Raney Aronson-Rath is the executive producer of FRONTLINE, PBS’ flagship investigative journalism series, and is a leading voice on the future of journalism. She has been internationally recognized for her work to expand FRONTLINE’s reporting capacity and reimagine the documentary form across multiple platforms.
From the resurgence of white supremacist groups in America to Facebook’s impact on privacy and democracy across the globe, Aronson-Rath oversees FRONTLINE’s acclaimed reporting on air and online and directs the series’ editorial vision. She has guided FRONTLINE’s evolution from a longstanding documentary series to a multi-platform journalism organization that is committed to uncovering vital stories and telling them in new ways.
Under Aronson-Rath’s leadership, FRONTLINE has won every major award in broadcast journalism – including, in 2019, the first Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Gold Baton to be awarded in a decade. In recognition of the series’ dynamic range of work across multiple platforms — including broadcast documentaries, digital interactive storytelling, and an original, narrative podcast — the duPonts honored FRONTLINE for being both “a standard-bearer and innovator.”
In addition to dramatically increasing FRONTLINE’s digital footprint, Aronson-Rath has spearheaded FRONTLINE’s expansion into the theatrical documentary space. The series earned its first Academy Award nomination for Abacus: Small Enough to Jail in 2018, and films including For Sama and On the President’s Orders are at festivals and in theaters in 2019.
A leading voice on narrative journalism, documentary filmmaking, and visual storytelling, Aronson-Rath pioneered a collaborative model for investigative journalism that The New York Times described as “increasingly important … as a way to reach new viewers and produce more in-depth reports.” She has developed and managed nearly 30 in-depth, cross-platform journalism partnerships with outlets including The Wall Street Journal, ProPublica, The New York Times, NPR and Univision.
Aronson-Rath has led the charge for transparency in journalism – including through the FRONTLINE Transparency Project, an ongoing effort to open up the source material behind FRONTLINE’s reporting. She served as the sole public media representative on the Knight Commission on Trust, Media, and Democracy, a blue-ribbon panel that published a landmark report on the causes and consequences of growing distrust in democratic institutions, including the press.
The 2019 Hearst Digital Media Lecturer at Columbia Journalism School and a 2014-2015 Fellow at the MIT Open Doc Lab, Aronson-Rath has spoken on the future of journalism at the Skoll World Forum, the TV Next Summit, the Power of Narrative Journalism Conference, and at universities including Stanford, UC Berkeley, NYU and MIT. She is a member of the Board of Visitors for Columbia University’s journalism school, and serves on the Advisory Board of Columbia Global Reports, a publishing imprint that’s producing ambitious works of journalism and analysis on under-reported stories around the globe.
Aronson-Rath joined FRONTLINE in 2007 as a senior producer. She was named deputy executive producer by David Fanning, the series’ founder, in 2012, and then became executive producer in 2015. Before managing FRONTLINE, Aronson-Rath produced several notable FRONTLINE documentaries including News War, The Last Abortion Clinic, The Jesus Factor, Law & Disorder, and Post Mortem. Prior to FRONTLINE, Aronson-Rath worked at ABC News and The Wall Street Journal. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and her master’s from Columbia Journalism School.