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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

News that Serves

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Session Description

In an era of diminished trust in media and divestment from local news outlets, how can we be sure that high-quality journalism reflects and reaches the communities it’s meant to serve—and is accountable to them? This panel discussion will focus on the shifting local media landscapes across the globe, the challenges news organizations face, and the solutions emerging to ensure that news outlets serve the public interest, wherever they are.

This Future of Media kick-off event is intended for delegates in the media ecosystem. Others are welcome to view the livestream over breakfast in Dining Room 2. Doors open at 7:45am.

When | Where

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM Wednesday, April 11 Classroom 2 (TBEC)


Panel Discussion

Session leaders

  • President, Internews
    As President and CEO of Internews, Jeanne Bourgault leads the strategic management of the organization and its programs around the world. Bourgault has overseen Internews’ growth in areas underserved by local media, such as Afghanistan, South Sudan, and under her leadership Internews has led the sector in focusing on the need for information amid crises, working to support local news and information access for communities affected by disaster, including the 2005 Asian Tsunami and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Prior to Internews, Bourgault worked internationally in countries undergoing dramatic shifts in media and political landscapes. Bourgault worked in the former Yugoslavia, serving as a strategic advisor for media development programs in post-war Kosovo, as well as manager of community development projects in Serbia and Montenegro through the fall of Slobodan Milosevic. She served for six years with the U.S. Agency for International Development, including three years at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. In Moscow, Bourgault managed a $250 million portfolio of democracy assistance and educational exchange programs through a period of intense democratic transition. Bourgault has consulted on international program design and evaluation for the Open Society Institute, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Research Triangle Institute, and the United Nations Centre for Human Rights, among others. Bourgault speaks on issues of global news, information technology, media development and democracy assistance worldwide. When not traveling for Internews, Bourgault enjoys camping, hiking and supporting local farmers in cooking for her family and friends. She is also active in local politics and community affairs. Bourgault speaks very rusty Russian and holds a Master of Arts in International Studies and a Masters in Public Affairs from the University of Washington.
  • Laura Flanders Speaker
    Author, Writer, Founder & Host GRITtv, The Laura Flanders Show
    Journalist, author and media entrepreneur, Laura Flanders is the host of the Laura Flanders Show, "Where the people who say it can’t be done take a back seat to the people who are doing it.” Online, on TV and on radio, The Laura Flanders Show features real stories of shifting power from the few to the many. The Laura Flanders Show is a nationally syndicated co-production of New York's CUNY TV. Flanders is also a best-selling author of six books including BUSHWOMEN: Tales of a Cynical Species, and Blue GRIT: True Democrats Take Back Politics from the Politicians. She is a contributing writer for the Nation Magazine as well as the Media Fellow at the Next System Project, where her most recent paper is "Next System Media, An Urgent Necessity." You can find the LF Show week on KCET/LINKtv and public cable and satellite stations across the US. It’s also available as a free podcast. Follow @GRITlaura or visit
  • Alvin Starks Speaker
    Senior Program Officer, Equality Fund, Open Society Foundations
    Alvin Starks is an innovative thinker and strategist and serves as senior program officer at the Open Society Foundations managing grantmaking related activities in racial justice advocacy, narrative change, arts and culture and individual fellowships. His program coordinates strategies and opportunities within the United States and throughout the OSF global network addressing issues of racial justice and ethnic discrimination issues. Alvin brings an extensive experience in social justice philanthropy weaving together complex issues of civil rights, gender justice, and the arts. For more than a decade, his work has supported approaches that address issues of structural racism, civic engagement and narrative change. His work has focused within the United States and abroad, using multiple tools, including social science research, civil and human rights advocacy, next generation leadership, intersectionality, and cross movement-building. Alvin began his philanthropic career at the Echoing Green Foundation supporting to individuals starting new human rights projects across the globe. He joined OSF in 2000, directing the New York City Community Fellowships and Initiatives programs, which focused on organizing, legal reform, arts and culture, and policy. He established USP’s first racial justice initiative that addressed issues of structural inequities, discrimination and fostering civil rights advocacy. Following his first tenure at OSF, Alvin developed the Racial Justice and Gender Identity program at the Arcus Foundation and served as program officer for racial equity at the WK Kellogg Foundation. Most recently he was director of strategic initiatives at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, which received a National Medal from the White House during his tenure. He sits on several non-profit boards and has received numerous awards and fellowships for his leadership in philanthropy and racial justice.
  • Cristi Hegranes Speaker
    Founder and Executive Director, Global Press Institute
    Cristi Hegranes is the Founder and Executive Director of Global Press. A 2013 Ashoka Fellow, Cristi is an experienced social entrepreneur, a media innovation pioneer and a renowned international journalism trainer. Global Press exists to create a more just and informed world by employing local female journalists to produce ethical, accurate news coverage from the world’s least-covered places. Global Press operates a training program, Global Press Institute, an award-winning news publication, Global Press Journal, and an innovative syndication division, Global Press News Service. GPI has trained and employed 200 journalists across 26 developing countries, including Haiti, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Previously, Cristi had a successful career as a journalist for Village Voice Media in New York and San Francisco. She has a Master’s degree in Journalism from New York University and a Bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Cristi served as a fellow-in-residence at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg and has taught courses in entrepreneurship and journalism at San Francisco State University, California State University, East Bay and Stanford University. Cristi was the Social Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University in 2017. Recognized for developing a high-quality, sustainable model of international journalism that is rooted in the perspective of local communities, Cristi has received a wide range of social entrepreneurship and journalism accolades. She is the recipient of the Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize, the Jefferson Award for Public Service and the Society of Professional Journalists Journalism Innovation Prize. She was awarded the Distinguished Young Alumni of New York University in 2015. Cristi lives in Washington D.C. with her mischievous English Bulldog Louise.
  • Edith Chapin Speaker
    Executive Editor, National Public Radio
    Edith Chapin is the Executive Editor of NPR News. In this role, which she assumed in 2015, Chapin oversees all desks and reporters, and helps set the agenda for the entire News division. Previously, Chapin was the senior supervising editor of NPR's International Desk. She managed a team of correspondents based outside the United States committed to bringing listeners dynamic stories of the world's people, politics, economy, and culture. Prior to joining NPR in 2012, Chapin spent 25 years at CNN and worked her way up from intern, to bureau chief to vice president. Most recently, Chapin was the Vice President and Deputy Bureau Chief of CNN's Washington, D.C. bureau, where her strategic editorial and management responsibility included oversight of the 2009 presidential transition coverage and daily coverage of the White House and Capitol Hill. Chapin contributed to Covering Catastrophe (Bonus Books, 2002), a book recounting the events of 9/11 in an oral history format. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations sits on the board of The Masters School. She holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.
  • Co-Founder & CEO, BudgIT
    Oluseun Onigbinde, a graduate of Engineering from the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria, co-founded Nigeria’s civic tech organization, BudgIT in 2011. BudgIT ( uses technologies of any form that appeal across every literacy span to make public data more accessible, transparent and understandable to citizens and public institutions. Oluseun has consulted for the Federal Public Administration Reform (a DFID- funded project) on providing strategic support for the National Assembly Budget and Research Office (NABRO) on data analytics, budget tracking and visualization patterns. He also worked with United Kingdom’s Department for International Development on redesigning content regarding crude oil theft and Petroleum Industry Bill. Oluseun Onigbinde has worked on several projects funded by MacArthur Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Open Society Foundations, OXFAM and Omidyar Network. Oluseun Onigbinde is a recipient of the Ashoka Fellowship, Future Africa Awards, Quartz Africa 30 Innovators Award, Aspen New Voices Fellowship and a member of the Harambe Alliance. He sits on the ONE Africa Policy Advisory Board and also worked with International Center for Journalists/Gates Foundation on rethinking health journalism in Nigeria. He was a Knight Innovation Fellow with the International Center for Journalists. He also had Executive Education at Stanford University Graduate School of Business on Social Entrepreneurship and also a fellow of the Stanford University's Draper Hills Summer Program.
  • Pat Mitchell Moderator
    Founder and President, Pat Mitchell Media
    Lifelong advocate for women and girls, known as a journalist, producer, television executive, program curator and advisor to foundations and media organizations on issues relating to women's leadership and empowerment. Advises foundations and corporations on women's leadership and empowerment, serving on the boards of Participant Media and the Skoll Foundation Fund. During her years as a producer and media executive, Pat Mitchell initiated, produced and hosted award winning programs, including the historically significant multi-hour documentary series, Women in War: New Voices from the Frontlines; Cold War and Century of Women, the history of women in America. She was also the first woman to host and produce a national program focused on the stories of women- Woman to Woman. As the first woman president and chief executive of PBS, Mitchell led the public broadcasting service through the digital transition of 349 public television stations, added significant new programs to the PBS schedule and founded the PBS Foundation. Following her tenure, Mitchell became the president and CEO of the Paley Center for Media in New York, an institution focused on documenting media's role in society. Ms. Mitchell serves as Chair of the Women's Media Center and is especially proud to have been recognized with their first annual Lifetime Achievement Award--The Pat Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award now given annually to outstanding media professionals who have used their work to empower other women through media. Mitchell is also the Chair of the Sundance Institute board, a founding board member of VDAY, a movement to end violence against women, a member of the Acumen Fund board, the Council on Foreign Relations, and in 2016, was appointed by Leader Nancy Pelosi to serve on the Congressional Commission to establish the first American Museum of Women's History. She serves on the Civil Society Advisory Council for UNWOMEN.
  • Rachel White Moderator
    President, Foundation
    Rachel is president of and executive vice president, philanthropic and strategic partnerships at Guardian News & Media., a US-based non-profit, was publicly launched in August, 2017 to support independent journalism on issues related to climate change, human rights, inequality, and other topics. Prior to joining the Guardian, Rachel served as executive vice president and interim president of the Washington D.C.-based, journalism-centered think tank New America Foundation. Working across media, policy, government, the private sector, and philanthropy, she led the organization in advancing new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States. From 1995 to 2005, Rachel worked for the World Wildlife Fund.