Gain confidence, clout and connections as a leader in the ever-evolving media industry.
The Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Media has transformed the careers of more than 550 people since 2015. During a week often described as overflowing with “Poynter magic,” each participant learns to manage teams more effectively, hone and communicate their strategic vision and steer their organizations toward success. But perhaps more importantly, graduates join a global community of support.
This camaraderie is established during the program through honest, candid and often vulnerable conversations, hands-on activities, formal and informal social activities, and shared experiences. Each participant’s circle expands after the program as alumni from different classes network, connect online and in person, and even mentor each other.
Our program welcomes all women, including cis and trans women, as well as nonbinary and gender nonconforming journalists who are comfortable in a space that centers the experiences of women in media.
We will host three leadership academies in 2024, each open to 30 participants: March 18-22; May 20-24; and Sept. 23-27.
Poynter directly impacts your career
Poynter leadership training propels careers and changes lives. In a 2023 survey of Leadership Academy for Women in Media alumni from the last eight years, we learned:
- 75% of respondents have more confidence in themselves and the industry
- 72% use something they learned during the academy at least once per week
- 60% took on new or expanded leadership roles
Learn from prominent leaders
Kate Cox led the academy in 2023 and will return as program director in 2024. As the former editor-in-chief of nonprofit newsroom, The Counter, Cox oversaw special projects and edited numerous award-winning investigations. She has worked in every medium, from radio to TV and print to digital, and all sides of the newsroom, including editorial, development and revenue strategy.
Guest instructors and keynote speakers for 2024 will be announced closer to the seminar dates.
Here are some frequently asked questions and our director’s advice for submitting a strong application. If you need more assistance, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who should apply
This is one of Poynter’s most competitive programs. It is designed for those who directly manage people and are within their first five years of formal leadership experience. You can be an early-career journalist stepping into your third year as a manager or you can be a veteran journalist stepping into your first in management — either way, this program was created for you to become a self-aware leader and an effective manager. A cross-discipline understanding of the media landscape is a plus.
“I was amazed at how much a group of 30 women could connect in such an authentic and invigorating way in such a short period of time. It’s apparent that Poynter puts an incredible amount of thought into putting these cohorts together.”
– LA Blake, Senior SEO Manager, Hearst Magazines, May 2023 cohort
English-speaking women and nonbinary people from journalism, media and technology organizations all over the world are encouraged to apply. If you think you could benefit from this program, you should probably apply! You’ll find details about our scholarship opportunities below.
If you are not currently a formal people manager or expect to be in the coming year, we encourage you to consider Lead with Influence, a Poynter program created for leaders who manage products, platforms and processes. Attending Lead with Influence does not limit you from also applying to, and participating in, the Leadership Academy at a later date.
We value diversity and seek to create a rich mix of personal and professional experience in each class. A positive group dynamic is essential to the success of this program.
There is one application to seat all three cohorts. Participants are selected after multiple rounds of review with an emphasis on ensuring diversity across race, ethnicity, geography, age, platform/medium, organization and organization size, and expertise. We aim to create a cohort of people from diverse career backgrounds and organizations, including TV, radio, digital-only, journalism-adjacent start-ups and nonprofits.
Reviewers include a volunteer committee of program alumni, Poynter staff and faculty.
Review our checklist for submitting a strong application.
Cost and scholarships
Tuition is $1,300 and covers five days of teaching from prominent faculty, networking, most meals and social activities. Participants receive a facilitated 360-degree review and will work with a certified trainer to review their personality inventory. After the program concludes, participants will have the opportunity to schedule a personalized coaching session to help implement their personal development plan on-the-job.
Participants (or their employers) are responsible for travel costs (here’s advice about asking your boss for support).
The Poynter Institute is offering need-based tuition scholarships and travel support for U.S.-based journalists in local news, nonprofits and startups, as well as for people of color.
Here are some frequently asked questions and our checklist for submitting a strong application. If you need more assistance, email us at email@example.com.