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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Journalism and Media Ethics Council

Journalists, educators, entrepreneurs, and technology and digital media leaders participate in the center's Journalism and Media Ethics Council to share ideas, questions, and brainstorm solutions to some of journalism’s most pressing ethical dilemmas.

The Journalism and Media Ethics program is designed around the four principles of inclusion, human dignity, focus on the whole person, and public service. As ethical issues in the news media are increasingly relevant to today’s climate, our Council is well suited to take on the complicated task at hand. Since November 2019, the Council has convened every quarter and provided input to the program on many pressing issues - from calling out lies in the news to the challenges with inclusion in live programs, and the increasing blur between commentary and reportage.

Council meetings are held under Chatham House Rule. Subramaniam Vincent, director of journalism and media ethics, is the convener.


Ashley Alvarado is Southern California Public Radio’s VP of Community Engagement where she develops strategies and opportunities to engage new and existing audiences across platforms. 

Jim Bettinger is director emeritus of the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford. He retired in 2016, after 16 years as director and 11 years as deputy director.

Jill Geisler is Bill Plante Chair in Leadership & Media Integrity, Loyola University Chicago, and Freedom Forum Institute Fellow in Women’s Leadership; she helps teach the next generation of media leaders.

Leslie Kesselring is founder and president of Kesselring Communications, an award-winning independent PR firm specializing in cybersecurity and risk management.

Paula Williams Madison was formerly ­Executive Vice President of Diversity at NBC Universal and Chairman and CEO of Madison Media Management LLC, a division of Williams Group Holdings LLC, a Chicago-based investment company.

Martha Mendoza is AP National Writer, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. Her reports have prompted Congressional hearings and new legislation, Pentagon investigations and White House responses.

Claudia Milne is senior vice president, Standards and Practices for CBS News and Stations, where she oversees all CBS News editorial standards and ensures they are being maintained across all CBS News, stations and digital platforms.

Laura Moorhead is assistant professor of journalism at San Francisco State University where she researches media literacy, open access to knowledge and how professional practices affect the work and ethics of journalists. 

Tonya Mosley is the LA-based co-host of Here & Now, a midday radio show co-produced by NPR and WBUR. She's also the host of the podcast Truth Be Told.

Craig Newmark is Web pioneer, philanthropist, and leading advocate. Most commonly known for founding the online classified ads service craigslist, Newmark works to support and connect people and drive broad civic engagement.

Mutale Nkonde is the founding-CEO of AI for the People. AFP’s mission is to educate Black communities about the racial justice implications in tech, and empower them to make their voices heard. AFP creates content that illustrates how and why advanced technologies amplify racial bias, and then provide this information to Black communities so they can act.

Roger Ogden currently owns three radio stations in the ski country of Colorado that serve Vail and Breckenridge. He retired 8 years ago after 35 years in the general management and corporate side of the broadcast media business.

Tracie Powell is a leader in philanthropic efforts to increase racial equity and diversity in news media. She is the founder and CEO of The Pivot Fund, which seeks to support independent BIPOC community news.

Gabriella Schwarz is the global head of news curation at Facebook, where she oversees a team of journalists that help power Facebook News and other news destinations across the platform.

Debra Adams Simmons is executive editor for culture at National Geographic magazine where she manages coverage of the lived experiences of people around the globe.

Mark Stanich has a long history of media experience across news/information brands (TIME, Fortune/Money, Sports Illustrated) as well as lifestyle brands (Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine). He has worked on a number of early-stage ventures across content, commerce, and technology. He particularly enjoys working to optimize media business model elements to drive success in a changing landscape.

Ben Trefny is news director, KALW 91.7 FM SF, where he handles daily operations in the news department, overseeing the editorial and sound engineering teams, delivering daily newscasts, producing the nightly news and culture show Crosscurrents, and more.

Anita Varma, PhD is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Media at UT Austin, where she focuses on media ethics. She also leads the Solidarity Journalism Initiative at the Center for Media Engagement, where she is a senior faculty research associate.

Jen Wilson is the head of curation standards at Twitter, where she's focused on empowering a global team with the training and guidance they need to provide context to the biggest conversations on the platform.