The news director at Montana Public Radio has been named one of 53 Fellows selected to participate in the Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative presented by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, the station said Thursday.
Eric Whitney will attend the inaugural class in April. The program is led by Julia Wallace, the Cronkite School’s Frank Russell chair and the former editor-in-chief at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The intensive curriculum focuses on editorial integrity and using active learning strategies to reinforce public media’s unique firewall. It also explores statutory obligation to balance, objectivity, accuracy, fairness and transparency.
Participants will receive one-on-one coaching from industry leaders.
“I’m very grateful to CPB and the Cronkite School for making this opportunity available,” Whitney said in a statement. “It’s often challenging for small newsrooms like ours to find resources for training and professional development. We take our responsibility to safeguard public radio’s editorial integrity seriously and welcome assistance in upholding high standards. I look forward to sharing what I learn with my colleagues.”
The EILI Fellows come from 34 states and Washington, D.C. They work in radio and television stations of all sizes and serve 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 for future impact in public media.
“The Fellows will have the opportunity to work with an all-star lineup of newsroom leaders, who are facing the challenges of today’s media landscape and working hard to improve civil discourse in their communities,” Wallace said. “Our program is designed to help strengthen American public media journalism by building the expertise of multimedia editors.”
EILI is funded by a $1 million CPB grant managed by The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU.
“At a time when many news outlets are shrinking, we seek to train more public media editors to lead public media’s growing newsrooms while upholding the highest editorial standards,” said Kathy Merritt, CPB senior vice president for journalism and radio.
“Skilled, effective editors are vital to producing content that tackles issues of importance to our communities and informs our country’s civil discourse.”