Beyond TV: YPpubmedia Makes Waves

Hey all you young professionals! If you're looking for an expansive network of peers who also work in public media, look no further than YPpubmedia. This group, founded by Andrew Leitch and Brooke Fuchs, is open to any person currently working in public media who is under 35 years of age. Although the group is relatively new, they have big plans for the future and currently fill a role that's desperately needed. Read on to learn more about YPpubmedia from the co-founder himself, Andrew Leitch.

You say the idea for Young Professional Public Media was born at a coffee shop. Tell us more about its inception.My colleague, Brooke Fuchs, and I were looking for a way to contribute to DEI and the public media industry in a meaningful way. Having been in our jobs for less than a year, we weren’t going to be able to do it with our experience. So, we thought, maybe our lack of experience is an asset? Maybe it was caffeine-induced hubris, but we decided to pitch the idea of a young professionals group to the DEI leadership. They loved the idea and gave us the resources and support we needed to build the group.

How can young professionals in public media get involved with what you’re doing?
We want to help provide supportive national networks for young professionals in public media, so they should start by joining up at Members receive a monthly newsletter, invitations to events, and info about opportunities for YPs in public media. For additional updates, follow @YPpubmedia on Twitter.

I see you have an advisory board. Can you tell us a little about how these people were selected and for how long their terms last?
The Advisory Board was selected through a competitive application process. We were lucky to have many of the best and brightest emerging leaders in public media among the applicants. Like almost everything we do, we see it as an experiment. We’ve asked the Advisory Board members for a one year commitment. After that, we’ll work with them to evaluate their experience and decide what to do next.

It sounds like you’re planning a slew of YPpubmedia events for the upcoming PMDMC, which ones are you personally most excited for?
Brooke and I are working with two of our Advisory Board members, Claire Radomski from WFYI, and Vanessa Harris from Chicago Public Media, on a session aimed at helping YPs become more effective advocates for their ideas within their organizations. It’s called “How to Be Heard,” and a fantastic panel of experienced managers are giving tips on communicating our ideas at a high level, avoiding common traps, and gaining buy-in. And we're always try to make unprogrammed social events a big part of what we do, so we’re putting on a meet-and-greet event and a happy hour too.

Do you host other events throughout the year? (Whether online or in-person)
Nothing I can announce yet, but we are planning more events at other national conferences and some virtual meet-up-type events. We’re always open to outside ideas–if someone reading this has an opportunity that they think could help our members, please let us know. We’re always looking for new ways to connect.

Compiled by +Brionne Griffin, PBS Digital