Managing Director - Consortium on Trust in Media and Technology
Coats has been at the forefront of the seismic shifts in journalism and information culture over the last 25 years. She’s led large multimedia news organizations, done groundbreaking work in civic engagement and reader outreach, and built her own consulting company focused on engagement and sustainability strategies for non-profit and entrepreneurial news organizations.
Coats is the former Executive Director for Innovation and Strategy at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. In that role, she has oversight of the school’s media literacy efforts through its News Co/Lab, the News21 national student reporting program, faculty teaching associates, and grant acquisition for sponsored research.
Prior to joining Arizona State, Coats was founder and CEO of Coats2Coats Consulting in Sarasota, Florida, an independent consulting firm focused on helping clients create relevant content, develop community engagement and outreach strategies, and build business plans focused on both philanthropic and earned revenue. She worked with non-profit newsrooms, both public media and entrepreneurial startups, to develop content strategies, engagement and transparency methodology and revenue diversification approaches.
From 1994 – 2009, Coats held leadership positions at several news organizations, including Senior Vice President of News and Executive Editor for The News Center in Tampa, Florida, and Executive Editor of the Sarasota (Florida) Herald-Tribune. From 2003-2004, she served as Dean of the Faculty of The Poynter Institute, a professional training school for journalists and communications professionals.
Coats served as a Pulitzer Prize juror five times, including as chair of the Public Service and Investigative Reporting juries. She served on the board of the American Society of News Editors, twice chairing the national convention.
B.S. Journalism, University of Missouri