school district fundamentally altered government transparency in New Rochelle.

U.S. Department of Justice: Former New Rochelle Schools Director Sentenced For Bribery Scheme

Former New Rochelle Police Detective Charged With Stealing Approximately $24,000 from Charity for Autistic Children

Cox has extensive civic and school board experience in New Rochelle where he has been a relentless champion for greater transparency. Cox has often been the catalyst for positive change in the school system, working with school officials, board members and community leaders to raise awareness and solve problems to create a culture of accountability within our public schools, focused on serving the needs of students and their families.

Cox served for six-years on the City School District of New Rochelle District-Wide Health and Safety Committee, a state-mandated committee. As Co-Chair with the New Rochelle City Manager, he had oversight responsibility for the safety and maintenance of 10 schools and district-wide construction under a $106.5 mm bond, the largest in the history of New Rochelle.

Cox has been a thorn in the side of hidebound local officials accustomed to operating in the darker corners of City Hall while working with more enlightened public officials to create reform-minded initiates like the school district’s 2012 Citizen’s Advisory Committee on budget and finance. Cox worked behind the scene to develop many of the recommendations contained in the CAC’s final reports.

Cox worked to foster what became a year-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary in New Rochelle schools. He edited and published an 8-part series on the history of the Lincoln School desegregation case, met with the local leadership of the association of black churches, N.A.A.C.P. and other leaders in the African-American community and lobbied school board members.

Cox was involved in youth sports for many years. He devoted significant time for years as the Commissioner of the AYSO Soccer Program, which he greatly expanded by creating accommodative youth sports programming for children with specific needs (e.g., developmentally disabled, religiously observant, ELL).

Cox has worked pro bono, donating his time and resources, to develop and manage numerous community websites and social media platforms, including the NAACP New Rochelle Branch, the Chamber of Commerce of New Rochelle, Habitat for Humanity for Westchester, and many more. He has been a volunteer instructor at the New Rochelle Public Library, teaching social media and web-based publishing.

He received his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business (Booth) and his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.

Cox was born in Washington, DC and raised in Alexandria, VA, Tarrytown, NY, and Irvington, NY. He has lived in Chicago (twice) and New Rochelle, NY, for three decades. He currently resides in Dublin, Ireland with his wife, a retired Special Educator and professor at Columbia University. They have four grown children and one English Bull Terrier.

Robert Cox

+353 (89) 972 0669 (use WhatsApp)

Member, New York Press Club

Talk of the Sound


X: @talkofthesound

Instagram: @talkofthesound

YouTube: youtube.com/c/talkofthesound

LinkIn: linkin.bio/talkofthesound

Facebook: facebook.com/talkofthesound

Words in Edgewise


X: @robertcox

Vimeo: vimeo.com/robertcox

Instagram: @robertcox

Farewell, New Rochelle

Hello, Ireland

Our First Six Months in Ireland in Pictures