March 4, 2024

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March. 4, 2024) — The Poynter Institute is pleased to announce the 30 people selected for the first Leadership Academy for Women in Media cohort in 2024.  

The group coming to Poynter in March come from 20 states plus Washington, D.C., as well as Belgium and Spain. They represent the full news spectrum: digital news organizations; legacy and public media; audio, visual, engineering, audience and community; and local and nonprofit news. 

Poynter will host two other women’s leadership academies this year in May and September. Participants for all three groups were selected at the same time and placed into a specific cohort designed to generate rich and diverse group dynamics. Including these 30 people, Poynter will train more than 90 emerging newsroom leaders through this transformative program in 2024. 

“We’re thrilled to welcome this cohort of impressive leaders,” said Sitara Nieves, Poynter vice president of teaching and organizational strategy. “This program’s focus on effective leadership, change management, and newsroom sustainability is more needed than ever. We look forward to working with — and learning alongside — a cohort that we know will be part of creating the future of our industry.”

Poynter designed the Leadership Academy for Women in Media in 2015 to diversify the ranks of people who lead the media industry. Each new cohort grows the alumni group of more than 600 women and nonbinary journalists.

“One truth about newsrooms is that great journalists have not always made great leaders,” said academy director Kate Cox. She said that in this program, consistent, empathic leadership — grounded in ethics and transparency — is increasingly a sustainability issue for our industry.

“The 90 people we bring into these trainings from across the globe every year have demonstrated a desire to upend the great journalist/poor leader paradigm and are already building resilient communities in their own newsrooms right now,” she said. “We amplify their efforts by connecting them with a network of emerging leaders who share a similar vision for the future of newsrooms and have the skills to make meaningful change on the people side of our profession.”

Read a conversation about career management with Leadership Academy for Women in Media Director Kate Cox and program alumni Zainab Shah, Jin Ding and Erika Hobbs. 

Welcome to the newest Leadership Academy for Women in Media cohort:

  • Emma Balter, Editor-in-Chief, Houstonia Magazine (SagaCity Media)
  • Genevieve Belmaker, NW Service Journalism Editor, McClatchy News
  • Julie Bogen, Audience Engagement Editor, 19th News
  • Kait Bolongaro, Managing Editor, Europe MLex
  • Kaci Borowski, Senior Editor, The Athletic
  • Jessica Carter, Manager, Stats & Information Group, ESPN
  • Daphne Chen, Investigations Editor, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • Catherine Clabby, Investigations, High-Impact Editor, McClatchy Southeast/McClatchy
  • Shelly Conlon, News Director, Executive Editor, Argus Leader Media
  • Anh Do, Community Engagement Editor, Los Angeles Times
  • Claudine Ebeid, Executive Producer, Audio, The Atlantic
  • Lindsey Erdody, Local Editor, Axios
  • Felicia Fonseca, Southwest Assistant News Director, The Associated Press
  • Abbey Gingras, Director of Consulting Services, News Revenue Hub
  • Whitney Irick, Senior Audience Growth Manager, NBCUniversal Local
  • Mallory Johns, Project Manager, B2C Transformation, The Associated Press
  • Alexandra King, Producer II, CNN
  • Paige Ladisic, Director of Product & Growth, The Assembly
  • Giana Magnoli, Executive Editor, Noozhawk
  • Kim Norvell, Communities Editor, Des Moines Register
  • Cherie O’Rourke, Production Manager, Rhode Island PBS
  • Kelsie Patrick, Live Producer, Bleacher Report
  • Lindsay Patross, Manager, Digital Platforms, Streaming Video Services, Hearst Television
  • Julyssa R. Lopez, Deputy Music Editor, Rolling Stone
  • Lavanya Ramanathan, Senior Policy Editor, Vox
  • Nora Ritchie, Executive Producer, SiriusXM/Stitcher Studios
  • Kathleen Ronayne, Assistant News Director-California, The Associated Press
  • Brittany Ruff, Senior Producer, MSNBC
  • Catherine Sorto, Lead Editor, Cox Enterprises’ Access Atlanta
  • Lucia Torres, Video Manager, Mongabay


The March academy will kick off with an exploration of each member’s top five leadership strengths, via the Gallup CliftonStrengths assessment.

Other lessons during the week include:

  • The popular work-life chemistry session, plus how spot burnout and what to do about it, with Poynter faculty Kristen Hare
  • Intentional delegation, negotiation tactics, and ethical leadership with Cox
  • Managing through authenticity and recruitment and retention, with consultant Maria Carrillo
  • Using positive psychology to silence your inner critic, with executive producer and host of the Zest podcast, Dalia Colón 

Each instructor will also offer coaching, as will Poynter’s senior director of publishing and local news initiatives, Jennifer Orsi.

Selection process

Those chosen for Poynter’s 2024 Leadership Academy for Women in Media passed through multiple rounds of review led by program alumni that emphasize diversity across race, ethnicity, geography, age, platform/medium, organization size and expertise to further enrich the participant experience. 

Poynter thanks the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Newmark Philanthropies for their longstanding support of this program.

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.
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