Christine Jessel Joins UT’s WUOT to Report on Education Issues

KNOXVILLE — Christine Jessel has joined the University of Tennessee’s public radio station WUOT 91.9 FM as an education reporter/producer.

Jessel’s two-year appointment is funded through a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) that created a Local Journalism Center called the Southern Regional Education Desk.

The Southern Regional Education Desk comprises eight Southern public radio and television partners. The partners will share the $1.2 million CPB grant, which allows each to hire a journalist specifically assigned to report on the unique educational challenges of the Southern region as well as examine potential solutions. In addition to reporting and producing broadcast content, the partners will create an interactive website and Web modules that will distribute and curate content, and will undertake community engagement activities through events, partnerships and social media.

“Christine is an award-winning journalist,” said Matt Shafer Powell, director of news content for WUOT. “Her media background as well as her experience with new media will be invaluable to WUOT as we expand our coverage of education in Tennessee and contribute to the regional discussion.”

Jessel began her radio news career as a contract reporter for WNOX-FM and WIVK-FM in 2003. She was an anchor and reporter for WIVK-FM, WNOX-FM and WNML-FM and ultimately was promoted to news director for the stations in 2006. She has been a freelance writer/reporter for seviercountynews.com. Her broadcast and print work has been recognized with awards from the Tennessee Associated Press Broadcasters Association, the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio-Television News Directors Association.

Jessel also has served as new media communications manager for the Girl Scouts of Tanasi Council, where she developed a social media presence for the organization, managed Web content, developed an electronic newsletter and was part of a team that produced print and online materials.

Jessel earned her master’s degree in communications from UT Knoxville. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Vanderbilt University.

WUOT’s partners in the Southern Regional Education Desk include WBHM-FM in Birmingham, Ala.; KEDM-FM in Monroe, La.; Georgia Public Broadcasting in Atlanta; Alabama Public Television; Louisiana Public Broadcasting; Mississippi Public Broadcasting and WNPT-TV in Nashville.

Listener-supported WUOT 91.9 FM is licensed to UT. WUOT is a member of National Public Radio and a Public Radio International affiliate. The station’s primary format is classical and jazz music, news and public affairs. WUOT serves listeners throughout East Tennessee and parts of Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and streams on the Web at wuot.org. WUOT’s second audio channel, WUOT-2, is available on HD Radio™, Internet radio and on the Web.

C O N T A C T :

Matt Shafer Powell, WUOT Director of News Content (865-974-9354, mpowell7@utk.edu)

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