Hey Boomers, younger staff aren’t the future of public media — they’re the now

Print More

Public media is filled with unsung heroes — talented people who are making their mark and deserve to be celebrated. Who are these people? Tell us!

Current is launching a new initiative to shine a spotlight on up-and-coming talents who are making a difference in public media. We’re calling it “Rising Stars.” We need your help identifying rising stars in the system so we can amplify their voices, ideas and experiences.  

We are seeking nominations of professionals age 35 and under who are doing impressive work in public media — people who have introduced new ideas or brought new skills to their stations or organizations. Perhaps they overcame obstacles or significant challenges in their work or their lives. Perhaps they are a very dependable, joyful, optimistic, dedicated or helpful member of a team. We encourage you to look across your organization and tell us about the rising stars who bring diversity and excellence to their work.

You’ve probably seen special editions of local magazines or business publications that profile movers and shakers or future leaders under titles such as “40 under 40” or “30 under 30.”  

I’ve wanted Current to produce a similar project since I became executive director in 2015. Instead, for six years we devoted energies to other engagement initiatives such as Local that Works, the contest that celebrated innovative local content and engagement projects. After last year’s competition, we decided to sunset Local that Works and launch something new.

The focus on “Rising Stars” is timely and important for several reasons. Elevating younger talent in the system is good for public media. People need to feel appreciated, acknowledged and celebrated for devoting their creative energies to this public service field. This kind of recognition is key to talent retention and career-building — something public media has been struggling with.

By nature of the shifting U.S. demographics, younger workers are more diverse than their mid- and late-career colleagues and bosses. If we can see that diversity reflected among young public media talents, maybe we’ll see that the system is making progress toward fulfilling its mission and imperative.

And when I say “talents,” I’m thinking beyond just content creators. We also want to recognize fundraisers and underwriting salespeople, savvy marketers, engagement folks, HR specialists and engineers. (Please tell us about the terrific engineers under 35 working in public media!) We want to include talents from radio, TV, digital multimedia and podcasting, from stations across the country. It’s a tall order.

Who comes to mind? Who do you think deserves a giant round of applause? Tell us about your Rising Star by filling out the online nomination form by May 31. We’ll share the first cohort of “Rising Stars” in late summer. Thanks for participating!

3 thoughts on “Hey Boomers, younger staff aren’t the future of public media — they’re the now

    • You are so right about that, Tarik! I know too many to count. Three cheers for Gen Xers who are bringing their talents to public media and it in for the long haul. Best, Julie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *