Dean of Diversity is the 2018 Leo C. Lee Honoree

Jan 31, 2018

Keith Woods, 2018 Leo C. Lee Award recipient.

The PRNDI Board of Directors is pleased to announce the 2018 recipient of the Leo C. Lee award.  This year’s honoree is Keith Woods, NPR’s Vice President for Newsroom Training and Diversity.  Woods’ work in leadership training, storytelling and diversity is known throughout the journalism world.    

“Keith's efforts to help NPR member stations cultivate more diverse staffs and content are reshaping our industry into one that sounds and looks like the diverse population it endeavors to inform and inspire,” said PRNDI President Terry Gildea. “PRNDI is excited to honor Keith for his tremendous contributions to public media with our Leo C. Lee award.”

Woods came to NPR in 2010 after 15 years as Dean of Faculty at the Poynter Institute.  He has taught courses on subjects from reporting on race relations, to diversity, ethics and newspaper writing.  He is the co-author of “The Authentic Voice: The Best Reporting on Race and Ethnicity”

“It’s been my life’s work,” is how Woods explains his 30 years of teaching journalists a different way of thinking and a different way of telling and framing a story.  He has visited more than 30 stations from New England to Oregon helping journalists better understand and handle matters of diversity. 

“This is work I can’t leave behind.  It’s such a part of me,” said Woods.  His love for journalism and storytelling began when he was a 16 year old living in New Orleans reading The Times-Picayune. He saw then the inequities in coverage and decided to help make a difference.   “What we do has such a profound impact on the country and the world.   That if you are going to change something, if you are going to try to make a shift in the way that we understand one another across race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation all those areas of difference, then journalism is the way you get it done.” 

Woods’ contributions are still being realized across the public radio system.  Currently, he is part of the newsroom leadership team now working with stations to build a system-wide “culture of journalism”, as part of the larger collaborative journalism effort.  

The PRNDI Board will officially present the Leo C. Lee award to Woods at our conference in Philadelphia this June.  Congratulations Keith!