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National Geographic Unveils the Field Ready Program

Training Curriculum Designed to Promote Diversity and Inclusion Behind the Camera, Specifically for Natural History Productions

Field Ready Program to Launch This Spring

National Geographic today unveiled the Field Ready Program to promote diversity and inclusion, providing a clear path for a new generation of people interested in working behind the camera in global television production. The announcement was made by National Geographic Global Television Networks President Courteney Monroe at the network’s session at the Winter TCA press tour in Pasadena.

"As National Geographic continues to push forward on our ambitious strategy of creating premium content, I could not be more excited to launch the Field Ready Program," said Monroe. "Our hope is that this program will incubate the next generation of leaders who best represent our audience today."

"As the global leader in natural history programming, we are profoundly aware that there is a lack of diversity and inclusion in Natural History filmmaking teams," added Janet Han Vissering, senior vice president, development & production, Nat Geo WILD, who is spearheading the program. "This storied genre has exploded in popularity and relevance over the past five years, yet the production talent is more reflective of its beginnings 80 years ago. To stay on the cutting edge in this highly competitive field, cultivating fresh voices and diverse talent is key. We want to make sure that we are leading in this game-changing endeavor."

The Field Ready Program will be a two-phased training program that endorses entry-level individuals as production assistants. Partnering with National Geographic Society, we will choose 10 individuals per year to complete an online technical training followed by a one-week, intensive production boot camp at Nat Geo HQ in Washington, D.C., to be led by National Geographic’s best-in-class creatives — producers, videographers and Explorers.

"Storytelling is at the very core of National Geographic’s mission, and we are committed to ensuring that historically underserved and under-represented groups are equipped to tell stories in a meaningful way," said Kaitlin Yarnall, senior vice president and chief storytelling officer at the National Geographic Society. "The Field Ready Program is a groundbreaking approach to diversifying the voices in storytelling, and a natural extension of the work that National Geographic has been doing for more than 130 years."

Upon graduation from the program, the Field Ready production assistants will be announced to the wider production community in hopes of being placed on National Geographic productions around the world.

The hope is for the program to become a reliable resource to our production partners around the world as they look to hire and mentor the next generation of talent. By creating a pipeline of qualified candidates and endorsing them as Field Ready, the goal is to not only make an impact on the future of this business but to be the leaders in ensuring we stand by our commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The goal is to launch the first class into the field by fall 2020.

For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com or our press site www.natgeotvpressroom.com, or follow us on Twitter using @NatGeoPR.

About National Geographic Partners
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between Disney and the National Geographic Society, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 132 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27% of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

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Contacts

Chris Albert, 202-912-6526, chris.albert@natgeo.com

Jennifer DeGuzman, 212-656-0713, jennifer.deguzman@natgeo.com