The Cohort is Poynter's bi-monthly newsletter about women kicking ass in digital media.

This newsletter launched a year ago with the announcement of the 2016 class of the Leadership Academy of Women in Digital Media. Today, we’re expanding the cohort once more, with another 28 women who will participate in the academy.

Reading through the hundreds of academy applications, I was reminded again and again why journalism needs this program. There are so many talented and deserving and smart-as-hell women out there who can benefit from being connected to other talented and deserving and smart-as-hell women.

The academy is small by design — allowing participants to make several new, but meaningful, connections  — but its size means that hundreds of applicants get rejected. As much as I wish we could accept every deserving woman into the Leadership Academy, I’m grateful to have this newsletter to connect with a wider community and continue to profile standout women. I’m also committed to creating even more opportunities for women journalists this year (if you have suggestions or feedback, I’m all ears).

Rejection sucks, I know. It’s my least favorite part of this program. But I’m comforted knowing that many of the applicants (likely, several of you reading this) will apply next year, with even more experience and drive. Out of all the notable things about the 2017 cohort, I’m most proud of the fact that a quarter of the women in this year’s Leadership Academy class had previously applied. Persistence paid off.

xoxo
KHG


Introducing the 2017 cohort
Simply put: These women are amazing. I couldn’t be more excited to meet the members of the 2017 Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media, and I’m thrilled for you to get to know them, too. Fun facts about this year’s class: There are five countries represented, two women have the same first and last names, and reviewing applications took more than 100 hours of collective (wo)man power.

Things worth reading
Reflecting on Marissa Mayer: “But as with any high-profile woman who swiftly finds herself in the spotlight, there was an immediate, unavoidable tension between her actions and the actions her feminist cheerleaders wanted her to take.” Anyone else conflicted about attending the Women’s March on Washington as a journalist? I’m seeing “Hidden Figures” tomorrow, and this interview with mathematician Katherine Johnson has me even more excited about it. Go ahead and bookmark Stacy-Marie Ishmael’s lessons on inclusive hiring. And let’s all take inspiration from Erin Grau’s out-of-office reply.

Meet Kat
Kat Kinsman has the very cool title of Senior Food and Drinks Editor at Time Inc.'s all-breakfast site Extra Crispy. She’s also the author of “Hi, Anxiety: Life with a Bad Case of Nerves,” which hit bookstores in November. Last but not least, she appreciates a good French 75. I had the pleasure of working with Kinsman, 44, a few years ago at CNN Digital and fell in love with her writing and willingness to talk about mental health issues. I suspect you’ll fall in love with her, too.

I sent Kinsman a few questions via email and got some wonderful answers in return, including her advice for women: “Screw fear, don’t apologize for who you are, and be unfailingly kind to everyone (that is not the same as ‘nice,’ BTW). You will not regret any of these things.” You can read the full interview here.


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The Cohort is part of Poynter’s Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media. Thanks to Kristen Hare for her newsletter edits and insight.