Who is Joanne Griffith?
A global citizen. A digital strategist. A builder of teams. A creative who loves to help others succeed. And a self-confessed audiophile.
For more than twenty years Joanne’s crafted stories across platforms — yes, writing is also much loved — for the BBC, NPR, Southern California Public Radio and American Public Media’s “Marketplace.”
Storytelling has taken her around the world; from Malawi and the innovative ways women tackle food insecurity, to Puerto Rico and the island’s economic recovery after Hurricane Maria. She believes there’s a story in almost everything; you just have to find the right people and the right platform to share it.
This philosophy led to Joanne creating a weekly show for BBC Radio 5 Live after a chance visit to the Pacifica Radio Archives in Los Angeles. For seven years she shared audio from the historic public radio collection, leading to a first-of-its-kind project with City Lights Books in 2012. “Redefining Black Power: Reflections on the State of Black America” pulls the thread from the civil rights movement to the election of President Obama, bringing together conversations around race through the written word, live events and social media.
Aside from reporting and creating meaningful dialog through journalism, Joanne is an accomplished editor and executive producer, who’s led diverse teams and individuals through the creation of reporting beats, new programs and show redesigns. At American Public Media’s Marketplace, Joanne recrafted “Marketplace Weekend,” with a focus on audience engagement across broadcast and digital platforms. Through this work, she was tapped to reimagine how best to serve Marketplace’s digital audience at Marketplace.org.
At the heart of everything is diversity and the building of trust with the audience. As one of the BBC’s first diversity change agents, Joanne created initiatives to expand the reporting and production pool, developed training programs to help staff understand the value of diversity and experimented with online resources that reflect multicultural London.
And the work continued with Joanne’s move to the United States. As an editor at Southern California Public Radio, Joanne introduced audience engagement events to better understand listeners. This led to an award-winning live program marking the 50th anniversary of the Watts Rebellion, the first time the show “Take Two” had broadcast live on location.
As a journalist with an entrepreneurial heart, Joanne was the founding managing editor of The California Newsroom, one of NPR’s first collaborative regional news hubs. In 2020 she also launched En(title)d! a conversation and training space for leaders of color in creative industries, an initiative born out of the turmoil of the year and a need to not only talk solutions, but put them in to action.
Never one to be far away from audio, Joanne was the lead producer on “The King of Crenshaw” – an ESPN 30 for 30 podcast series on the LA rapper, Nipsey Hussle.
When Joanne’s not doing all of these things, you’ll find her talking about space exploration, giraffes and her attempts at keeping succulents and other plants alive.