WPSU Penn State producer selected to fellowship expanding public media diversity

January 18, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The need for more diverse storytelling within public media is being addressed with the help of a WPSU Penn State producer and director.

Cheraine Stanford, whose credits include the award-winning documentary “Water Blues, Green Solutions,” has been selected as part of the inaugural eight-member class of senior editorial fellows for the Next Generation Leadership (NGL) program. The groundbreaking professional development initiative — supported through the Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB) — aims to expand diversity among senior and executive producers and content developers across public media nationwide.

“The more voices from different backgrounds that you have making content — and other decisions — the richer your programming will be,” said Stanford, who is the only fellow working outside a major city or market. “I’m humbled, honored and excited because this program has the potential for a career-changing impact.”

Joseph Tovares, senior vice president for diversity and innovation at the CPB, said the lack of storytellers at senior level positions from diverse, underrepresented backgrounds created the need for the initiative.   

“A survey of senior editorial teams at leading producing stations revealed a dearth of diverse voices,” said Tovares. “This program, which includes participants from radio, television and digital departments at public media stations, and participation by several major producing stations, is an innovative step in the right direction.”

The year-long program begins on Jan. 25 with a week of leadership training in Boston. The fellowship will include professional enrichment, leadership training, mentoring to examine opportunities and barriers in the field, and strategic training to succeed in today’s media landscape. The participants from diverse backgrounds were selected from more than 90 applicants at more than 50 public media stations and organizations.

Stanford, who will remain at WPSU Penn State during her time as a fellow, will also work on the award-winning documentary series “NOVA.” The producer hopes to strengthen her leadership style through editorial and management insights from producers currently serving in leadership positions.

“Everything we do is in a team environment. I believe NGL will help me develop my strengths to enhance the work that I do and become the kind of leader who inspires others to do the same," said Stanford, who credits a sign above her desk that reads “Excellence…All Day…Everyday” for motivation.

The NGL is jointly led by public media station WGBH in Boston and The Partnership, a non-profit organization with expertise in executive training. To learn more about the program, visit pbs.org/ngl.

  • WPSU Penn State
    IMAGE: WPSU Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 18, 2016