October 31, 2017

The Poynter Institute will once again offer a transformative, tuition-free leadership program to train digital media’s best and brightest women in early spring 2018.

The fourth annual Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media, offered to 28 participants, will take place the week of March 18-23 at Poynter’s campus in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The interactive, five-day program will focus on critical leadership skills specific to digital media for the industry’s next generation of women leaders. While the curriculum is under development, Poynter is pleased to announce the 2018 guest faculty and leadership coaches, including Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC’s Note to Self; Millie Tran, Global Growth Editor, New York Times; Lisa Respers France, Senior Writer, CNN Digital; and Jessica Bennett, author of Feminist Fight Club and Gender Editor, New York Times.

Poynter will continue to build upon the dynamic program, now in its fourth year. During the first three  years, the academy received more than 1,000 applications for just under 80 available seats. This year’s program will focus on developing newsroom leadership skills, managing burnout and charting paths for personal career growth.

The 2018 Academy will be led once again by Katie Hawkins-Gaar, Poynter’s digital innovation faculty member and author of The Cohort, a popular twice-monthly newsletter designed to foster community, provide leadership insight and spotlight women making an impact in digital media.

“I’m honored that Poynter is able to offer such an invaluable opportunity to empower, inspire and connect women in journalism,” said Hawkins-Gaar. “The Leadership Academy is often described as ‘life-changing’ and I consider myself among the people forever impacted but this program.”

As in past years, Poynter will select a group that represents need and diversity across ethnicity, age, geography, technology platforms, organization size and skill sets. Because of the small size of the class, preference will be given to candidates who have demonstrated aptitude for leadership and will benefit from intensive training to further their careers in digital media.

Applications will be accepted between Nov. 1-30.

“This experience was career-changing. I came away from it with more confidence and higher expectations. It gave me a broader view of what's possible. I've done things I NEVER would have considered before Poynter,” shared Sara Konrad Baranowski, the editor of the Iowa Falls Times Citizen.

“The Leadership Academy finally gave me leadership and management training — something I'd never received. And I use it every single day. I think about what I learned, I go back over my notes, I look at my personal development plan. And I haven't even mentioned the incredible women who are now a part of my life. Every week they do something that enriches my life and makes me so, so grateful for this experience. Maybe it was more than career-changing. Maybe it was a little bit life-changing too,” remarked Baranowski.

Tuition will be offered for free, thanks to the generous support of the program’s naming sponsor, The McClatchy Foundation, as well as additional funding from the James and John L. Knight Foundation and Newmark Philanthropies.

Poynter is  seeking additional funding from media and technology companies, foundations and academic institutions to enhance this transformative learning experience. If you are interested in supporting women in digital news organizations, please contact Elisa Jackson, the executive director of the Poynter Foundation.

Participants will cover their own travel costs. However, a limited number of travel stipends are available for attendees and will be determined once the application process is completed.

“Poynter is pleased to continue the practice of supporting women in digital newsrooms by offering the powerful combination of Poynter’s long-established leadership training and the expertise of digital media leaders to create a uniquely transformative experience,” said Poynter president Neil Brown.

To apply for the 2018 Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media, click here. Entries must be received on or before Nov. 30.

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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