Introducing the 2016 ONA-Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media
Get ready to meet the next wave of journalism leaders.
The Poynter Institute and the Online News Association have announced the second class of the ONA-Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media, a program designed to offer leadership training to rising stars working at U.S.-based news organizations.
The 28 women, chosen from more than 420 applicants, will spend a week at Poynter for tuition-free training focused on topics such as developing effective management styles, navigating newsroom and digital culture, building entrepreneurial collaborative teams, managing across differences and coaching critical thinking. Building off of the success of last year's program, the closed-door sessions will allow for honest discussion aimed at giving participants a built-in support system that lasts far beyond the week.
The class includes women at a variety of stages in their careers, who all demonstrate potential for rising to the highest ranks of media leadership. The class also represents a variety of news organizations, in size, scope and location.
The group is comprised of women from digital organizations such as BuzzFeed's Tamerra Griffin, NowThis' Dhiya Kuriakose and Medium's Katie Zhu. Women working at legacy organizations include Kelly Alfieri of The New York Times, who served as product and operational lead on NYT VR, the Times' recently launched virtual reality platform, and Swati Sharma, who led the team behind one of The Washington Post's standout projects of 2015, the story of a Syrian family who migrated to Hungary. Startups are represented in the academy as well: Veralyn Williams is managing editor of digital journalism platform Brooklyn Deep, and Carolina Guerrero created Radio Ambulante, a Spanish language podcast devoted to Latin American stories.
"It's a privilege to advance the cause of women leaders in media, because journalism will be better for it," said Kelly McBride, Poynter’s vice president for academic programs. "Poynter has always promoted best practices of leadership as a critical component of media organizations. In doing this work, we've encountered many examples of women providing the type of transformational leadership that helped a company thrive. I have no doubt that we are making newsrooms better by helping women break into the ranks of executive leadership."
“Once again, it was overwhelming to see the quantity and quality of talent emerging from newsrooms across the U.S.,” said Jane McDonnell, ONA's executive director. “Our hope is that by combining experienced women executives, candid conversations and a growing cohort, there will be a built-in support system for a diverse field of leaders in digital journalism.”
This year's participants are:
- Kelly Alfieri, Executive Director, Special Editorial Projects; The New York Times
- Johanna Barr, Senior Editor, The Huffington Post
- Amy Elliott Bragg, Content Director, Issue Media Group
- Delaney Chambers, Product Manager, The Atlantic
- Emily Chow, Story Team Assignment Editor, The Washington Post
- Kimberly Chua, Web Producer, San Francisco Chronicle
- Jessica Gilbert, Digital Creative Director, The McClatchy Company
- Tamerra Griffin, Breaking News Reporter, BuzzFeed News
- Carolina Guerrero, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Radio Ambulante
- Ngan Hoang, Front-End Designer, Vox Media, Inc.
- Dhiya Kuriakose, Sr. Strategist for Emerging Media, NowThis
- Nishat Kurwa, Senior Producer, Digital; Marketplace
- Jenny Lawton, Executive Producer, “Studio 360,” WNYC
- Yvonne Leow, Senior Snapchat Editor, Vox.com
- Stephanie Pedersen, Senior Editor, Digital; Ledger-Enquirer
- Samantha Ragland, Digital Content Strategist, The Palm Beach Post
- Rachel Rodriguez, Social Media Producer, CNN International
- Rachel Rohr, Digital and Social Media Producer, NPR
- Rachel Schallom, Interactive Designer, Fusion
- Swati Sharma, Foreign Digital Editor, The Washington Post
- Gabby Sims, Digital Content Director, KLTV
- Meghan Sims, Director of Video Product and Operations; McClatchy
- Erin Skarda, Digital Editor, 5280 Magazine
- Tasha Stewart, Entertainment Editor, WCPO
- Leezel Tanglao, Senior Multiplatform Editor, CNNMoney
- Julie Westfall, Real-Time News Editor, Los Angeles Times
- Veralyn Williams, Managing Editor, Brooklyn Deep
- Katie Zhu, Product Manager and Engineer, Medium
Participants will spend May 1-6 together at The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. The week will include sessions from women leaders in journalism, including Amy O'Leary, editorial director of Upworthy, Jennifer Brandel, founder and CEO of Hearken, and Charo Henriquez, executive digital editor of People En Español. Kari Cobham, Meghann Farnsworth, Masuma Ahuja and Elite Truong, all members of last year's academy, will return as guest faculty.
The week of training is tuition free, thanks to support from the McClatchy Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Google and Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and craigconnects. Poynter will host future Leadership Academies for Women in Digital Media and is currently exploring opportunities to expand the program.