Poynter announces Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media class and expansion of program

ST. PETERSBURG — The Poynter Institute, responding to an industry need for more training and development of women journalists, will expand its acclaimed leadership academies in 2018. The decision comes as the Institute announces those selected for the 2018 Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media — which had more than 600 applicants for 28 slots.

“Poynter’s leadership training is particularly effective in strengthening news organizations during a time of exciting change, financial challenge and cultural and political collisions,” said Poynter president Neil Brown. “The success and popularity of our first three Women in Digital Media leadership academies, combined with the intense and complicated discussions underway about what makes a quality workplace, told us that we need to offer more opportunities, and to do it now.”

Work is underway for two additional leadership academies for women journalists at Poynter’s campus in St. Petersburg, Florida. Invitations will be extended to the pool of applicants from this year’s academy, the largest in the four years of the program.

Poynter will also offer women’s leadership extensions. These daylong sessions will be held in New York and Los Angeles in March. Registration will open soon.

For the flagship 2018 academy, applications were screened for potential, need and diversity across ethnicity, geography, organization size and skill sets.

Members of the 2018 Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media are:

  • Becca Aaronson, product manager, The Texas Tribune; Austin, Texas
  • Jolene Almendarez, managing editor, The Ithaca Voice; Ithaca, New York
  • Anika Anand, storytelling director, WhereBy.Us; Seattle, Washington
  • Beth Arsenault, video product strategist; McClatchy; Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Annah Backstrom, news director, The Des Moines Register; Des Moines, Iowa
  • Shannan Bowen, editorial product strategist, McClatchy; Wake Forest, North Carolina
  • Diana D'Abruzzo, home page editor, POLITICO; Arlington, Virginia
  • Natalie DiBlasio, head of social media, WIRED; San Francisco, California
  • Anush Elbakyan, senior editor; The Boston Globe; Boston, Massachusetts
  • Candice Fortman, marketing & engagement manager, WDET; Detroit, Michigan
  • Adrienne Green, managing editor, The Atlantic; Arlington, Virginia
  • Emma Carew Grovum, product manager, The Daily Beast; New York, New York
  • Melissa Hall, senior digital editor for hyperlocal news, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Atlanta, Georgia
  • Brittany Hite, senior mobile editor, The Wall Street Journal; New York, New York
  • Ryann Grochowski Jones, deputy editor, data; ProPublica; New York, New York
  • Ellie Krupnick, managing editor, Racked; New York, New York
  • Everdeen Mason, audience editor, The Washington Post; Washington, D.C.
  • Jessica Morrison, project editor, Chemical & Engineering News; Washington, D.C.
  • Shannon Murphy, public interest team leader, MLive Media Group; Lansing, Michigan
  • Rachel Piper, digital news editor, The Salt Lake Tribune; Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Carey Polis, digital director, Bon Appétit; New York, New York
  • Tasneem Raja, editor-in-chief, The Tyler Loop; Tyler, Texas
  • Colleen Shalby, engagement editor, Los Angeles Times; Los Angeles, California
  • Ashley Slayton, digital content manager, KLTV 7/KTRE 9; Longview, Texas
  • Jerusha Sukhdeo-Raath, head of video and multimedia, Media24; Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Louise Tierney, senior journalist, Storyful; London, England
  • Kristyn Wellesley, metro editor, Naples Daily News; Parrish, Florida
  • Megan Whelan, acting digital editor, Radio New Zealand; Wellington, New Zealand

These participants will attend training during the week of March 18-23 at Poynter’s campus, made possible through the support of the McClatchy Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Newmark Philanthropies, Google, the Gannett Foundation and Cision. You can follow this year's group as well as past groups on Twitter

The 2018 Academy will be led once again by Katie Hawkins-Gaar, who recently stepped away as Poynter’s digital innovation faculty and will continue her role with the program.

“I’m honored to continue this work with Poynter. It’s an opportunity to empower, inspire and connect women in journalism,” said Hawkins-Gaar. “The Leadership Academy is described as ‘life-changing,’ and I consider myself among the women forever impacted by this program.”

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