CTN CELEBRATES THE LIFE OF FOUNDER, JOHN SICELOFF
John Siceloff, CTN founder, led a life committed to solutions-oriented journalism and educational empowerment. In a career spanning 40 years and five continents, he was a champion for a better future and a lifelong enemy of complacency. His memoir, Lowcountry Blood, explores a childhood surrounded by and shaped by the Civil Rights Movement.
In this month of his passing in 2015, we celebrate his life.
John believed strongly in social justice and the importance of equity in education, and his passion and dedication helped ensure CTN’s success.
His beliefs connected deeply with both his upbringing and his career in journalism. John was the child of parents who ran the Penn Center on St. Helena Island in South Carolina, an institution that was founded 150 years ago to teach reading, and writing to newly freed slaves. By the 1950s and 1960s, it was better known for its crucial role in hosting retreats for leaders of the civil rights movement. He studied history at Swathmore College, and communications at Stanford.
Siceloff began his career as a freelance producer and journalist, reporting from locations worldwide for outlets including BBC-TV and The MacNeil/Lehrer Report. He worked as bureau chief for CBS News in El Salvador during that country’s civil war and was bureau chief for NBC News in Managua during its Contra war. He also produced for ABC News, ABC’s 20/20 and Primetime Live, and NBC’s Now, Dateline and Prime Story.
In 2008 Siceloff co-authored Your America: Democracy’s Local Heroes, written with producer Jason Maloney. It featured individuals profiled on Now.
For his television work, he received six national Emmys, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, a Peabody Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Club and the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.
John focused on solutions and approached the most difficult problems in our society–access, poverty, violence and education–with an enthusiastic and optimistic lens, one that insisted we can do something about this. His vision is what brought Catch the Next into being, and what continues to motivate us in the valuable work of empowering underrepresented students, in acknowledging that their stories matter and that they can write their future chapters.