Cheryl Ruth Devall


                                                    P.O. Box 1949, El Cerrito CA 94530 


An adaptable media creator, committed to excellence, who has enhanced the profile of journalism organizations from the national to the small-city level for diverse broadcast, print and digital audiences. 

  • As an independent contractor, fostered the development of audio storytelling for nonprofits, public media journalists and organizations in several states. The resulting work addresses subjects as varied as a constitutional lawsuit against the federal government to the gospel music roots of rock and soul to the trajectory through the California legislature of a bill intended to limit police officers' use of deadly force.

  • In its first year of weekly distribution, 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 some of its most consequential episodes on hate speech, law enforcement inattention to right-wing extremist 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. Our collaboration with Shane Bauer and Mother Jones magazine about conditions inside a private prison was nominated for a national news and documentary Emmy.

  • As editor of the Gannett-owned Daily World, 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 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.  ​​​​​

  • Edited Marketplace’s coverage of September 11, 2001 and its continuing effects on the nation’s financial center, helping to reposition that daily program as an essential element of 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 duPont-Columbia Award for excellence in broadcast journalism.

  • Throughout my working life I've advised 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

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

Mentor, Report For America and the Association of Independents in 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 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.  


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.     


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.  


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     

Veteran mentor and instructor, Next Generation Radio Project and Association of Independents in Radio 

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, UC Berkeley   

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    

Editor and contributor (15+ years), Columbia Journalism School (monthly) Black Alumni Newsletter     

Editorial advisor, Street Spirit East Bay monthly homeless newspaper   

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

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

Video by Sundra Hominik

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.