CJR’s Brent Cunningham Joins the Food & Environment Reporting Network (FERN) as Managing Editor

For Immediate Release

January 28, 2015


 New York, NY—The Food & Environment Reporting Network (FERN) today announced that Brent Cunningham has joined its team as managing editor.

Cunningham was previously the Deputy Editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, and has written for the op-ed pages of The Washington Post and USA Today, The Nation, Lapham’s Quarterly, CNN.com, and Nieman Reports. His critical writing about the press was included in the anthology “Our Unfree Press: One Hundred Years of Radical Media Criticism.” His writing about food was selected for the “Best Food Writing” anthology in 2012 and 2014. He is at work on a book about a West Virginia town that is trying to build a healthier food culture.

“We’re very excited to have Brent join our team,” said Sam Fromartz, FERN’s Editor-in-Chief. “He’s got deep editorial experience and will be a strong asset as FERN continues to build and expand its media presence.”

“FERN produces rigorous, nuanced journalism about issues that matter to everyone, no matter their politics,” Cunningham said. “I am proud to be part of it.”

Cunningham replaces Paula Crossfield, a co-founder of FERN, who served as managing editor since its inception. “I’m so grateful to have been a part of the team that built FERN over the last five years. It has been a wonderful experience and I look forward to following the stories they produce,” said Crossfield.

“Paula was an essential founding member of FERN,” Fromartz said. “We wish her the best in her future endeavors.”

FERN also announced the recent hire of assistant editor Kristina Johnson, one of its up-and-coming writers, who recently wrote “Death of a Family Farm,” with FERN media partner, Fast Company.

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About the Food & Environment Reporting Network (FERN)

 FERN is the first and only independent, non-profit news organization that produces in-depth and investigative journalism in the critically underreported areas of food, agriculture, and environmental health. Since 2011, FERN has published more than 40 stories with mainstream media on subjects ranging from the connection between human health and the overuse of antibiotics in industrial animal agriculture to wage theft of farmworkers, for which it won a prestigious James Beard Foundation Journalism Award in 2013. Its story on antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the food supply won a 2014 award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals for “culinary writing that makes a difference,” and was also nominated for a James Beard Foundation Journalism Award for best story in the category of “Food Politics, Policy, and the Environment.” For more information about our work, please visit www.thefern.org or follow us on Twitter @FERNnews.


Sam Fromartz