Just in case any of you missed this big announcement at NPR this week. It's hired Keith Woods from the Poynter Institute to help improve the diversity issues I wrote about in October.

Poynter Dean Says He's Confident Network Can Change
Keith Woods, one of the foremost trainers and educators in journalism diversity and the No. 2 administrator at the Poynter Institute, the school for professional journalists, was named Monday to be vice president of diversity in news and operations at National Public Radio, a new position.

Although the NPR culture has been cited for more than 20 years as an impediment to diversity there, Woods, 51, told Journal-isms he believes he can succeed because "the leadership of NPR has changed and there is a critical mass of leadership both new and longstanding that wants to see NPR succeed at this.

"And I'm adding myself to that mix," said Woods, Poynter's dean of faculty and a veteran journalist who spent 16 years at the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "I can't tell you how juiced I am about this."

This from Current.org, which covers public media:

NPR diversity consultant to sign on as v.p.
Keith Woods, a Poynter Institute dean who was consulting with NPR on newsroom diversity, will join the network as vice president, diversity in news and operations, in February. The position, a newly created senior management role, will lead development and implementation of strategies for diversity within NPR and public radio as a whole.

Newsroom diversity--as well as NPR's commitment to training, hiring and retaining journalists of color--have come under criticism this year as NPR laid off staff, canceled its African-American oriented show News and Notes, and fired one of its few black newsroom managers. "We are extremely fortunate to have found a leader who offers a combination of strong journalistic credentials, diversity expertise and a passion for teaching," said NPR President Vivian Schiller, in a news release.

Woods has taught writing and reporting on race relations, ethics and diversity at the Poynter Institute for professional journalists for 15 years; he also writes on race and media and consults with news organizations and journalism schools. Previously, he reported for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans. Details on how Woods' consulting assignment turned into a full-time job here.
posted at 3:24 PM EST Dec 15, 2009

YOU MIGHT ALSO WANT TO READ THIS PIECE by Eric Deggans. I have known Keith Woods for over a decade, and I feel assured that Keith will be a postive influence at NPR in terms of diversifying the staff and sources used in reporting. This is a very positive step for NPR. --ACS

categories: Journalism News

12:18 - December 16, 2009