April 17, 2019

The two organizations aim to advance diversity in media by training more journalists of color with interests in becoming top-level executives, founders and digital innovators.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (April 17, 2019) – Through a new teaching partnership with The Washington Post, the Poynter Institute will expand its annual Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media.

The Diversity Academy is a transformative program 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 Academy — which will have an increased class size of 30 participants — will be held at Poynter’s campus in St. Petersburg, Florida October 13-18. Applications are now open.

According to the 2018 ASNE diversity survey, 19% of newsroom managers were minorities, up from 13.4% in 2017. While this uptick is encouraging, it does not reflect the demographics of the United States.  

“Getting more perspectives and diverse voices into positions that influence news coverage is crucial for both quality journalism and building trust with our audiences,” said Doris Truong, Poynter’s director of training and diversity. “As someone who has worked at The Washington Post as a homepage editor, I know The Post shares Poynter’s dedication to supporting diversity, empowering leaders and facilitating innovative digital products. Together, we will provide in-depth, personalized leadership training to more journalists of color than ever.”

The Post is one of the most diverse large newsrooms in the nation and will both collaborate on the Diversity Academy curriculum and provide instructors.

“The Washington Post is committed to excellence in digital media and recognizing and promoting diversity in our leadership ranks,” said Tracy Grant, Managing Editor at The Washington Post. “Together with Poynter, we will teach participants not just industry-leading digital strategies but also higher-level leadership and management techniques. Each graduate will become a force multiplier for diversity in their newsrooms.”

Carla Broyles, senior editor for recruitment and training at The Post, and Sharif Durhams, senior editor at CNN Digital and NLGJA president, will lead the 2019 Diversity Academy. 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.

Participants will also benefit from one-on-one coaching in a program that past attendees regularly describe as “life-changing” and “inspirational.” In a survey following up with participants from the 2018 Academy:

  • 100% of alumni 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

“Leadership is about more than a title; it is about helping others succeed. That is what I strive to do,” said Dorine Bethea, multiplatform editor at The Post and participant in Poynter’s Diversity Academy last year.

Poynter’s Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media was born out of a multi-year partnership with the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

Now entering its fourth year, the Diversity Academy is open to journalists of color with leadership potential from all media, including broadcast and local news organizations. Members of Asian American Journalists Association, NABJ, National Association of Hispanic Journalists and Native American Journalists Association are encouraged to apply, though this is not a requirement for acceptance.

“Trust in the media continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing newsrooms, especially for digital-only organizations,” said Neil Brown, Poynter president. “We know that trust grows when newsrooms better reflect the communities they serve. To be successful in this, newsrooms must hire and retain more diverse journalists. This leadership program empowers journalists of color to thrive personally and professionally, and, importantly, it continues the larger conversation about inclusion in our newsroom culture.”

Thanks to support from TEGNA and WordPress this program is tuition-free.


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. 

About The Washington Post:

The Washington Post is an award-winning news leader whose mission is to connect, inform and enlighten local, national and global readers with trustworthy reporting, in-depth analysis and engaging opinions. It combines world-class journalism with the latest technology and tools so readers can interact with The Post anytime, anywhere.


Tina Dyakon
Director of Marketing
The Poynter Institute

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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…
Mel Grau

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