The First Amendment Coalition today announced the election of leading California media figures — Cheryl Brown, Sewell Chan and Linda Jue — to its board of directors.
“We are overjoyed to have these three leaders in California journalism join our board of directors,” said FAC Executive Director David Snyder. “Cheryl, Sewell and Linda are joining FAC at a crucial time, both for our organization and for our state and country as a whole–we couldn’t be more fortunate to have their expertise and energy as FAC continues to grow to meet new challenges.”
Cheryl Brown is a former California Assemblywoman, newspaper publisher, small business owner and current California State Commissioner on Aging, who has devoted the majority of her life to public service.
Brown served in the California State Assembly representing California’s 47th District located in the heart of San Bernardino County and before that on the San Bernardino County and City Planning Commissions for 17 years. She was the county’s first Black professional planner.
In 1980, she and her husband, Hardy Brown Sr., founded Brown Publishing Company to circulate a community newspaper called the Black Voice News. The newspaper, now owned by Brown’s daughter Paulette Brown-Hinds is published weekly and serves Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The Browns were recognized as the only living publishers to be included in the 175th anniversary of the Black Press of America.
The Browns created California Black Media (CBM) in 2001, a network of 22 African American newspapers and media enterprises across the state, a statewide initiative to better inform, educate, and advocate for the African American community, as well as help promote ethnic-owned news organizations.
Sewell Chan is the editorial page editor of the Los Angeles Times, overseeing the editorial board and the Op-Ed and Sunday Opinion pages. “He was named to the position in April 2020, following his time as a deputy managing editor, during which he oversaw the homepage and audience engagement teams and then foreign and national news.
Before joining The Times in September 2018, Chan worked for 14 years at the New York Times, where he was a metro reporter, Washington correspondent, deputy Op-Ed editor and international news editor. Chan began his career in July 2000 as a reporter at the Washington Post, reporting on local government, education and social services. He has also written for the Wall Street Journal and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
A native New Yorker, Chan grew up in an immigrant family and was the first in his family to finish college. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in social studies and received a master’s degree in politics from Oxford. Chan is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Pacific Council on International Policy, and PEN America, which defends free expression. He serves on the board of the News Leaders Association (formerly the American Society of News Editors) and the Board of Incorporators of Harvard Magazine.
Linda Jue is editor-at-large for the investigative news site 100Reporters, where she works with reporters to develop and edit long-term investigative stories. She is also a contracted writing and reporting coach to grantees of the Fund for Investigative Journalism, and a consultant on race and media for the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, where she’s worked to redefine its role in bringing change to major news outlets.
Previously, Jue was founding director and editor of the G.W. Williams Center for Independent Journalism, which developed regional and national reporting projects to support more journalists of color, women and youth in pursuing public interest and investigative journalism. She was associate director and founding staff member of the Independent Press Association, where she directed several national journalism programs, including a consortium of New York City ethnic media. Before that, Jue directed San Francisco State University’s Community Press Consortium, the country’s first advanced professional training program for reporters and editors working in community and ethnic media.
Jue’s work has appeared in a wide array of local, national and international news programs and publications. And her advocacy for journalism and ethnic media has made an impact in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. She served as president of the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, reviving it to make it the first SPJ chapter to actively engage its membership on issues about the future of journalism and the role of technological innovations to help preserve the profession. She also led the chapter in co-founding and fundraising for the Oakland-based Chauncey Bailey Investigative Reporting Project, a multiple award-winning journalism collaboration made up of Bay Area and national news and journalism organizations.
Jue served for 10 years as a board director of the Media Alliance and on the executive committee of the Media Consortium, among other journalism organizations.
Brown, Chan and Jue join a board of 29 directors composed of working and retired journalists, publishers, lawyers, executives and community leaders.
The First Amendment Coalition is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing free speech, a free press, a more open and accountable government and public participation in civic affairs. Bookmark our free Legal Hotline, resources on accessing public records and meetings, and Subpoena Defense Initiative that serves journalists in need.