June 4, 2019

Updated June 12 to add Candi Carter as an instructor. 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (June 3, 2019) – Poynter today announces the line-up of instructors and the schedule for its competitive, transformative Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media.

Carla Broyles, senior editor for recruitment and training at The Washington Post, and Sharif Durhams, senior editor at CNN Digital and NLGJA president, will lead the program.

The featured speakers and instructors are:

Martin Baron, executive editor, The Washington Post

  • Oversees The Post’s print and digital news operations and a staff of more than 800 journalists.
  • Newsrooms under his leadership have won 16 Pulitzer Prizes.
  • Previously editor of The Boston Globe and the Miami Herald.
  • Also held top editing positions at The New York Times and Los Angeles Times.

Candi Carter, executive producer, ABC’s “The View”

  • Emmy Award-winning producer with more than 25 years of experience.
  • Started her career at CNN in Atlanta and WISN-TV, the ABC affiliate in Milwaukee.
  • Spent 15 years as a producer at “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
  • Former CEO and co-founder of New Chapter Entertainment, a Chicago-based production company.
  • Created an organization called, “We’ve Got Friends” that helps teens with special needs.

Apply for the Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media by Friday, June 14.

Mizell Stewart III, senior director of talent, partnerships and news strategy for Gannett and the USA Today Network

  • Award-winning reporter, top newsroom editor in three states, radio and television broadcaster and corporate news executive.
  • Adjunct faculty member at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. He has been part of Poynter’s Diversity Academy since its inception.
  • A four-time Pulitzer Prize juror, Stewart helped lead the team at the Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss., that won the 2006 Pulitzer Gold Medal in Public Service.
  • He is a past president of the American Society of News Editors and the current president of the American Society of News Editors Foundation.

Mitra Kalita, senior vice president for news, opinion and programming at CNN Digital

  • Award-winning journalist, published author and founding editor of three startups.
  • Former managing editor at the Los Angeles Times. The paper won a Pulitzer under her leadership, and digital traffic nearly doubled.
  • Former executive editor at Quartz, where she oversaw global expansion.
  • Also worked at the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, The Washington Post, Mint, Newsday and India Abroad.  
  • Past president of the South Asian Journalists Association.
  • Member of Poynter’s National Advisory Board and past instructor at Poynter’s Leadership Academy and the Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media.

More speakers and instructors will be announced closer to the program dates.

“We’re excited to have these industry leaders work with our 2019 class,” said Durhams. “All of us know that diverse newsrooms make for better journalism. We will have a roster of instructors who can speak to how to survive and thrive in our industry and make our work reflect more of our community.”

The Diversity Academy, now part of a teaching partnership with The Washington Post, is designed to train journalists of color working in digital media to advance in their careers and ascend to the highest levels of newsroom leadership. The 2019 program will be held Oct. 13-18 at Poynter’s campus in St. Petersburg, Fla. It is free for selected applicants, thanks to support from the TEGNA Foundation, CNN and Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

Read our FAQs about the program here.

The Diversity Academy 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.

“The Washington Post values having diversity within our newsroom and bringing diverse perspectives to our coverage,” said Broyles. “Through informative and practical sessions addressing current challenges, our digital leaders will share best practices that participants will be able to take back to their newsrooms and implement immediately.”

Sessions this year will also cover more hard-skills training like:

  • Leading an agile 24-hour news operation
  • Using audience strategies and metrics to grow audience
  • How project management can change your life
  • Financial leadership and the business of digital media
  • Building a team from scratch in a hurry
  • Pushing for diversity when you can’t hire

See the full schedule here.

“It was during this powerful week that I learned how to be strategic, innovative and reflective about my current and future career plans,” wrote Ernest Owens, writer at large for Philadelphia Magazine and a graduate of Poynter’s 2018 Diversity Academy, in a recent article for Poynter. “Unlike any training I’ve ever had before, this academy made me consider myself as a direct driver — not passive passenger — in what’s next in my career.”

The deadline to apply for the 2019 Diversity Academy is June 14. Apply now here.


About The Poynter Institute

The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st-century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, and at conferences and organizations around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum, with hundreds of interactive courses and tens of thousands of registered international users. The Institute’s website,, produces 24-hour coverage about media, ethics, technology and the business of news. Poynter is the home of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership, the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact, the International Fact-Checking Network and MediaWise, a teen digital information literacy project. The world’s top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcasters. This work builds public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and discourse that serves democracy and the public good.

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Mel Grau is the senior product specialist at The Poynter Institute, focusing on Poynter's training experiences and newsletters. She previously edited The Cohort, Poynter’s biweekly…
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