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23 Global Media Leaders Selected for 2023 Executive Program Cohort

  • By Newmark J-School Staff
The 2023 Executive Program in News Innovation and Leadership cohort.

The Executive Program in News Innovation and Leadership at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism is thrilled to announce its third cohort of 23 leaders in journalism who are capable of transforming their organizations as well as the news industry through state-of-the-art strategies, innovative business models, and profitable products. 

“We are thrilled to continue our tradition of supporting, inspiring, and uplifting leaders in our industry. Our cohort’s diversity and global prowess speak volumes in developing an international coalition dedicated to fostering change in journalism,” said Program Director Anita Zielina. 

Our multicultural and multilingual participants represent various countries worldwide, including Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Colombia, Germany, India, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The program will run from September 6, 2022, to June 30, 2023. It will be conducted primarily online, with in-person residencies in Fall 2022, Spring 2023 and Summer 2023 if global health-safety concerns permit. Tuition support has been provided by the Google News Initiative, Media Lab Bayern, and the Knight Foundation. The Center for Community Media (CCM) at the Newmark J-School awarded a full scholarship to a member of its network who represents the power of community journalism. Additionally, the Newmark J-School is supporting a Social Impact Fellow with a full scholarship, honoring a participant who is empowering communities who are often not given a voice.

 

EXECUTIVE PROGRAM CLASS OF 2023

 

Carolina Arteta Caballero
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: Bogotá, Colombia
Organization: Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa (FLIP)
Role: Consonante Program Director

Carolina Arteta is a Colombian journalist who has spent the last years working on community and citizen journalism projects in her native country. She currently directs Consonante, a citizen journalism lab created in 2019 by the Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP) to combat the spread of news deserts in Colombia. As the project’s director and editor-in-chief, Carolina plans, executes, and oversees the editorial and product development strategy while editing most of the content published on the website. In her current role, she also explores strategies that foster creativity, collaboration, and empathy in her team.

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Madeleine Bair
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: Oakland, CA, United States
Organization: El Tímpano
Role:
Founding Director

Madeleine Bair is the founder of El Tímpano, an award-winning local news and civic engagement organization designed in collaboration with the Bay Area’s Latino and Mayan immigrants. Madeleine has taught radio production to teenagers, worked on a morning show at Chicago Public Radio, produced multimedia for Human Rights Watch, and collaborated with media activists worldwide. Her stories have appeared in the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Colorlines, and broadcast on public radio programs including PRI’s The World and Independent Lens. Madeleine is a Knight Foundation Fellow.

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Marc Basté Alujas
Pronouns: He/him/his
Current Location: Barcelona, Spain
Organization: Grup Edicions de Premsa Local (GEPL)
Role: Founder & Publisher

Marc Basté is a senior executive, consultant, and entrepreneur passionate about Journalism and Media. His current professional obsession is building a sustainable local journalism business model. In 2018, Marc founded GEPL, a small publishing company with a growing portfolio of digital and legacy local newspapers. GEPL now publishes five local newspapers and a regional news site with 20 local editions and is already the leader in local news in Catalonia, covering a region of over 8 million people. Prior to that, Marc was the Managing partner of Innovation Media Consulting Group, and lead business strategy consultancy projects with News Media companies worldwide

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Felicitas Carrique
Pronouns: She/her
Current Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Organization: News Product Alliance
Role: Executive Director

Feli is an Argentinian journalist and product thinker working at the intersection of media, technology, and sustainability. Currently, she works as Executive Director of the News Product Alliance, a community of support and practice for news product thinkers. Previously, as the Innovation Director at SembraMedia, she worked with news organizations across Latin America, Spain, and the United States to promote innovation and led product design and systems development for the organization. Feli is also a Professor at Universidad Católica Argentina, where she co-created the first news product class in Latin America, and she has led workshops about news product management and journalism business models for several media-support organizations. Feli is a Google News Initiative Fellow.

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Evi Dettl
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Current Location: Grassau, Germany
Organization: Radio BUH
Role: Founder and Program Manager

Evi Dettl is the co-founder and program manager of the independent radio station Radio BUH in Upper Bavaria, Germany, launched in 2015. The station is a non-profit supporting local culture, explicitly offering airplay to Bavarian artists among an eclectic music selection worldwide. Evi won the Bavarian Pop Culture Award 2021 for her exemplary commitment to the local music scene. She acts as a judge in music competitions, speaks on media panels, and offers media education projects in schools all over Bavaria. Evi Dettl is a Media Lab Bayern Company Fellow.

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Veronica DeVore
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Current Location: Bern, Switzerland
Organization: SWI swissinfo.ch
Role: Head of Audience

Veronica DeVore is the Head of Audience at SWI swissinfo.ch, the International Service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, which publishes news and features from Switzerland in multiple languages. In her current role, DeVore manages swissinfo.ch’s audience engagement, distribution, and multimedia content and is a member of the organization’s management board. She is mainly focused on how to reach and engage audiences across SWI swissinfo.ch’s ten languages. Previously, DeVore worked as assistant editor for education content at the PBS NewsHour and as a staff writer for a trade publication in the Washington, D.C. area.

