Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media

DEADLINE: June 14, 2019 (Applications Closed)
TEACHING DATE: Oct. 13-18, 2019
LOCATION: The Poynter Institute
COST: Free for selected applicants

A Poynter teaching partnership with The Washington Post

The 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, professionally and personally.

This seminar is honest about the challenges for journalists of color in management roles. It also provides the connections, confidence and skills to confront them. In a survey following up with participants from the 2018 academy, alumni report:

  • 100% apply something they learned at least once a week
  • 91% tap into their cohort for ideas and support
  • 75% are better at giving feedback to their direct reports

Carla Broyles, senior editor for recruitment and training at The Post, and Sharif Durhams, CNN Digital Editor, will lead Poynter’s 2019 program.

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.

“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.”

—  Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media participant


Martin Baron
Executive Editor
The Washington Post

Carla Broyles
Senior Editor for Recruitment and Training
The Washington Post

Cheryl Carpenter
Leadership Faculty
The Poynter Institute

Candi Carter
Executive Producer
The View

Sharif Durhams
Digital Editor

S. Mitra Kalita
Senior Vice President for News, Opinion and Programming
CNN Digital

Mizell Stewart III
Senior Director of Talent, Partnerships and News Strategy
Gannett and USA TODAY Network

Doris Truong
Director of Training and Diversity
The Poynter Institute

Butch Ward
Poynter Adjunct
The Poynter Institute

The interactive, week-long academy will focus on critical skills journalists of color need on the path to leadership in digital journalism and technology. Sessions will explore:

  • Developing effective management styles
  • Understanding journalism business models
  • Navigating newsroom and digital culture
  • Building collaborative teams
  • Managing across differences
  • Audience engagement
  • Emerging technologies
  • Coaching critical thinking

The program will be 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.

Read how one graduate used the skills they learned at Poynter’s Diversity Academy to negotiate for a history-making promotion.

Who Should Apply

All journalists of color working in the digital space with leadership responsibilities or demonstrated leadership potential.

Poynter and The Washington Post will select a group of 30 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.

“I wish every young editor could attend a seminar like this,” wrote one participant after graduation. “Forget the incredible amount of value we got just from the sessions during that week — when you factor in the network of support we left with afterward that is still strong two months later, it’s so invaluable.”


Schedule subject to change

Oct. 13

3:30 p.m. Introductions
4 p.m. “The Real Me”
5:15 p.m. Give and Get
6:15 p.m. Reception

Oct. 14

9 a.m. Leaders, What Do You Stand For? (And How Do They Know?)
10:30 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. Your ViewPoynt Feedback
12:30 p.m. Lunch
1:45 p.m. Building Your Personal Development Plan
2 p.m. Why Can’t We Do Things My Way?
3:30 p.m. Group photo
4 p.m. Leading From Where You Are
5 p.m. One-on-one coaching

Oct. 15

8 a.m. One-on-one coaching
9:30 a.m. Leading an Agile 24-Hour News Operation
10:45 a.m. Break
11 a.m. Using Audience Strategies and Metrics to Grow Audience
12:30 p.m. Lunch
2 p.m. How Project Management Can Change Your Life
3:30 p.m. Break
3:45 p.m. Financial Leadership and the Business of Digital Media
5 p.m. One-on-one coaching

Oct. 16

8 a.m. One-on-one coaching
9:30 a.m. Building a Team from Scratch in a Hurry
10:45 a.m. Break
11 a.m. How to Get Stuff Done (Despite All of the Obstacles)
12:30 p.m. Lunch
2 p.m. Pushing for Diversity When You Can’t Hire
3:30 p.m. Break
3:45 p.m. Turning Ideas into Programs That Really Work
5 p.m. Lightning Round: What Haven’t We Talked About?

Oct. 17

9 a.m. Creating Your Personal Advisory Board
10:15 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. New Times, New Ethics: The Power of Process
12:15 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. Becoming a Two-Track Coach: It’s All About Relationships
3 p.m. Break
3:15 p.m. Difficult Conversations: Getting Smarter About Conflict
5 p.m. Lightning Round: What Haven’t We Talked About?

Oct. 18

8:30 a.m. The Extra Burden We Carry
9:30 a.m. It’s Your Turn
12:15 p.m. Lunch
1:15 p.m. Taking It Home
1:30 p.m. Graduation


Thanks to the generous support of program sponsors, tuition for the academy is free.

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


Check out our FAQs. If you still have questions, please email us at seminars@poynter.org.

Thank you to our teaching partner:

The Washington Post

This program is tuition-free thanks to the generous support from our sponsors: