Knight Foundation Announces Two New Vice Presidents

Press Release | Knight Foundation

Digital information chief Jim Brady will be a part of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as vice chairman/journalism. Heidi Barker, a former NBC Network News producer turned company communications govt, shall be Knight’s new vice chairman/communications and chief variety, fairness and inclusion officer.

“Jim Brady is a digital journalism innovator who understands that enterprise sustainability is essential to the success of native information. He shares Knight’s perception that communities have to be knowledgeable and engaged for democracy to thrive,” stated Alberto Ibargüen, Knight Foundation president. “Heidi Barker brings essential impact-oriented management expertise at a time when strategic communication has by no means been extra essential to a corporation’s success. She can even lead Knight’s persevering with dedication to combine fairness and inclusion into each side of our work.”

Brady’s expertise ranges from main main manufacturers akin to and Digital First Media to constructing native information websites in three cities.

He is CEO of Spirited Media, which developed native information websites Billy Penn in Philadelphia, The Incline in Pittsburgh and Denverite in Denver, and bought them in 2019. The websites differentiated themselves with a mobile-first strategy and a enterprise give attention to occasions and membership as core income traces.

Previously, as editor-in-chief of Digital First Media, Brady was chargeable for the technique and administration of the 75 day by day newspapers, 292 non-daily publications and 341 on-line websites owned by Journal Register Company and MediaNews Group. He additionally constructed and managed the corporate’s Thunderdome unit, which comprised greater than 50 digitally centered journalists charged with offering nationwide content material for DFM’s native properties.

During Brady’s tenure as govt editor of, the positioning gained a nationwide Emmy award for its Hurricane Katrina protection, a Peabody Award for its “Being a Black Man” collection, and quite a few different journalism awards. At AOL, he managed information protection of the 9/11 assaults and 2000 presidential election, and in addition served as ESPN’s public editor from 2015-18.

“No basis has achieved extra to gasoline experimentation, innovation and inclusion in digital media than Knight, which is all the time on the lookout for methods to strengthen democracy’s future,” stated Brady. “Technology may also help us construct a future for journalism that’s sustainable, so it may be unbiased, inclusive and authentically mirror native communities.”

Brady is a previous president of the Online News Association, a two-time decide of the Pulitzer Prizes, and serves on the boards of the American Press Institute, NewsMedia Alliance, National Press Foundation and the Local Media Association. He is a graduate of American University.

Heidi Barker brings to Knight 30 years of expertise as a senior company communications govt and broadcast journalist. A champion of variety, fairness and inclusion, she has suggested executives and collaborated on organizational DEI initiatives.

Barker is the previous vice chairman of company communications at Carnival Corporation, the place she was instrumental in COVID-19 disaster communications, the communication of system-wide price reductions, and tradition and DEI initiatives.

Prior to Carnival, Barker served as chief communications officer at Cleveland Avenue LLC, a meals and beverage enterprise capital and consulting agency in Chicago, the place she constructed the startup’s communication perform from inception, designing it to incorporate company narrative and messaging platforms, inside and exterior communications, and an built-in social media presence.

Previously, Barker served as vice chairman of world media relations and points administration for McDonald’s Corporation. She led a group chargeable for the corporate’s company repute throughout a broad spectrum of media and social channels.

“My journalism roots and fervour for efficient communication gasoline my pleasure to guide our group in spreading consciousness of Knight’s work,” stated Barker. “It’s an honor to inform and amplify the inspiring tales from the communities, journalists, artists, students and researchers who transfer society ahead with assist from Knight grants. I’m additionally dedicated to Knight’s ongoing effort to create an inclusive and equitable office for our group members. Those basic values are woven by all of Knight Foundation’s work.”

Before becoming a member of McDonald’s, Barker spent 10 years as a producer for NBC Network News, together with two years as a rotational senior producer for “NBC Nightly News.” A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Barker has earned two Emmy nominations and a number of other Edward R. Murrow Awards, amongst different journalism awards. Last yr, she furthered her training by incomes a certificates in “Leading Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” from Northwestern.

Both new VPs will begin at Knight on Aug. 30.

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