Diversity in Journalism

Poynter-NABJ Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media

August 17, 2018
Teaching Date
Dec. 2-7, 2018
The Poynter Institute, St. Petersburg, FL

The Poynter-NABJ Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media is a transformative, tuition-free leadership program to train journalists of color working in digital media to thrive, personally and professionally. 

This seminar is honest about the challenges for journalists of color in management roles. It also provides the connections, confidence and skills to overcome them. In a survey following up with participants from the 2017 academy, alumni report:

  • 94% tap into their cohort for ideas and support
  • 88% have more confidence 
  • 100% apply something they learned at least once a week 

Mizell Stewart III, senior director of talent, partnerships and news strategy at USA TODAY Network, will return to lead our 2018 program in December, bringing with him all-star faculty and fresh sessions. Accepted applicants will have direct access to top media executives, receive practical advice on career planning and gain a deep understanding of what it takes to successfully lead today’s digital news organizations.

The program is structured to encourage open, candid discussion and mentoring, and participants will walk away with not only strong leadership skills, but a built-in support system for the future. All participants will get one-on-one coaching, seek and analyze 360-degree feedback and create a personal leadership strategy.

“I am unspeakably lucky to have spent the week in St. Pete with truly some of the smartest, kindest and most inspiring people in media. For the first time, I didn't feel alone in the newsroom/media — I felt like I had a support system of people I never knew existed.”

— 2017 Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media participant 



Updated July 2018; sessions are subject to change

SUNDAY, December 2 – Welcome, Introductions

  • Opening session: The Real Me
  • Reception, The Poynter Institute

MONDAY, December 3 – Understanding Your Leadership Skills

  • Leadership: What Do You Stand For and How Do They Know?
  • 360° (ViewPoynt) Feedback – The View from the Front Lines
  • Lunch and Real Talk
  • ViewPoynt Debrief
  • Why Can’t We Do Things My Way? (Myers-Briggs®)
  • Building Your Personal Leadership Plan
  • One-on-one coaching sessions
  • Reception and dinner (Sponsored by TEGNA)

TUESDAY, December 4 – Leadership in Your Organization

  • One-on-one coaching sessions
  • Storytelling Tools and Techniques
  • Leading and managing change
  • Lunch and Real Talk
  • Balancing the big picture with daily execution
  • Leading across teams and across geography
  • Debrief
  • Dinner on your own

WEDNESDAY, December 6 –Leading Yourself

  • Your Personal Brand
  • Organizational Currency
  • Leadership across platforms
  • Lunch and Real Talk
  • Your Personal Advisory Board
  • Creating Your Career Path
  • Debrief
  • Dinner on your own

THURSDAY, December 7 – Leadership and Business Basics

  • Ethical Leadership
  • Becoming a Two-Track Leader: It’s a Matter of Relationships
  • Lunch and Real Talk
  • Conflict and Difficult Conversations
  • Financial Leadership and the business of digital media
  • One-on-One Coaching
  • Farewell Dinner

FRIDAY, December 8 – Bringing it Home

  • Race in the Workplace
  • Personal Leadership Plan Presentations
  • Lunch
  • When You Return
  • Graduation, Networking


Who Should Apply

Poynter and the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) will select a group of 25 U.S.-based journalists for the program. Because of the small size of the class, the selection committee will give preference to emerging leaders currently working in digital media who can demonstrate an aptitude and potential for leadership through current projects and references.

Though our program partner is NABJ, we strongly encourage journalists of all diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds to apply.



Thanks to the generous support of our program’s naming sponsor, TEGNA, tuition for the academy is free.

Employers are encouraged to support participant travel. A limited number of travel stipends will be available.



Email us seminars@poynter.org.


Thanks to our naming sponsor, TEGNA, and support from Scripps Howard Foundation for making this program tuition-free.

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