News Leadership Council

The News Leadership Council guides the Trust Project on our Trust Indicators and advises on core issues related to information literacy and rebuilding trust in journalism within a fractious, so-called post-fact environment.

Members of the council represent the various constituencies of the news ecosystem – legacy print, digital native, television, and the public.

Martin “Marty” Baron 
Executive Editor – The Washington Post, United States

Marty Baron became executive editor of The Washington Post in January, 2013, overseeing its print and digital news operations. Newsrooms under his leadership have won 11 Pulitzer Prizes: four at The Washington Post, including the public service medal in 2014 for coverage of NSA surveillance.

During Martin’s 11 years at The Boston Globe, the Globe won six Pulitzer prizes, including the public service medal in 2003 for its investigation into concealment of clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Marty has held top editing positions at The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Miami Herald, which won a Pulitzer during his time as editor.

Jaime Bedoya
Chief Qualified Content Manager – El Comercio, Peru

Jaime Bedoya (Lima, 1964) began his career in Caretas magazine in Lima in 1986, eventually departing as Executive Editor. He has been at El Comercio newspaper for the last five years, first joining as Editor of Special Project and now serving as Chief Qualified Content Manager.

Bedoya studied in the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and in the Centre de Formation et de Perfectionnement des Journalistes, Paris France. He has written six books and has received multiple awards. 

Roberto Bernabò 
Deputy Director and Digital Editor-in-Chief – Il Sole 24 Ore, Italy

Roberto Bernabò has been deputy director and digital editor-in-chief of Il Sole 24 Ore since January 2018. He worked on the renewal of the newspaper’s digital strategy, with the launch of a new website, the development of video production, the move to a freemium model with the launch of 24+, a paid platform dedicated to reportage; finally, he focuses his efforts on the growth across multiple online platforms and the development of AI projects. 

Between October 2014 and December 2017 Bernabò was editorial director of Finegil, the company controlling all the local newspapers of the Gedi Group, focusing his work on digital innovation.

Earlier, he held increasingly responsible positions within the newspaper il Tirreno, the most important local newspapers of former editorial group L’Espresso, becoming editor-in-chief in 2009, a position he held until 2014. During his years at the head of the paper, he worked on the digital transformation of Il Tirreno, leading it twice to the top three at the “Online Journalism Awards” for non-English websites. Born in Pietrasanta (Lucca) in 1960, Bernabò holds a degree in Communication Sciences.

Mario Calabresi
Editor-in-chief – La Repubblica, Italy

Mario Calabresi has been based in Rome as editor-in-chief of La Repubblica, the leading Italian daily newspaper in terms of circulation and a leader in digital news. Prior to La Repubblica, he led a six-year tenure as editor-in-chief at La Stampa, the national daily based in Torino. There he spearheaded a complete transformation of the newsroom, making it one of the most integrated and advanced in Europe. 

Mario started the Digital News Initiative with Google in Italy and was the first editor-in-chief to launch Facebook Live events. He is a board member of the World Editorial Forum, where he follows topics regarding the future of information. He wrote five bestselling books: the most popular one (“Pushing Past The Night“) was translated into French, German and English.

Brandon Christopher
Creater and Owner – CANVASxDetroit, United States

Brandon Christopher is a Detroit-based creator and owner of CANVASxDetroit, an arts studio dedicated to creative literacy, artistic exposure and addressing social/civic issues via the arts. A former local and federal lobbyist, Brandon hung up his wingtips and suits in exchange for paints and brushes. After graduating from Detroit’s BUILD Entrepreneurship Institute in 2013, Brandon launched CANVASxDetroit offering painting classes, art installations, & creative workshops for professionals.

Brandon is a 2015 Knight Arts Challenge Award winner and has worked on creative projects with Henry Ford Foundation, the Public Broadcasting Service, University of Michigan, the Detroit Institute of Art, & MOCAD (Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit). In 2016, Brandon co-founded MASH Detroit, a 6,000 square foot mixed-use community space on Detroit’s east side. Brandon is currently expanding CANVASxDetroit’s offerings beyond the visual arts to include entertainment, technology, and creative consulting.

Rodale Cooley
College and Career Specialist – Phoenix Indian Center, United States

Rodale works at paving paths for students who come in with goals but may not understand which mountains to climb and also to watch out for those cliffs. In developing a guide Rodale helps students map out the challenges that lie ahead. And because aspirations take diligence, it’s only necessary to pause and allow them to dream again. Working in the College and Career Readiness program at the Phoenix Indian Center, Rodale has the awesome task of coordinating, planning, and developing many of student programming and activities.

