Josh Stearns is the Associate Director of the Public Square Program at the Democracy Fund, where he works to ensure that people come first in our government, elections and media. Prior to the Democracy Fund he directed the Local News Lab project at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and spent 7 years running national advocacy campaigns in support of freedom of expression and media diversity at Free Press. Stearns is the founder of Verification Junkie and a co-founder of First Draft News and he Freedom of the Press Foundation. He speaks frequently about journalism, civic engagement, ethics and collaborative problem solving at conferences like SXSW, the Online News Association, the Personal Democracy Forum as well as colleges and universities across the United States. His research and reporting have appeared online at the Guardian, Columbia Journalism Review, PBS MediaShift, Mother Jones, Orion Magazine and BoingBoing.