24 Public Media Journalists Named to Poynter-CPB Fellowship

The 9-month fellowship will focus on editorial standards, leading through change and innovation

September 6, 2023

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (September 6, 2023) -- The Poynter Institute has announced the 24 journalists named to a fellowship designed to prepare public media leaders for the challenges and opportunities presented by a changing media landscape.

The 2023-2024 cohort of the Public Media Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative, developed and delivered by The Poynter Institute and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, is a nine-month fellowship that starts this month. 

“The Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative seeks to strengthen the ability of news managers to guide public media’s growing newsrooms and ensure ethical decision-making,” said Kathy Merritt, CPB senior vice president, journalism, radio and CSG services. “Skilled, effective editors are vital to producing content that tackles issues of importance to our communities and strengthens democracy by informing our country’s civil discourse.”

Fellows consist of public media leaders from across the country, representing a range of station size and geography.

“Public media stations are essential to providing trustworthy news and information in their communities across the country," said Sitara Nieves, Poynter’s vice president of teaching and organizational strategy. “Each fellow will focus on honing new skills and strategies in this nine-month program to help them effectively lead their teams and uphold journalism’s highest ethical and editorial standards.”

EILI 2023
Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative fellows

The fellows are:

  • Vicki Adame, news editor, KUNR Public Radio (Reno, Nevada)
  • Christopher Ayers, news director, 90.5 WESA (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
  • Caroline Ballard, assistant news director, KUER: NPR Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • Jamila Bey, editorial director, WHYY (Philadelphia)
  • Joshua Chilson, news director, South Dakota Public Broadcasting (Sioux Falls, South Dakota)
  • LaToya Dennis, news director, managing editor, WMFE (Orlando, Florida)
  • Syeda Hasan, senior editor, KUT (Austin, Texas)
  • Robert Korth, news director, KOSU Radio (Oklahoma City)
  • Benjamin Brock Johnson, executive producer, podcasts, WBUR (Boston)
  • Obed Manuel, editor, Denverite, Colorado Public Radio (Aurora, Colorado)
  • Erica McIntosh, senior regional editor, Southern Connecticut WNPR (Hamden, Connecticut)
  • Jennifer Merritt, deputy editor and digital editor, Cincinnati Public Radio
  • Jeremy Moore, journalism director, Rocky Mountain Public Media (Littleton, Colorado)
  • Caitlin Muñoz, director of daily news and live programming, WLRN News (Doral, Florida)
  • Jay Omar, news director, Nebraska Public Media (Lincoln, Nebraska)
  • Chelsey Perkins, news director, KAXE/KBXE (Minnesota)
  • Dawnthea Price Lisco, managing editor, VPM News, WCVE-FM (Richmond, Virginia)
  • Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado, news director, KVPR Valley Public Radio (Clovis, California)
  • Molly Samuel, deputy managing editor, WABE (Atlanta)
  • Eric Stock, news director, WGLT-FM (Normal, Illinois)
  • Kimberly Swain, senior producer, Evening Edition, KPBS (La Mesa, California)
  • Ariel Van Cleave, managing editor, audio news, WBEZ (Chicago)
  • Aja Williams, vice president, chief content officer, Nine PBS (St. Louis)
  • Farah Yousry, managing editor, WFYI, Side Effects Public Media (Indianapolis)

Fellows will convene in St. Petersburg, FL, for an opening week of training, where they will identify a project they will pursue during the nine-month fellowship; participate in in-depth training on ethics, leadership and community-focused news service; and be matched with mentors and coaches. 

After the in-person program, fellows will continue participating remotely in training sessions, getting feedback from other colleagues in the fellowship, and continuing with regular one-on-one coaching sessions. 

Training is led by Poynter’s Kelly McBride, Sitara Nieves, Tony Elkins and Fernanda Camarena, and will include:

  • Exploring successful approaches to delivering news in service of local communities, 
  • Deepening capabilities in leadership and ethical decision making 
  • Identifying a fellowship project, and addressing it over the course of the fellowship.
  • Having difficult conversations, giving feedback, empowering staff and managing your relationships with supervisors.
  • Dealing with vulnerable sources.
  • Recruiting and training the next generation of journalists, including in-house talent.
  • Managing projects, community partnerships, budgets and resources.

A second cohort will be seated in September 2024. Applications will open in the spring of 2024. 

About CPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private, nonprofit corporation authorized 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 managed 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 @CPBmediaFacebook and LinkedIn and subscribe for other updates.

About The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media, and 21st-century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, and at newsrooms, conferences, and organizations around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum, with hundreds of interactive courses and tens of thousands of registered international users. The Institute’s website produces 24-hour coverage about media, ethics, technology, and the business of news. Poynter is the home of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership, the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact, the International Fact-Checking Network and MediaWise, a digital information literacy project for young people, first-time voters, and senior citizens. The world’s top journalists and media innovators rely on Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians, and broadcasters. This work builds public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment, and discourse that serves democracy and the public good. Learn more at 


Categories: CPB Funding, Journalism