Rodale graduated from Grand Canyon University’s Colangelo College of Business in April 2015 with a master’s of science in leadership. Unlike his current metropolitan surroundings, Rodale come from a rural part of the Navajo Nation. Being raised by grandparents Rodale was taught the keys to success are hard work, dedication, charity, and a life-long pursuit of learning. Apart from his journey with youth, Rodale enjoys his musical passion as a first tenor chorister of the Phoenix Symphony Chorus.

Evelyn Hsu
Co-Executive Director – Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, United States

Evelyn Hsu is co-executive director of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Previously, she was a member of the faculty at The Poynter Institute and was an associate director of the American Press Institute. Hsu was a reporter for The Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle. She is a past national president of the Asian American Journalists Association. She is a member of the board of directors of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

Barbara Maushard
Senior Vice President, News – Hearst Television Inc., United States

Barbara Maushard was named senior vice president, news, of Hearst Television in 2016 after having served since 2008 as vice president, news. She sets strategy for Hearst Television’s news operations and has management oversight of the corporate-level news team. Under Maushard’s stewardship, Hearst Television stations have earned ten consecutive Walter Cronkite Awards for Excellence in TV Political Journalism from the USC Annenberg School, dozens of National Edward R. Murrow Awards, National Headliner Awards and a prestigious National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Service to America Award.  

Maushard  has spearheaded multifaceted, group-wide journalism and community outreach projects such as State of Addiction, addressing the nation’s opioid crisis, and Project CommUNITY, exploring the nation’s divisions region by region.  In 2020 Maushard was recognized with one of television journalism’s highest individual honors: the First Amendment Leadership Award from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTNDF). 

Maushard has worked at four Hearst stations since 1997, serving as news director at three of them. She began her career at WHOI in her hometown of Peoria, Ill. Among other industry roles, Maushard serves on the boards of NBC News Channel and the Kneeland Project for Responsible Journalism.  Maushard graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from Bradley University in Peoria.

Marisa Porto
Executive-in-Residence – Hampton University, United States

Marisa Porto is the executive-in-residence at Hampton University where she teaches in the journalism and business schools. She also hosts a video series examining public policy issues in Virginia.

Porto has spent decades in media and business leadership positions, most recently as publisher and editor for Virginia Media/Daily Press Media, which includes the Virginian-Pilot, the Daily Press and community publications from Richmond, Va., to North Carolina. She previously held top news positions with Gannett Inc. organizations in Florida, Delaware and Ohio. 

Porto is a past president of the Virginia Press Association and a past board member for the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association.  Porto is a member of Impact 100, an initiative of the Peninsula Community Foundation of Virginia, and the vice chair of the board of directors of the Girl Scout Council of the Colonial Coast. She served a four-year term as a citizen member of Virginia’s statewide Freedom of Information Advisory Council and was the chairwoman for the public records subcommittee. She has also been a fellow, a mentor and executive-in-residence for the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, an organization devoted to diversity in media leadership and news coverage.

Alex Skatell
Founder, Chief Executive – Independent Journal Review, United States

Alex’s interest in tech and media began early on. While in college at Clemson, Alex developed numerous iPhone applications, including a top 25 application that was featured by Gizmodo,  and the “What’s Hot” section of the iTunes app store. Only four years after graduating, Alex founded Independent Journal Review ( in a small apartment in Charleston, South Carolina. Today, Independent Journal Review is a top 50 website in the country and reaches more than 35 million monthly readers.

Adding to the business, Alex co-founded IMGE, a full service digital agency in 2013. IMGE is based in Alexandria, VA, and has a team of more than 35 working with some of the world’s largest brands, associations, and campaigns, developing innovative tech tools and implementing digital strategies to help clients reach their audiences and goals. Alex has been dubbed a “wunderkind” of media tech by the New York Times, and has been included in Forbes 30 under 30, Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40, and WIRED’s political Tech Titans of 2016. Alex is a member of several advisory boards.

Martin Virtel
Editor – DPA-Newslab, Germany

Martin Virtel is editor at dpa-newslab, the R&D unit of dpa, the leading news agency in Germany. Since coding his first simple robot journalist in 1993, he has dedicated his career to help create productive environments for technology-driven innovation in journalism, frequently being mistaken for an engineer by the journalists, and for a journalist by the engineers. He teaches digital journalism at the Máster en Periodismo BCN_NY in Barcelona and is founding partner of Datenfreunde, an award-winning technology consultancy for media companies based in Hamburg and Berlin. He lives in Hamburg with his wife and daughter.

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