Training the Next Generation of News Leaders

  • By Amy Dunkin

The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY is launching a program to train the next generation of news executives to address the demand for innovation and leadership in the industry. The school has recruited Anita Zielina, an experienced journalist and media manager, to develop the program.

By next fall, the school expects to roll out several aspects of this new initiative, including weeklong immersive sessions and digital training, according to Sarah Bartlett, dean of the Newmark J-School. To learn more our upcoming leadership and innovation programs, please join our mailing list here.

“We believe this is a unique opportunity to broaden the diversity of management in our industry by identifying and training new leaders with what it takes to drive change,” said Bartlett. “Anita has just the right vision for how to train tomorrow’s leaders and to launch this effort.”

The program is expected to draw candidates from all aspects of the news business — editorial, product development, audience development, business, technology, and management — and from both new and legacy institutions. 

A special focus will be on their evolving needs to understand everything from data analytics and revenue generation to business models. The program will also include rigorous training in managing and leading talent in modern and inclusive news organizations.

“I am excited to join one of the most forward thinking journalism schools in the world,” said Zielina who starts in February and will hold the title of director of news innovation and leadership.

“Together with existing faculty and partners,” she said, “we will foster modern leadership in media organizations – a topic I am very passionate about. I am convinced we need a new, diverse, innovative generation of leaders in media who understand both the journalistic values at stake, as well as the business aspects of our disrupted media world.”

Zielina will work closely with both Bartlett and Jeff Jarvis, director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, who designed the initiative that will be funded with a combination of grants to the school.

“We were constantly hearing from news organizations that they needed a more diverse pool of leaders with different skills,” said Jarvis. “As we developed this program in response, we realized the need to train more people like Anita Zielina and now we’re lucky enough to have Anita herself heading the program. She has strong experience in changing newsrooms and brings a welcome international perspective.”

Zielina joins the Newmark J-School after serving as a senior executive charged with driving digital transformation in several media organizations. The latest was Switzerland’s NZZ Media group, where she was chief product officer and part of the executive management board. She has recently has been a visiting fellow at the Reuters Institute at Oxford University, researching and teaching about transformation and leadership in media organizations.

Before that, Zielina was deputy editor-in-chief at Stern, the German news weekly, and worked at Der Standard, a newspaper  in Vienna, Austria. She received an executive MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France (2017) and a Master in Law from Vienna University (2006).