August 5, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Aug. 5, 2020) – In partnership with The Washington Post, the Poynter Institute is proud to announce the journalists selected for its fifth Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media.

The 31 journalists who emerged from over 130 applicants are pioneers in digital media who have demonstrated an aptitude for leadership through current projects and references. They were selected by a committee including graduates of the program, with an emphasis on ensuring diversity across race and ethnicity, geography, technology platforms, organization size and skill sets.

“The need for diversity in newsroom leadership isn’t new, but the urgency is greater than ever as we have seen from the racial reckoning happening across our industry. This academy not only better equips participants to lead through times of uncertainty, but it provides them with an essential network of fellow managers to support them as they grow in their careers,” said Doris Truong, Poynter’s director of training and diversity. “Together, they are going to be extremely powerful in their work to ensure inclusion and equity — not only from fellow staff members but also in the types of news and the communities they cover.”

This group will join a network of 100+ graduates who regularly describe their experience in the Diversity Academy as “life-changing.” Part of that trademark experience stems from the connections and revelations made with other participants and instructors during a week away from their workplaces and home lives: This was not an option amid a pandemic.

The in-person training is postponed until spring 2021, though the Diversity Academy introduced participants through online training sessions. The Diversity Academy will continue to facilitate a support network this fall and winter as these journalists of color face one of the most tumultuous eras in modern journalism, including potential layoffs or newsroom closures. As we look for the urgent conversation around race and power inside the industry to turn to action, the Diversity Academy’s mission is to help these 31 journalists stay in the industry — and lead the transformation.

“The Washington Post is committed to deepening the national conversation on issues of race and identity. Partnering with Poynter furthers that commitment by providing a leadership training platform where journalists of color can find community and strengthen their skills for the critical work ahead,” said Carla Broyles, senior editor at The Post.

Poynter and The Post are proud to welcome members of the upcoming Diversity Academy:

Cynthia “CJ” Benjamin
Emerging Audiences Editor
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (Gannett)

Juliet M. Beverly Content Manager
Society for Neuroscience

Frank Bi
Senior Editorial Engineer
Vox Media

Charlene Carter
Committees Editor
CQ Roll Call

Jennifer “Jen” Dev
Race and Immigration Producer
Crosscut/KCTS 9

Lance Dixon
Digital Editor

Gary Fields
Global Religion Editor
Associated Press

Nancy Flores
Latino Culture Writer/Editor

Daniela Franco Brown
Hamilton County and Education Editor
The Indianapolis Star/USA Today Network

Joseph Hernandez
Research Director
Bon Appétit, Condé Nast

Gabriel “Gabe” Hongsdusit
Design and Visuals Editor
Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting

Alex Iniguez
Assistant Sports Editor
The Seattle Times

Gabrielle LaMarr LeMee
Data Editor

Diane Lee
Multimedia and Engagement Editor
Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Alejandro Martínez-Cabrera
Night Mobile/Breaking News Editor
Austin American-Statesman

Candi Meriwether
Assistant Metro Editor
Chicago Sun-Times

Manuel “Manny” Morone
Lead Production Editor

Isabelle Niu
Video Journalist

Matthew Ong
Associate Editor
The Cancer Letter

Jan Ross Piedad
News Operations Producer
Texas Public Radio

Dimas Sanfiorenzo
Managing Editor

Lauren Saria
Dining Editor
The Arizona Republic

Mazin Sidahmed
Executive Director

Ruth Tam
Dish City Host, Podcast Producer

Denisha Thomas
Executive Producer of Content Distribution

Henry Torres
Multiplatform Copy Editor
CNN en Español

Courtenay Tucker
Senior Digital Producer, Amplify Team
Hearst Television

Lam Thuy Vo
Senior Reporter
BuzzFeed News

Kaitlyn Wells
Staff Writer

Stephanie Wu
Articles Director
Conde Nast Traveler

Kimberly Yuen
Digital Producer

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 newsrooms, 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 digital information literacy project for young people, first-time voters and senior citizens. The world’s top journalists and media innovators rely on 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…
Mel Grau

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