The Washington Post has announced veteran broadcast producer Chitra Wadhwani has been named editorial director of ‘Washington Post Live’. In her new role, the Indian American journalist will oversee and drive the strategy for the “Race in America” series, which examines the movement to end systemic racism and police brutality, and more broadly how race and identity affect the lives of people in a myriad of ways, the Post said in a report.
In addition, she will support executive producer Katherine O’Hearn in guiding the overall editorial direction of Live programming, it said. “Washington Post Live is producing more digital programming than ever before, with nearly 200 programs since April. ‘Race in America’ is one of our most important initiatives. We launched in June in the wake of protests over the killing of George Floyd and quickly expanded to a weekly series featuring significant voices leading the fight for equality,” said O’Hearn in a statement.
“Throughout her career, Chitra has given voice to the individuals and ideas shaping the future, creating powerful conversations that richly inform. We are thrilled to add her exceptional news judgement and deep experience to our team, which will only enhance our coverage of this moment of national reckoning,” O’Hearn added.
In this role, Wadhwani will collaborate closely with the reporters and editors in the newsroom who are steeped in covering issues of race to produce programs that build on the momentum “Race in America” has generated and move the national conversation about race forward, the popular daily said.
Averaging over a quarter of a million views per event, the series has featured discussions about the need for reforms to curb police brutality and end racial profiling, the debate around historical monuments and how the country memorializes its past, inequality and exploitation in culture, diversity in corporate America and what steps should be taken to make progress, among others, it added.
Notable speakers include House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.; Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass, D-Calif.; Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.; Fair Fight Action founder and chair Stacey Abrams; supermodel, activist and CEO Beverly Johnson; Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson; founder and creative director of Brother Vellies Aurora James; former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu with jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, among others.
Wadhwani joins The Post from ‘CBS This Morning’, the network’s flagship national morning news program.
As supervising producer, she developed guests and feature stories across topic areas, managed partnerships and led several special projects. Wadhwani led the planning for the two-hour live show from the National Museum of African American History and Culture ahead of its opening.
The coverage featured interviews with Sens. Tim Scott and Cory Booker together, the late Congressman John Lewis, then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, the museum’s founding director Lonnie Bunch, Olympic swimmer Simone Manuel, Emmett Till’s cousin Simeon Wright, Ernest Green, one of the Little Rock Nine, among others, according to the Post.
More recently, Wadhwani also oversaw ‘CBS This Morning’s’ social media and podcast teams which produced original digital content on lives lost to COVID-19, what it means to be Asian American today, Hispanic Heritage month, Black pioneers on their trailblazers, and mental health awareness, the release adds.
Wadhwani began her career at PBS’s ‘Charlie Rose’, where she was the supervising producer for domestic, foreign, business, media, and technology coverage, and broader operational planning.
She guided coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign and other major political events. Internationally, she developed shows originating from India, Iran, and the U.K. She booked and produced news-making conversations with then-Vice President Joe Biden and former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan as well as officials from Mexico, Singapore, Israel, Russia, Chile, Ecuador, Turkey and elsewhere, her bio notes.
She secured rare joint interviews between Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg, and former Presidents Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan, it adds.
Wadhwani holds an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University in sociology and currently resides in the D.C. area.