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Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Cronkite School Announce 2020 Public Media Editorial Integrity and Leadership Fellows

October 10, 2019

Judy Woodruff, PBS NewsHour anchor and managing editor, was an EILI keynote speaker in April 2019 and discussed the role of journalism in democracy today. (Photo by Victor Ren)

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University are pleased to announce the second round of fellows selected to participate in the Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative (EILI). They join the fellows who were announced earlier this year, bringing the total to 100 participants.

The fellows will take part in an intensive program at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus. The curriculum focuses on editorial integrity, utilizing active learning strategies to reinforce public media’s commitment to balance and objectivity, accuracy, fairness and transparency, as well as its unique firewall of independence for journalists.

Participants will receive one-on-one coaching from industry leaders, who have included Jim Amoss, former editor of The Times-Picayune, Alisa Barba, a former editor on NPR’s National Desk, and Sandy Rowe, former editor of The Oregonian.

“The response from the first group of fellows to complete the training has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Kathy Merritt, Senior Vice President of Journalism and Radio at CPB. “The EILI has helped strengthen them as editorial leaders, with some graduates being elevated to new positions of responsibility. This is the kind of success we hoped for with this program.”

EILI is funded by a $1 million grant from CPB and managed by the Cronkite School. It is led by Julia Wallace, the Cronkite School’s Frank Russell Chair and the former editor-in-chief at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“We are already seeing tremendous success from our EILI fellows,” Wallace said. “Since completing the program, fellows have taken on higher leadership roles and have expressed more confidence in their abilities to implement real change in their newsrooms. The program is rigorous, but it is designed to help strengthen American public media journalism by helping participants develop the skills needed to face the challenges in today’s media industry.”

The 100 EILI fellows come from 42 states and Washington, D.C., work at public radio and television stations of all sizes, serving rural and urban communities. They include current editors of journalism collaborations, producers of local and national programs, station newsroom leaders, investigative journalists, and up-and-coming reporters who show great potential.

Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative fellows selected:

  • Eric Aasen, Managing Editor, KERA, Dallas, Texas
  • Ben Adler, Capitol Bureau Chief, Capital Public Radio, Sacramento, California
  • Sarah Ashworth, Director of News, Vermont Public Radio, Colchester, Vermont
  • Cassandra Basler, Senior Editor, WSHU, Fairfield, Connecticut
  • Andrew Batt, Senior Producer, Iowa Public Television, Johnson, Iowa
  • Carolyn Beeler, Environment Correspondent and Editor, PRI’s The World
  • Jeremy Bernfeld, Director of Collaborative Reporting, WAMU, Washington, D.C.
  • Michelle Billman, News Director, KUNR, Reno, Nevada
  • Grace Birnstengel, Editor, Next Avenue, Twin Cities PBS, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Carla Borras, Director of Digital Video, PBS Frontline WGBH, Boston
  • Monica Braine, Senior Producer, Native America Calling, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Susanna Capelouto, Senior Editor, WABE, Atlanta
  • Tiffany Campbell, Digital Executive Editor, WBUR, Boston
  • Maria Carter, News Director, KCUR, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Teresa Collier, Director of News and Public Affairs, Mississippi Public Broadcasting
  • Sam Cohen, Chief Content Officer, Rocky Mountain Public Media, Denver
  • Bill Dorman, Vice President and News Director, Hawaii Public Radio
  • Patrick Doyle, News Director, WESA, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Patrick Duggins, News Director, Alabama Public Radio, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Rhonda Fanning, Senior Managing Producer, The Texas Standard, Austin, Texas
  • Rebecca Feldhaus Adams, News Director, WHRO, Norfolk, Virginia
  • Phyllis Fletcher, Editor, APM Podcasts, Seattle
  • Kimberley Freda, News Editor, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Portland, Oregon
  • Teresa Frontado, Digital Director, South Florida Public Media, Miami
  • Gisele Grayson, Deputy Editor, Science Desk, National Public Radio
  • Yoni Greenbaum, Chief Content Officer, PBS39/WLVT, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • Cara Hetland, Director of Radio and News and Information, South Dakota Public Broadcasting
  • Kate Howard, Managing Editor, Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, Louisville Public Media, Kentucky
  • Sam Hudzik, News Director, New England Public Media, Springfield, Massachusetts
  • Tracie Hunte, Reporter, Radiolab, WNYC, New York
  • Laurie Johnson, Executive Producer for News, Houston Public Media
  • Catherine Komp, Senior Features Editor and Producer, VPM News, Richmond, Virginia
  • Anna Rose MacArthur, News Director, KYUK, Bethel, Alaska
  • Michelle Maternowski, Managing Editor, WUWM, Milwaukee
  • Shula Neuman, Executive Editor, St. Louis Public Radio, St. Louis
  • Julio Ochoa, Health News Florida Editor, WUSF, Tampa Florida
  • Larkin Page-Jacobs, Managing Editor, WESA, Pittsburgh
  • Will Pedigo, Executive Producer, Nashville Public Television
  • Ben Philpott, Interim Managing Editor, KUT, Austin, Texas
  • Kathy Ritchie, Senior Field Correspondent, KJZZ, Phoenix
  • Chas Sisk, Senior Editor, WPLN, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Jay Smith, Supervising Producer, WTTW, Chicago
  • Mareea Thomas-Stevens, FM Programming & Operations Manager, WNIN, Evansville, Indiana
  • Vinnee Tong, Managing Editor, News, KQED, San Francisco
  • Vanessa Vancour, Editor, Noticiero Móvil, Reno, Nevada
  • Jack Williams, Host, Reporter & Editor, NET Radio, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Sáša Woodruff, News Director, Boise Public Radio, Boise, Idaho
  • Denise Young, Executive Editor of Collaborative Journalism, WXXI, Rochester, New York


  • Morgan Bircher, Cronkite School, 602-496-0579, mptanabe@asu.edu
  • Shana Teehan, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, 202-879-9658, press@cpb.org
  • About CPB
    The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services. For more information, visit cpb.org, follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook and LinkedIn.

    About the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
    The Cronkite School at Arizona State University is widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier professional journalism programs. The school’s 2,000 students regularly lead the country in national journalism competitions. They are guided by faculty comprised of award-winning professional journalists and world-class media scholars. Cronkite’s full-immersion professional programs give students opportunities to practice what they’ve learned in real-world settings under the guidance of professionals.