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Jonathan Franklin Joins NPR's Digital News Hub Team


In a note to newsroom staff Senior Director of Digital News & Strategy Justin Bank and Managing Editor Terence Samuel announced the following update:

We are thrilled to announce the latest digital reporter hire to the news hub.

Jonathan Franklin has been reporting and covering a broad spectrum of local and national news in the nation's capital for the last five years. Most recently, Jonathan served as a digital multiplatform reporter/producer for the TEGNA-owned CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C., WUSA.

While at WUSA, Jonathan covered and reported on some of the major stories over the last two years – the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the Black/African American community, D.C.'s racial protests and demonstrations following the death of George Floyd, the 2020 presidential election along with the January 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.

But his real talent — and one we are very, very eager to apply to our network-- is his ability to find human-interest and humanity in all kinds of stories. Working for a local affiliate of a national broadcaster, you can scan for his byline and find hundreds of local breaking news stories and always find engaging ledes and well-calibrated anecdotes that center the individuals and communities in service of the journalism he's pursuing.

There are tender stories, like this one on the relationship between a woman who survived addiction to become a social worker, and the nurse who helped her and a very thorough glossary of LGBTQ terms during Pride month. He passes along that one of his "most viral stories to date" was this reporting on a package of "tiny dead birds" discovered at Washington Dulles International Airport. In sum — Jonathan's prodigious output made him the most read digital reporter, by pageviews, for WUSA and the whole TEGNA network in 2020.

A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Jonathan earned his master's degree in journalism with an emphasis in broadcast and digital media from Georgetown University and his undergraduate degrees in English, humanities and African/African American Studies from Wofford College.

Jonathan is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., both the National and Washington Associations of Black Journalists, and the Online News Association.

In his free time, Jonathan enjoys traveling to new cities and countries, reading a good novel and experiencing Washington's brunch scene. You can find/follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Please join us in welcoming him in slack and email. His first day is ... today!

Terry & Justin

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