Center for Ethical Leadership in the Media is restoring the news industry to a place where people are freed to do their best work, and the most qualified rise on their merits. We do this by fostering systemic change in the workplace by equipping media leaders, empowering
newsroom employees, and educating aspiring journalists to address harassment and workplace rights, analyzing the leadership pipeline in news, and helping newsrooms across the country adapt to the future of work.

The Need

The revelations of the #MeToo movement, digital disruption, declines in audience and readership, and lack of representation in news organizations point to a larger issue: the need for fostering and nurturing ethical, effective leadership and management of news organizations.

Currently, the focus in newsrooms and in university journalism curricula is on creating trustworthy journalism content. Never has this focus been more important. However, recent challenges have highlighted the need to expand this focus to include preparing students to be ethical, effective leaders and managers of news organizations and meaningful contributors in newsrooms. The expanded focus will equip tomorrow’s news leaders – as well as current news leaders- to respond to and manage change and create news organizations where all can succeed.

Our Work

Our initiatives and services include:  

  • #UsToo: Building Trust in Newsrooms: In partnership with the Poynter Institute, we offer an innovative, anti-harassment training focused on preventing abuses of power and fostering cultures of safety and trust. Learn more.

  • Leadership Development: We quarterly convene senior news leaders to examine the leadership pipeline in news, and ways to improve workplace culture. We create community with these leaders, support their development and publish a newsletter, “The Takeaway,” with evidence-based recommendations to improve media culture.

  • Ethical Newsroom Leadership Curriculum: We are working with The Moody College of Communication’s School of Journalism and Media and the Communication and Leadership Degree Program at the University of Texas at Austin to create a curriculum that will prepare journalism students to be ethical, effective leaders of news organizations. The ultimate goal is to open-source the curriculum and offer it free to universities and select media partners throughout the world. Learn more.

  • Culture Assessments: We deliver culture assessments to news organizations with findings and recommendations to create fair, safe and dignified work environments. We host staff and leadership educational workshops on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging to facilitate solutions for their organizations.

  • Thought Leadership: We author thought leadership on critical issues facing workplace culture.