"The public editor represents the public interest in our journalism and helps hold us accountable to maintaining our high standards of journalism," NPR CEO John Lansing said in an interview. "And so [it's] really a critical position for us, particularly during this current [public health] crisis.
McBride, 53, will retain her job as the senior vice president of the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Poynter Institute and the head of its media ethics center. Rather than hiring McBride directly, NPR has contracted with Poynter for her services. The institute will supplement McBride's work with research support. The public editor job will consume most of her efforts, however.
McBride replaces Elizabeth Jensen, who ended her tenure Friday after 5 1/2 years.
A former newspaper reporter and authority on the challenges of covering sexual assault, McBride is the co-editor of a book on media ethics used as a text in many college courses. She has also taught media ethics and best practices for years at the Poynter Institute, which trains journalists.