Barbara Wall, a board member of Gannett Co. and The Freedom Forum, will serve as the next Chair of the American Press Institute’s Board of Trustees. Wall retired from Gannett in 2020, where she worked for 30 years in positions across the company. She brings extensive First Amendment and legal expertise to the position, in addition to deep knowledge and love of local journalism.
In addition to Wall, who also serves on the board of the News/Media Alliance, the board welcomed four new members, including Steve Grove, CEO and publisher of Star Tribune; S. Mitra Kalita, co-founder and CEO of URL Media and co-founder and publisher of Epicenter-NYC; Geraldine Moriba, senior vice president and chief content officer of TheGrio; and Ross McDuffie, chief portfolio officer at the National Trust for Local News. Wall succeeds longtime chair Kevin Mowbray, President and Chief Executive Officer at Lee Enterprises.
“We are deeply grateful for Kevin’s years of service,” Wall said. “He has helped position API to deepen its impact serving media leaders and journalism organizations. Going forward, the Board of Trustees and I are thrilled to support the extremely talented team at API and their outstanding work helping build a resilient future for our industry.”
API’s Board of Trustees consists of business and journalism leaders from across the U.S. media landscape. The five members joining the board will expand API’s board experience in leading community and local news organizations and emerging forms of media. Their range of experience reflects API’s mission to help develop, support and sustain healthy local news organizations with a focus on civic discourse and democracy; culture and inclusion; community engagement and trust; and revenue and resilience.
“Our Board of Trustees helps set the strategic direction for our work,” said Michael Bolden, API’s executive director and CEO. “We depend on their counsel, and with this group of advisers, I am confident we can better guide the many journalism organizations and media leaders who depend on API’s products, projects and research to help them better serve their communities and navigate our changing industry. ”
About Our New Trustees
Steve Grove, who is a member of the News/Media Alliance Board of Directors, is CEO and publisher of Star Tribune.Previously, he was Gov. Tim Walz’s commissioner of employment and economic development. Before that, Grove spent 12 years as an executive at Alphabet’s Google and, most recently, was the founding director of the Google News Lab, which was developed to help media companies and startups drive innovation in the news industry.
Grove also led Google’s civic engagement work and previously built YouTube’s news and politics team. Before that, Grove was a journalist for The Boston Globe, ABC News and the Northfield (Minn.) News, his hometown newspaper.
S. Mitra Kalita
S. Mitra Kalita, who is a member of the News/Media Alliance board of directors, is an award-winning veteran journalist, media executive, prolific commentator, and author of two books. At the height of the pandemic, Mitra founded two media companies to ensure communities of color are served, supported and centered.
The first, Epicenter-NYC, which started as a newsletter to help New Yorkers get through Covid, is now a community journalism multiplatform company. Epicenter has been recognized for its innovative and engaging community journalism models and garnered coverage from the NY Post, Vice, WNYC, and many others. Kalita’s other endeavor is URL Media, a growing network of Black and Brown owned media organizations that share content, distribution, and revenues to increase their long-term viability. URL Media also works with mainstream newsrooms to syndicate content and partner on diversity initiatives in content, staffing and culture.
Geraldine Moriba is the senior vice president and chief content officer of TheGrio, a unit of Allen Media Group. TheGrio is a news organization and entertainment media company that provides content focused on the Black community. Moriba was previously a vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion and executive producer, program development, for CNN Worldwide. She also served as an executive producer of live broadcasts and news specials at NBC News and MSNBC.
Moriba is a former John S. Knight Journalism Fellow and Stanford University Brown Institute research scientist who used machine learning to analyze cable news editorial decisions. She’s the co-host and executive producer of Sounds Like Hate, a podcast series funded by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Her work has earned five Emmy Awards, an Alfred I. DuPont Award, two Peabody Awards, the Princeton University Ferris Professorship of Journalism Fellowship, an Anita Hill Gender Justice Award, two RTNDA-Unity Awards, two NABJ First Place Documentary Awards, and more.
Barbara W. Wall serves on the board of Gannett Co., having retired from the company in 2020. Her last role at Gannett was as Chief Legal and Operating Officer. When Gannett merged with New Media Investment Corp. in 2019, Wall joined the board of directors of the combined company.
Wall is past chair of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law and founded the ABA’s Women in Communications Law. In 2012, she received the Press Freedom Award from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. In 2020, the American Bar Association honored her with its Champion of the First Amendment award, and in 2021, she was the first woman to receive the Media Law Resource Center’s William J. Brennan Defense of Freedom Award. Wall also serves on the Board of Trustees for The Freedom Forum.
A graduate of the University of Virginia’s College and Law School, Wall has taught Media Law at American and George Washington Universities, and was a faculty member of Practising Law Institute’s Communications Law program for over 25 years.
As chief portfolio officer at the National Trust for Local News, McDuffie manages the portfolio of titles owned and operated by the Trust. McDuffie joined the Trust from Lee Enterprises where he served as president of Madison Media Partners. Under his leadership, Lee Enterprises’ local news brands across Wisconsin were top performers in digital and local advertising revenue growth, digital subscribers, event engagement, and video traffic.
McDuffie spent a decade of his career at McClatchy, where he orchestrated the development, launch, and execution of multimillion-dollar digital marketing campaigns and spearheaded fundraising efforts in support of new platforms and programs designed to foster community engagement, support diverse populations, and bolster local journalism.
About the American Press Institute
The American Press Institute helps develop, support and sustain healthy local news organizations with a focus on civic discourse and democracy; culture and inclusion; community engagement and trust; and revenue and resilience. We believe that for democracies to thrive, people need accurate news and information about their communities, the problems of civil society and the debates over how to solve them. That requires a financially sustainable free press that reflects the diversity of American society and understands the needs of its communities. API is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization affiliated with the News/Media Alliance.