Diversity in Journalism

Poynter-NABJ Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media

August 17, 2018
Teaching Date
Dec. 2-7, 2018
The Poynter Institute, St. Petersburg, FL

Despite making up 41 percent of the overall population in the United States, people of color only constitute 16.5 percent of the workforce in daily print and online-only news organizations, according to the 2017 American Society of News Editors (ASNE) diversity survey. Only 25.5 percent of newsrooms have at least one minority in a top-three leadership position.

Too often, newsrooms do not reflect the communities they serve. Further, American media organizations are steeped in cultural norms that don’t welcome or elevate journalists of color and their experiences. Important voices are not heard in major stories -- and some stories never get told.

Poynter is dedicated to racial and gender equity in journalism. One of the ways we tackle the issue is by training journalists of color in leadership roles. The annual Poynter-NABJ Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media is a transformative, tuition-free leadership program to train journalists of color working in digital media to thrive, personally and professionally.

Mizell Stewart III, senior director of talent, partnerships and news strategy at the USA TODAY Network, will return to lead our 2018 program in December, bringing with him all-star faculty and fresh sessions. You’ll learn more about new technologies like virtual reality and get feedback on strategic challenges like how to get your ideas on diversity heard by senior leadership.


The interactive, week-long academy will focus on critical skills journalists of color face on the path to leadership in digital journalism and technology. Sessions will explore:

  • Developing effective management styles
  • Understanding journalism business models
  • Navigating newsroom and digital culture
  • Building collaborative teams
  • Managing across differences
  • Audience engagement
  • Emerging technologies
  • Coaching critical thinking

The program 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 feedback and create a personal leadership strategy.

Poynter and the National Association of Black Journalists will select a group of 25 U.S.-based journalists for the program. Because of the small size of the class, the selection committee will give preference to emerging leaders currently working in digital media who can demonstrate an aptitude and potential for leadership through current projects and references.

Who Should Apply

U.S.-based journalists journalists of color working in the digital space with leadership responsibilities or demonstrated leadership potential. Though our program partner is the National Association of Black Journalists, we strongly encourage journalists of all ethnic and racial backgrounds to apply.


The 2018 Poynter-NABJ Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media Schedule

Updated July 2018; sessions are subject to change

SUNDAY, December 2 – Welcome, Introductions

  • Opening session: The Real Me
  • Reception, The Poynter Institute

MONDAY, December 3 – Understanding Your Leadership Skills

  • Leadership: What Do You Stand For and How Do They Know?
  • 360° (ViewPoynt) Feedback – The View from the Front Lines
  • Lunch and Real Talk
  • ViewPoynt Debrief
  • Why Can’t We Do Things My Way? (Myers-Briggs®)
  • Building Your Personal Leadership Plan
  • One-on-one coaching sessions
  • Reception and dinner (Sponsored by TEGNA)

TUESDAY, December 4 – Leadership in Your Organization

  • One-on-one coaching sessions
  • Storytelling Tools and Techniques
  • Leading and managing change
  • Lunch and Real Talk
  • Balancing the big picture with daily execution
  • Leading across teams and across geography
  • Debrief
  • Dinner on your own

WEDNESDAY, December 6 –Leading Yourself

  • Your Personal Brand
  • Organizational Currency
  • Leadership across platforms
  • Lunch and Real Talk
  • Your Personal Advisory Board
  • Creating Your Career Path
  • Debrief
  • Dinner on your own

THURSDAY, December 7 – Leadership and Business Basics

  • Ethical Leadership
  • Becoming a Two-Track Leader: It’s a Matter of Relationships
  • Lunch and Real Talk
  • Conflict and Difficult Conversations
  • Financial Leadership and the business of digital media
  • One-on-One Coaching
  • Farewell Dinner

FRIDAY, December 8 – Bringing it Home

  • Race in the Workplace
  • Personal Leadership Plan Presentations
  • Lunch
  • When You Return
  • Graduation, Networking



Thanks to the generous support of our program’s naming sponsor, TEGNA, tuition for the academy is free.

Employers are encouraged to support participant travel. A limited number of travel stipends will be available.


Questions? Email us seminars@poynter.org.

Thanks to our naming sponsor, TEGNA, and support from Scripps Howard Foundation for making this program tuition-free.

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