World’s best 50 media professionals selected for Elevate Scholarships

Four Indians among the scholarship recipients

News industry diversity and inclusion is at the heart of an Elevate Scholarship class of 50 media professionals announced recently by the International News Media Association (INMA) and the Google News Initiative (GNI).

The scholarship recipients from 29 countries were selected from 137 applications and will receive training and mentoring opportunities through INMA and GNI. The two-year-old Elevate Scholarship programme aims to strengthen the news business by equipping new faces and voices with strong media industry fundamentals as well as networking and mentoring opportunities.

The scholarship elevates historically under-represented and disadvantaged groups in early- to mid-career positions. Such groups include race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, access to higher education, immigration, disabilities, and more.

“Removing obstacles for equitable inclusion in news industry training and development can shatter the glass ceiling for professionals from under-represented groups, which hampers innovation and the future of news media,” said Earl J. Wilkinson, Executive Director and CEO of INMA. He added, “INMA is proud to be at the center of news industry efforts that bend toward diversity and inclusion.”

Chrissy Towle, head of news and Americas partnership solutions at Google, said that diversity and inclusion are vital for next-generation news media growth: “The business of news media is jeopardised without novel ideas and innovation from a range of perspectives that represent the communities we serve. The Elevate Scholarship Class of 2021 represents the highest aspirations of media professionals and the news industry.”

The 50 professionals selected for Elevate Scholarships are:

  1. Ria Brown, Retention and CRM Executive, The Guardian, United Kingdom
  2. Liqi Chen, Customer Intelligence Associate, Dow Jones, United States
  3. Yung-yi (Bryan) Chou, Editor/Writer, The News Lens, Taiwan
  4. Shelley Cook, Columnist and Manager of the Reader Bridge, Winnipeg Free Press, Canada
  5. Jesús García Cruz, SEO Editor, Grupo Expansión, Mexico
  6. Laura Curanaj, Retention Marketing Associate, Dow Jones, United States
  7. Emmanuel Ebo-Hawkson, Senior Reporter, Graphic Communications Group Ltd., Ghana
  8. Catherine Edwards, Austria Editor, The Local, Austria
  9. Marienelle Monique Elicay, Assistant Managing Editor, Summit Media, Philippines
  10. Miriam Espinosa, Product Design Team Lead, Mediahuis Ireland, Ireland
  11. Njenga Hakeenah, Editor, The Exchange Africa, Kenya
  12. Sheena Hakimian, Associate Director, Digital Consumer Revenue, Condé Nast, United States
  13. Muhammad Hussain, Deputy Digital Editor, Media24 – City Press, South Africa
  14. Ryan Yeol Jang, Reporter, Korea Daily, United States
  15. Joseph Jibueze, Deputy News Editor/Head of Legal News Desk, The Nation, Nigeria
  16. Andreas Kamasah, News Reporter, Pulse Ghana, Ghana
  17. Katie Kutsko, Education and Strategy Manager, American Press Institute, United States
  18. Deyi Li, Editor, CGTN, China
  19. Lucina Lo, Loyalty and Retention Coordinator, The Globe and Mail, Canada
  20. Bongekile Macupe, Education Journalist, Media24, South Africa
  21. Mahlohonolo Magadla, Online Content Producer, Media Park, South Africa
  22. Francisco Marrero, Digital Product Manager, GFR Media, Puerto Rico
  23. Maira Meija, Head of Subscriptions, Delfi Latvia, Latvia
  24. Marina Menezes, Head of Operations and Institutional Relations, Nexo Jornal, Brazil
  25. Debosmita Meshram, Chief Product Manager, Jagran New Media, India
  26. Sisonke Mlamla, Multimedia Journalist, Independent Media, South Africa
  27. Fabiola Mousinho, Digital Media Analyst, Público, Portugal
  28. Muchemwa Silence Mugadzaweta, Digital and Online Editor, Alpha Media Holdings, Zimbabwe
  29. Lynette Mukami, Audience Engagement Editor, Nation Media Group, Kenya
  30. Shratika Shivanandani Naidu, North Editor, Sun (Fiji) News PTE Limited, Fiji
  31. Phat Le Do Ngoc, Deputy Editor, Zing News, Vietnam
  32. Katarzyna Ostrowska, Subscriptions Growth Manager, Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland
  33. Janice Pereira, Audience Strategist, The Times and Sunday Times, United Kingdom
  34. Saba Rahman, Deputy Associate Editor, The Indian Express Online, India
  35. 35. Prashant Rao, International Editor, The Atlantic, United Kingdom
  36. Amal Ravi, Deputy Manager, KSL Media Limited, India
  37. Dorea Reeser, Executive Editor, Audience Engagement, Chemical & Engineering News, United States
  38. Ely Ilkania Alcantara Reyes, SEO Specialist, Multimedios del Caribe, Dominican Republic
  39. Mehru Roshan, Product Manager, News Corp Australia, Australia
  40. Aparna Seth, Subscription Growth Manager, Newslaundry, India
  41. Dhruti Shah, Journalist, BBC, United Kingdom
  42. Zubiya Shaikh, Social Media Executive, Arab News, United Arab Emirates
  43. Stephanie Sison, Deputy Managing Editor,, Summit Media Publishing Co., Philippines
  44. Mikkel Sloth, Native Specialist, Ekstra Bladet, Denmark
  45. Talia Smith, Journalist, Yung Lords Media, United States
  46. Victor Tisnado, Head of Digital Subscriptions, Corporacion La Prensa, Panama
  47. Jalah Touryalai, Senior Manager, Onsite Optimization, Gannett, United States
  48. Kevin Valani, Full Stack Developer, SaltWire, Canada
  49. Gunther Wellman, Audience and Marketing Director, Prensa Libre, Guatemala
  50. Ratna Sri Widyastuti, Head of Data Science and Product Research, Kompas Media Nusantara, Indonesia

The scholarship includes free access to three INMA Master Classes, a mentoring meet-up with INMA and Google, a scholarship certificate, and a one-year INMA membership.

The Google News Initiative (GNI) is a programme designed to help journalism thrive in the digital age. Working with news partners, the Google News Initiative builds products to meet the needs of news organisations and grow their digital businesses, collaborate with news companies to solve important business & industry-wide challenges and develop and support programmes to drive innovation across the news industry.

INMA boasts of a global network of 19,000+ members at 900+ news media companies in 77 countries, representing tens of thousands of news brands. The association focuses on the business of journalism, notably subscriptions, data, product, advertising, and newsrooms.

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