Cheryl Ruth Devall



An adaptable media creator, committed to excellence at the national to the small-city level for diverse audio, text and digital audiences. 

  • As an independent contractor, I have fostered noteworthy audio journalism projects. Scene On Radio Season 5: The Repair examined the Western ideas and beliefs that helped to create global climate crises; in June 2022, Covering Climate Now honored its episode on upheaval and conflict in Nigeria. A three-hour radio documentary illuminated the historical and cultural connections between Haiti and New Orleans. An evocative series on the centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre won 2022 duPont-Columbia and NAACP Image Awards. The Online News Association, the Edward R. Murrow Awards and the National Association of Black Journalists honored Un(re)solved, a multiplatform examination of civil rights-era cold cases. A series of long-form features I edited on spiritually engaged individuals around the world took top honors for the audio categories in the 2022 and 2021 Religion News Association awards. The podcast series Viewers Like Us, about public television's spotty track record representing the full spectrum of American lives and stories, inspired the graduating class at UC Berkeley's journalism school to invite host Grace Lee as its 2022 commencement speaker.

  • In its first year of weekly distribution, I helped Reveal from the nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting grow its audience to more than 200,000 digital downloads an episode and weekly broadcast on more than 400 public radio stations. Edited episodes on hate speech, law enforcement inattention to right-wing domestic terrorism and the practical implications of immigration policy. “Making the Team,” from an episode about Title IX, won a national Murrow Award. The Online News Association and the Best of the West organization honored Reveal’s multi-platform examination of the proposed wall across the U.S. southern border. An investigation into forced labor masquerading as alcohol and drug rehab was a 2018 Pulitzer Prize finalist

  • As editor of the Gannett-owned Daily World in 2014-15, helped restore public trust and employee morale, encouraged staff and customers’ shift from traditional analog toward digital and social media presentation, contributed lively, perceptive journalism and raised the standard for newspaper storytelling in Southwest  Louisiana. 

  • Among 121 AM and FM radio stations in the Los Angeles market — in which the top-rated local television news and many leading radio stations program primarily in Spanish – Southern California Public Radio consistently grew and gained new listeners during my seven years as a news editor. It was one of the first public stations to introduce a mobile phone app and multi-platform journalism like this series I edited in 2009. Since then, SCPR has become one of the most listened-to public stations in the United States.

  • Delivered duPont-Columbia Award-winning coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots for National Public Radio. Also covered, early in the epidemic, the effects of AIDS on African Americans (duPont-Columbia and NABJ awards), the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the rise of the Midwestern casino industry, and the continuing repercussions of the civil rights movement among other major stories. Anthologized in "Listening to America: 25 Years in the Life of a Nation, as Heard on National Public Radio" (Houghton Mifflin, 1995).​​​​​

  • Edited Marketplace’s coverage of September 11, 2001 and its continuing effects on the nation’s financial center, helping to position that daily program as an essential element of public stations’ news and information format. 

  • Edited WUNC-FM staff and freelance reporters on a series about the present-day realities of poverty in North Carolina 40 years after the federal War on Poverty. This public radio series won national and regional honors, including a 2004 duPont-Columbia Award for excellence in broadcast journalism.

  • Throughout my working life I've advised and mentored interns, students and younger colleagues on their career aspirations, strategies and best practices; dozens of them work and thrive on storytelling platforms in and beyond the United States.




The Steps That Led Me Here

General manager, Lafayette-based NPR affiliate KRVS Public Media serving Southwest Louisiana 

Story editor, Sacred Steps — a collaboration between KALW-FM's The Spiritual Edge and the University of Southern California's Center on Religion and Civic Culture

Story editor, Scene on Radio Season 5: The Repair from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University

Story editor, Viewers Like Us podcast from Studio To Be

Story editor, Un(re)solved podcast from Frontline/PBS

Consulting editor, Blindspot: Tulsa Burning podcast from WNYC Studios, KOSU and The History Channel

Editor, Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms and the Music of New Orleans —  produced for WXPN-FM Philadelphia and distributed by NPR Music

