In April 2010 Maura Stephens was named associate director of the Park Center for Independent Media. In a career now in its fourth decade, Maura has worked in both mainstream and independent media as well as in other fields. She believes strongly that journalism is a critically important component of any democratic society and that it can and should be a noble profession -- right up there with nursing, teaching, firefighting, and organic farming.
She is grateful for the opportunity to work among other committed independent journalists and with PCIM director Jeff Cohen, whose observations on and assessments of the media she has long admired and whose progressive outlook she shares. She is also glad to be serving under Park School dean Diane Gayeski, who with IC faculty and alumni launched a Media for Social Change initiative in April 2010. And she is especially excited to have a position in which she can help to nurture a new generation of ethical, inquisitive, well-equipped professionals committed to journalism for the common good.
Her portfolio in the Park Center for Independent Media includes mentoring student journalists toward careers in independent media as well as structuring, researching, reporting, and writing on highlights and trends in independent media; tracking and mapping the best independent media throughout the country; writing and selecting content for the Park Center for Independent Media online sites; writing stories for independent media outlets; and helping director Jeff Cohen with internship management and public events.
A generalist and systems thinker, Maura sees the connections between all disciplines. Besides journalism, independent media, and media reform, Maura's subjects of greatest expertise and interest (at present) are Burma, climate change, conflict resolution, cross-cultural understanding, education, entrepreneurship, fracking (for methane gas, especially in the Marcellus Shale), human rights, international relations, Iraq, Ireland, nongovernmental organizations, organic farming, patient advocacy, sustainability, systems structure, theater arts -- acting, directing, and playwriting -- torture and its elimination, UN issues, urban lot reclamation, and water rights and protection.
She tries to bring all of these passions to her PCIM position and to help students become ethical, socially responsible journalists in the rapidly changing and more-than-a-little scary world that is their inheritance.
Read about Maura's work before coming to PCIM here.
Read some of Maura's recent writing here.