Marcia Parker, BA’76, is a journalism and media industry leader with extensive experience at Fortune 500 media companies, startups, leading nonprofit news outlets and three of the nation’s top graduate journalism schools.
She currently works for The New York Times as vice president, philanthropic partnerships, a position she began this summer.
Parker leads a team developing newsroom initiatives funded by foundations and in partnership with nonprofits. In her role, she helps newsroom leaders expand the Times’ early-career programs and launch journalism initiatives in partnership with organizations that have a shared public service mission.
She fell in love with journalism at IU where she began working for the Indiana Daily Student. Parker has garnered a variety of experience across teams, including as a reporter, editor and editorial director.
Parker has long been invested in local news and most recently in the nonprofit news model as the future of the profession. Prior to her work for the Times, she was the publisher and chief operating officer of CalMatters, a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization covering state government. She also worked as an editorial director for Patch Media, a local news platform.
She is passionate about meeting the news and information needs of communities across the nation and advocating for philanthropic support for nonprofit and for-profit journalism to help meet those needs. She is encouraged by how nonprofit news is driving sustained growth and how the number of outlets providing local coverage is rapidly increasing.
She is the chair of the board of the Institute for Nonprofit News — one of the roles she is proudest of — and serves on the advisory board of the Emma Bowen Foundation, which prepares minority youth for careers in the media industry. She also advises the Latino Media Collaborative; the Mosaic Journalism Program; and El Timpano local reporting lab. Parker is also on the Stanford Knight Journalism Fellowships selection committee.
Parker enjoys working with diverse, young journalists, and believes investing in early-career professionals will ensure communities have their news and information needs met.
She received the 2017 California Press Foundation Jack Bates award, which is given to “an individual for distinguished service to the California Press through effective leadership in addressing newspaper challenges and assisting journalism education.”
Patch teams under her supervision won more than 40 awards from the Los Angeles Press Club, San Diego Press Club and San Francisco Peninsula Press Club, and a James Madison Freedom of Information Award from the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists chapter.
Creating meaningful, collaborative partnerships between news organizations, bigger journalism organizations, local community news and philanthropic supporters is Parker’s favorite part of her job. She believes those collaborations are the future of journalism.