Pat Harrison named 2019 George Chaplin Fellow in Distinguished Journalism

CPB President, CEO also named to voting panel for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Woman of Leadership Award

Oct 29, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 29, 2019) -- The Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s president and CEO, Patricia Harrison, was honored to be named the 2019 George Chaplin Fellow in Distinguished Journalism and present the annual address at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii on October 1.

The East-West Center is an independent, public, nonprofit organization with funding from the U.S. government, and additional support provided by private agencies, individuals, foundations, corporations, and governments in the region, that serves as a resource for information and analysis on critical issues of common concern, bringing people together to exchange views, build expertise and develop policy options. 

Established in 1986, the Fellowship honors the leadership and ideals of longtime Honolulu Advertiser editor-in-chief, George Chaplin. Other former fellows include Pulitzer Prize winners David Broder and Stanley Karnow; CBS and PBS television executive Fred Friendly; and journalist, editor and newspaper editor Robert Maynard.

Harrison’s address focused on public media’s commitment to local journalism through innovative regional and state collaborations, covering local news that often is of national importance; and to editorial integrity through funding of programs such as the Public Media Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative at Arizona State University’s Cronkite School of Journalism. Harrison also noted CPB’s support of international journalism at a time when commercial media is shutting down international bureaus. CPB provides a grant to NPR to help fund its 17 international bureaus, which provide content heard on "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered," as well as its podcasts and digital platforms. 

In her remarks, Harrison said that journalists are meeting the challenge of “misinformation disguised as news” by committing to “unassailable accuracy in reporting and radical transparency, as they work to have a real connection of trust and respect with readers, listeners, and viewers, on whatever device they choose. Our democracy depends on freedom of the press.”

Recently referred to as a “champion of public media” in the New York Times, Harrison has a long and distinguished career, which includes supporting the work of journalists and reporters in harm's way and investing in local, national and international reporting through PBS, NPR and local stations.

Also in 2019, Harrison was appointed to the six-member voting council for the inaugural Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Woman of Leadership Award, which recognizes the achievements of exceptional American women of positive and notable influence on society. Established in association with the Dwight D. Opperman Foundation, this award will be presented at a formal ceremony in Washington, D.C., in February 2020.

“The Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Woman of Leadership Award is an important recognition of the positive impact one woman can have on our society,” Harrison said. “I know that this award in her name will inspire young girls everywhere to persevere and make their unique contribution wherever they choose. I’m honored to be part of the process to select the first recipient.”

Harrison will join Agnes Gund, John Studzinski, Michael Bloomberg, Brendan V. Sullivan Jr. and Indra Nooyi to discuss finalists put forth by a 10-member nominating committee and to select the honoree.

Harrison, the longest-serving chief executive in CPB history, is a sought-after speaker on issues of female empowerment and leadership. A former entrepreneur, she chairs the Leadership Council of Women and Girls Lead, an innovative public media initiative designed to focus, educate and connect women, girls and their allies across the globe to address the challenges of the 21st century. To advance women working in public media, in 2015 Harrison founded the Public Media Women in Leadership program, a networking and professional development program for more than 2,100 women.  In 2012, she was included on the Forbes list of “Women Changing the World in Media” for founding Women and Girls Lead. She is the author of two books, "A Seat at The Table: An Insider's Guide for America's New Women Leaders" and "America's New Women Entrepreneurs." 

About CPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, 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 and subscribe for other updates.