Editor, Open To The Public: Creating Truly Inclusive Museums — for Virginia Public Media in Richmond

Editor, Heated series for KNKX-FM, Seattle

Mentor, Report For America the Association of Independents in Radio and Next Generation Radio 

Editor, Breaking Points series by Ambriehl Crutchfield, WPLN/Nashville Public Radio

Participant, Public Media Journalists Association Editor Corps

Editor, Force of Law podcast from CalMatters and Studio To Be

Editor, Self Evident podcast Season 1 from Studio To Be

No Ordinary Lawsuit podcast from the nonprofit Our Children’s Trust 

Editor, Peabody Award-nominated Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul documentary/podcast from public radio station WXPN, nationally distributed by NPR Music 

Editor, Let's Go Together podcast from Travel+Leisure

Senior radio editor, Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting. Part of the team that planned, assigned, and edited the weekly public radio hour and podcast Reveal. 

Interim editor, NPR's Code Switch. Supervised reporting about the intersections of race, ethnicity and society.                                                             

Editor, Opelousas Daily World. In the seat of St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, managed, assigned, planned, wrote and edited daily news coverage. Trained new and veteran employees and led the newsroom through the adoption of a new content management system, website redesign and digital-first emphasis. Assisted with daily page layout, photo selection and communication with remote copy desk and design teams, and represented the Daily World at public events. 

Senior news editor, Southern California Public Radio. In California's most active public radio newsroom, with 250 newscasts a week and a vibrant digital presence, assigned and edited daily news copy for broadcast and online; planned daily and long-term coverage; supervised multiple  reporters – most based beyond headquarters. Communicated frequently with producers across content platforms, senior management and personnel in other departments about daily and long-term news content. Participated in reporter/intern hiring and training, live event programming and outreach to donors and new audiences.                                     

Senior editor, American Public Media's Marketplace. Commissioned and edited features and spot news, cultivated freelance talent for a nationally distributed 30-minute daily radio program that emphasizes business and economics. From Los Angeles headquarters, supervised bureau reporters in New York and Boston.  


Correspondent, National Public Radio. From Chicago, Miami and other locations covered more than 1,000 stories about breaking news, politics, regional flavor, history and culture.  


Adjunct instructor, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Taught the first public radio news course offered at USC.    


Los Angeles correspondent, San Jose Mercury News. Functioned as a one-person bureau for one of California's leading newspapers. Covered news in Southern California and beyond for a tech-savvy Northern California audience.     

Chicago Tribune, General/City Hall reporter          

Louisville Courier-Journal , General/Southern Indiana reporter   

Boston Globe, Reporting intern                                          

Bay State Banner - Boston's Black weekly - Reporter/production assistant       

Harvard Crimson, Reporter/associate features editor 



AB Sociology Radcliffe College, Harvard University   

MS Journalism Columbia University                                  

John S. Knight Journalism Fellow, Stanford University 

Nine-year board member, Woodstock Institute, Chicago, recipient of a 2007 MacArthur Foundation Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.  

Longtime member, national organization and local chapters National Association of Black Journalists       

Guest speaker and instructor, Summer audio institute, Center for Documentary Studies, Durham NC; Florida A&M University; Southern Illinois University; California State University, Los Angeles, San Francisco State University, California State University East Bay, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Association of Independents in Radio, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism   

Volunteer screener, duPont-Columbia Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism. Contest judge, Education Writers Association, Broadcast Educators Association   

Interviewer, regional high school Student of the Year competition for Southwest Louisiana, 2015   

National advisory board member, UC Santa Cruz MA program in social documentation    

Volunteer editor and contributor (20+ years), Columbia Journalism School (monthly) Black Alumni Network newsletter     


Conversant in Spanish; los mexicanos dicen que hablo como cubana.    

Lagniappe (lan-YAP): Louisiana French for "a little something extra"

Video by Kelli Jones, courtesy of Valcour Records' The Coop

Image credits

All images on this site I either created or used with permission. The typewriter you see  in various sections of the site I photographed in summer 2017 in the Mississippi Delta on the Stovall Plantation where Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield) was born.