Michele McLellan is a writer, researcher and consultant who works on projects that help strengthen the emerging local news ecosystem, whether they involve online news start ups working to become sustainable or traditional news organizations that are trying to shape their new role in the digital world. In addition to being the senior program consultant for Knight Digital Media Center at USC Annenberg, Michele has served as a Knight Community Information Challenge Circuit Rider who advises community foundations that are supporting news and information projects in their areas. She founded the Block by Block Community News Summit for independent online community publishers and she created and publishes Michele's List, a database of promising local news start ups produced in collaboration with the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism.
She has reported in depth on the emerging local news ecosystem and revenue models for news, including the recent "Best Practices for Advertising Sales at Digital News Startups" and "2015 State of Local News Startups." She also authored the KDMC report "Digital Leads: 10 keys to newsroom transformation," about a process she helped develop to speed digital transformation in traditional newsrooms.
Previously, she directed a $2.5 million Knight Foundation project that demonstrated the link between strategic newsroom training, newsroom culture and a news organization's ability to adapt and innovate. She is an author of two books and numerous studies on leadership and the emerging news landscape. She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard Unviersity in 2001-002 and a Reynolds Journalism Institute fellow at the Missouri School of Journalism in 2009-10. She spent most of her newspaper career at The Oregonian, where her roles included politics editor, special projects editor and ombudsman.