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Next Cohort for 2021 Product Immersion Program Announced

  • By Elise Czajkowski

25 journalists from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa will focus on product thinking in the newsroom; Applications now open for journalists in Asia-Pacific.

Collage of the profile pictures of every participant of the second cohort of the 2021 Product Immersion Program.

The Newmark Graduate School of Journalism is pleased to announce the second 2021 cohort of the Product Immersion for Small Newsrooms program. Applications for the third last cohort, for journalists in Asia Pacific, are now open.

The two-month online training is designed to teach journalists in small to midsize local news organizations to build, launch, and grow news products that serve audiences’ needs. The 25 journalists in the new cohort live in Czechia, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, South Africa, Turkey and the United Kingdom. They work for magazines, newspapers, digital outlets, radio stations, television channels, and other news-related organizations. The vast majority work in newsrooms with 25 or fewer employees. 

“We are thrilled to welcome this new cohort and to continue building up a network of exceptional journalists who understand the importance of product thinking for the digital transformation of local newsrooms and who can support each other on their journey to sustainability,” said Marie Gilot, director of J+,  the professional development division of the Newmark J-School. 

The program is a collaboration with News Catalyst and the Google News Initiative. All instruction will be in English, and the courses will be a mix of asynchronous and live lectures, discussions, and small-group coaching.

Each week will feature news professionals with experience as product leaders — in startups, legacy companies, and nonprofits. They’ll be joined by a roster of guest speakers, coaches, and organizers.

In addition, applications for the last cohort of the program, for journalists in the Asia-Pacific region, are open until April 21.

Meet the 2021 Europe/Middle East/Africa cohort of the Product Immersion program:

  • Dr. Yemisi Akinbobola is the co-founder of African Women in Media, a media outlet that promotes equal access to media representation for African women. She is based in the UK and Nigeria. 
  • Catalina Albeanu is digital editor at DoR, a non-profit media organization based in Romania. 
  • Clara Attene is head of content at Good Morning Italia in Turin, Italy, producing a daily morning briefing with the news “to drive the day.”
  • Lucas Batt is the membership coordinator for The Bristol Cable, a community-owned newspaper in the UK, now supported by over 2,400 members. 
  • Slawek Blich, based in Prague, Czechia, is the deputy managing editor and CTO at Krytyka Polityczna, one of the largest Central and Eastern European progressive networks of media, institutions and activists. 
  • Susanne Böhm is the head of news at the Nordkurier in Neubrandenburg covering a rural region of Germany. 
  • Ida Ebbensgaard is managing editor of the Copenhagen-based digital media Zetland, a startup founded five years ago. 
  • Anna Gielewska is vice-chairman of the Reporters Foundation, the first organization of investigative journalism in Poland, and coordinator of the cross-border project
  • Laura Grant is a data journalist and co-founder of South Africa’s Media Hack Collective, which specialises in using visualisations and journalistic storytelling techniques to make data accessible and useful to people. 
  • Tabea Grzeszyk is the publisher and CEO of a remote cross-border newsroom Unbias the News, a new project of She is based in Berlin..
  • Ferial Haffajee is the associate editor at the South Africa’s Daily Maverick
  • Gülsin Harman currently develops Turkey’s first-ever narrative journalism limited-series podcast for Farklı Kaydet
  • Tom Jalio manages features for Nairobi, Kenya-based newspaper The Star, regularly churning out three of the top 10 most-read stories online daily. 
  • Frank Kamau Is the founder of Mojatu magazine and parent Mojatu Foundation, aimed at amplifying authentic voices of African communities living in the UK and increasing their access to opportunities. 
  • Teona “Teo” Kavtaradze is digital team leader at Studio Monitor in Tbilisi, Georgia, where she works to implement a social media strategy and reach a broader audience. 
  • Shirish Kulkarni is an award-winning journalist and researcher who now works as a freelance investigative journalist and as a community organiser at Bureau Local in the UK. 
  • Catherine Muema heads the production department at Africa Uncensored, an independent investigative media house in Kenya.
  • Nigel Mugamu is the founder of 263Chat, a 9-year-old Zimbabwean online publication focused on encouraging and participating in progressive national dialogue. 
  • Sean Ndlovu is the co-founder and innovation and research manager at the Centre for Innovation & Technology in Zimbabwe,
  • Habib Oladapo is team lead for training and investigations at the Civic Media Lab/Sahara Reporters in Nigeria and programs manager with the Sahara Reporters Media Foundation. 
  • Katia Patin is the multimedia editor at Coda Story, where she covers disinformation and authoritarian technology. She is based in Tbilisi, Georgia. 
  • Matej Praprotnik works at public broadcaster RTV Slovenija in Ljubljana, Slovenia. 
  • Alberto Puliafito is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Slow News, a journalistic start-up in Corbetta, Italy. 
  • Ayodeji Rotinwa is a writer, essayist, and deputy editor at African Arguments, a pan-African digital publication on African news, investigation, and opinion, based in Abuja, Nigeria. 
  • Taja Topolovec is the founder, CEO and editor-in-chief of the first Slovenian independent and non-profit media for investigative journalism in Slovenia, Pod Crto