Public Radio News Director Selected for Prestigious Training

March 21, 2019

WhitneyMISSOULA – Montana Public Radio News Director Eric Whitney 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 inaugural class will begin the program in April at ASU, 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 will focus on editorial integrity, using active learning strategies to reinforce public media’s unique firewall and 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,” said Whitney, who works on the University of Montana campus. “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 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.”

“We’re proud of Eric’s leadership in our newsroom,” MTPR General Manager Ray Ekness said. “We’re happy that he’s been selected for the training and will be able to bring back ideas to improve our news coverage.”

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.”

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 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 also is the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

Montana Public Radio is a public service of UM and broadcasts on 89.1 Missoula (KUFM); 91.5 Missoula city (K218AI); 91.9 Hamilton (KUFN); 89.5 Polson (KPJH); 90.1 Kalispell, Whitefish, North Valley (KUKL); 90.5 Libby (KUFL); 91.7 Kalispell, city (K219BN); 101.3 Swan Lake (K267BJ); 91.3 Butte (KAPC); 91.7 Helena (KUHM); 91.7 Dillon (K219DN); 89.9 Great Falls (KGPR); and 98.3 White Sulphur Springs (K252AD).

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Contact: Eric Whitney, MTPR news director, 406-243-4075,