Arlington, VA; September 21, 2017 – Following an extensive nationwide search, PBS has named former NPR Executive Editor Madhulika Sikka as its new Public Editor. Like her predecessor Michael Getler, who retired after 11 years as PBS’ ombudsman, Sikka will offer an independent editorial perspective on PBS programming, including matters raised by viewers.
From 2006 until 2015, Sikka was at NPR News, where she most recently served as Executive Editor, overseeing worldwide coverage. Prior to this role, she was the Executive Producer of the nation’s most listened-to radio news broadcast, “Morning Edition.” At NPR and earlier as a senior producer at ABC News Nightline, she won multiple Emmy, Peabody and Alfred I. duPont awards, as well as an RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award, and awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and the South Asian Journalists Association for coverage of diverse topics including the Oklahoma City bombing, the September 11th attacks, the Whitewater investigation, race and the 2008 campaign, and the Ebola epidemic.
In her new role, Sikka will report to PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger.
“Madhulika Sikka is known in the media industry as a journalist of the highest caliber, integrity and vision,” Kerger said. “Her experience leading complex news organizations coupled with her understanding of public media’s unique role makes her an ideal Public Editor for PBS and our viewers across America.”
Since leaving NPR, Sikka has served as a Vice President and Executive Editor of Mic, a digital news startup, and most recently, as an independent media consultant. A breast cancer survivor, she wrote the book, A Breast Cancer Alphabet, published by the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, in 2014. She also created a book discovery website and podcast, 52weeks52books52women.
“I see my role as Public Editor as the interlocutor between the audience, PBS and the creators of PBS content,” Sikka said. “This is a disruptive time in our media environment and my experience as a journalist, content creator and executive in public, corporate and privately funded media will be useful as I take on this new role.”
Sikka holds an undergraduate degree from the University of London and a master’s of philosophy in Economics and Politics of Development from Cambridge University (U.K.).
PBS, with nearly 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 100 million people through television and nearly 33 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.
Aparna Kumar, PBS, 703-739-5028, email@example.com