NPR has added two journalists to its six-person race, ethnicity and culture unit backed by CPB and preparing for launch in the spring. The network hired Gene Demby, a Huffington Post editor and founder of the blog PostBourgie, as blogger and correspondent; and Shereen Marisol Meraji, a Marketplace reporter and former NPR producer, as a reporter.
Demby started PostBourgie in 2007 and continues to contribute to the group blog, which covers race, class, gender, politics and other subjects. In 2009 the blog won a Black Weblog Award for best news/politics website. Demby also worked for the New York Times for six years as a writer and news assistant.
In 2011 he joined the Huffington Post, where he managed the Black Voices channel through its launch; he also reported for the channel and served as its senior politics editor for much of this year. Demby will join NPR Dec. 17 and start reporting and blogging for NPR.org.
Meraji previously worked at NPR for seven years as a producer for Day to Day and All Things Considered. She also reported from Lebanon as an NPR-Bucksbaum International Reporting Fellow and most recently joined American Public Media’s Marketplace as an inaugural reporter on its Wealth and Poverty Desk. Meraji joins NPR’s Karen Grigsby Bates, who is also reporting for the race and ethnicity unit, at NPR West in Culver City, Calif.
The race and ethnicity team will report for all platforms and claim a branded space on NPR’s website. The initiative is supported by a $1.5 million grant from CPB, announced earlier this year. It will serve as a model for future topic-focused channels, according to NPR.