Professional Development

CPB is vested in the future of public media and supports professional development programs for individuals interested in producing for or working with national and local public media organizations. CPB has funded programs including:

Firelight Media Logo

Firelight Documentary Lab

Firelight Documentary Lab is a flagship mentorship program that seeks out and develops emerging diverse filmmakers. The Lab provides filmmakers with one-on-one support, funding, professional development workshops and networking opportunities with a goal of developing diverse content for public media distribution More than just a workshop, the Documentary Lab is unrivaled in its representation of diverse producers, creating an exclusive network of talented, unique storytelling who receive ongoing support from a project's conception to its completion.

Next Gen Leadership

Next Generation Leadership Program

Next Generation Leadership professional development program was designed to help public media expand diversity among its programming executives by identifying and training a diverse group of senior and executive producers and other content leaders in television, film, radio, and digital platforms. These Senior Editorial Fellows bring new voices and perspectives to the top levels of public media programming.

Black Public Media

360 Incubator+

Black Public Media's 360+ Incubator is an intensive 3-month program that provides filmmakers with creative and business management workshops, network building, tools for a successful pitch, and one-on-one mentoring from talented media makers. This initiative helps to launch serial productions about the Black experience: non-fiction series for broadcast; episodic scripted and non-fiction projects for the web; and immersive interactive projects.

AIR Logo


AIR provides coaching fellowships, webinars, scholarships and mentorship programs for professional and early-career talent to continually hone their skills and enable them to produce the most creative work in public media.

Diverse People

Public Media Executive Fellowship 

To support a vibrant future for public media, CPB offers a Public Media Executive Fellowship. This 18-month program provides salaried work experience in public media for an economically disadvantaged, recent college graduate. The Executive Fellow works with CPB’s executive team and on rotational assignments across the company.  When next open, the opportunity to apply will be announced on the CPB jobs page.


Editorial Integrity & Leadership Initiative

The Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative is a nine-month fellowship for some of  public media's most promising newsroom leaders to strengthen their ability to lead public media's growing newsrooms and collaborations while upholding the highest editorial standards. Participants work in small cohorts and receive intensive learning and discussions as well as one-on-one coaching.