West Virginia Public Broadcasting Published

News Director Jesse Wright Earns Prestigious Journalism Fellowship


Jesse Wright, news director for West Virginia Public Broadcasting, has been selected by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University as an Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative fellow.

One of 53 journalists selected for the program, Wright will begin the program in August at ASU. The intensive curriculum will focus on editorial integrity, utilizing active learning strategies to reinforce public media’s unique firewall, statutory obligation to balance, objectivity, accuracy, fairness and transparency. Participants will receive one-on-one coaching from industry leaders.

“I’m thrilled to be part of CPB’s Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative,” Wright said. “Shepherding a statewide news outlet in West Virginia poses some unique challenges, so I look forward to developing my news leadership skills and bringing that knowledge back to WVPB to strengthen the service we provide to the state.”

Chuck Roberts, WVPB’s executive director and CEO, said it’s an honor to have Wright participate in this prestigious professional development program.

“Jesse Wright is a talented reporter, writer and editor and his journalism know-how has made him an excellent news director for West Virginia Public Broadcasting,” Roberts said. “We are proud of his accomplishments and acceptance into this level of training program. We are looking forward to him sharing what he learns with our entire news team.”

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

“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.”

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.

Kathy Merritt, CPB Senior Vice President of Journalism and Radio, said skilled effective editors are vital to producing content that tackles issues of importance to our communities and informs our country’s civil discourse.

“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,” Merritt said.

Another call for applications will take place later this year and the final round of fellows will be announced in the fall. By 2020, a total of 100 public media leaders will have participated in this professional development program.

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 and subscribe for other updates.

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.