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Jin Ding
Pronouns: She/they
Current Location: Washington, D.C., United States
Organization: Center for Public Integrity
Role: Chief of Staff

As Center for Public Integrity’s chief of staff, Jin oversees strategy, operations, development, and internal communications. Jin is an experienced media professional in fundraising, non-profit management, and inclusive storytelling. She is the VP of finance at the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). Jin started their career in media as a sports journalist in China and reported on the 2012 London Olympics as a correspondent. They worked at the Associated Press, International Women’s Media Foundation, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and NBC Sports. Jin is a Knight Foundation Fellow.

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Rodney Gibbs
Pronouns: He/him/his
Current Location: Atlanta, GA, United States
Organization: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Role:
 Senior Director, Strategy & Innovation

Rodney Gibbs is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s senior director of strategy and innovation. He was The Texas Tribune’s first chief product officer, a role he held for nine years. He capped his time at the Trib by launching RevLab, a training center that has helped hundreds of news orgs adapt elements of the Trib’s playbook to boost audience and revenue. He serves on the ONA board and is a graduate of Rice University and The University of Texas at Austin. 

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Marc Gendron
Pronouns: He/him/his
Current Location: Québec City, Québec, Canada
Organization: Les coops de l’information (Le Soleil)
Role: Principal Director of Digital Growth

Known for his participative and positive leadership, Marc Gendron always looks for simple but creative solutions to complex problems and tries to turn challenges and unexpected events into opportunities. After being a field reporter for a couple of years, he became the editor-in-chief of the smallest french-speaking daily newspaper in North America. Even though he has spent the last 12 years as a media manager, he remains a journalist at heart and always places public interest as well as the interest of the public at the center of his motivations. Marc Gendron is a Google News Initiative Fellow.

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Per Grankvist
Pronouns: He/him/his
Current Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Organization: Vad Vi Vet
Role: Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Per Grankvist is the founder and editor-in-chief for Vad Vi Vet, a pioneer in explanatory journalism in the Nordic region. The publication name translates to “What we know,” and they’ve become known for disregarding opinion and speculations and only publishing what we know. Vad Vi Vet is focused on social media platforms, newsletters, and podcasting to reach people where they are. Per previously worked for Sydsvenska Dagbladet (the largest newspaper in southern Sweden), Veckans Affärer (the Swedish Businessweek), and several other publications. Grankvist was nominated in 2021 for the journalist of the year award in Sweden.

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Sipho Kings
Pronouns: He/him/his
Current Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Organization: The Continent
Role: Editorial Director

Sipho Kings is the Editorial Director and a co-founder at The Continent, a weekly African newspaper with subscribers in over a hundred countries. Before this, he ran the Mail & Guardian in South Africa after a career as an environment and climate reporter. He has won a dozen awards for his reporting, was a 2018 Nieman fellow at Harvard University, and now sits on the advisory board of the Reuters Oxford Journalism climate network. His primary focus is on creating spaces for journalists to do their best work.

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Rebecca Klein
Pronouns: She/her/her
Current Location: New York, NY, United States
Organization: New York Focus
Role: General Manager

Rebecca Klein is the general manager for New York Focus, New York’s only statewide nonprofit news outlet. At New York Focus, she helps lead fundraising, operations, and editorial strategy. She previously worked as a senior reporter at HuffPost, covering education, and she has taught journalism at NYU and Five Towns College. Her work has appeared in outlets like NPR, The Guardian, and The Hechinger Report. Rebecca is the Center for Community Media (CCM) Fellow.

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Laura Krantz
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: Washington, D.C., United States
Organization: The Chronicle of Higher Education
Role: Subscriber Products Editor

Laura Krantz is a subscriber-products editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education, working on launching new products that better connect our journalism with our audiences. Previously she worked as a reporter, covering higher education and national politics for seven years at The Boston Globe. Laura got her start in journalism at the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass., and at VTDigger, a nonprofit newsroom in Vermont.

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Zeljka Lekic-Subasic, Ph.D.
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina
Organization: Office of the Eurovision News Exchange for Southeast Europe (ERNO)
Role: Head of Office

Zeljka Lekic-Subasic has been a professional TV journalist, producer, and media manager, in the media business for 28 years. In her current position, she coordinates a daily exchange of political, economic, and cultural news stories and documentary programs among eleven Public Broadcasting Services from Southeast Europe, covers news stories from the region for all 74 European Broadcasting Union members, organizes training for media professionals in the region and of runs several media development projects on newsroom modernization, children and youth program production, and archive digitalization. Since 2010 she has also taught media-related under-grad and post-grad courses at the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology.

LinkedIn

 

Alex Mena
Pronouns: He/him/his
Current Location: Hialeah, FL, United States
Organization: Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald
Role: Managing Editor

Alex Mena has held several leadership positions throughout his 26 years with the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. He currently serves as the Managing Editor for both newsrooms. Alex directly oversees el Nuevo Herald and newsroom operations for the Miami Herald. Alex serves on the Florida Society of News Editors Board, and the Florida International University Media Board and is a National Association of Hispanic Journalists member.  

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Pankaj Mishra
Pronouns: He/him/his
Current Location: Bengaluru, India
Organization: FactorDaily
Role: Journalist & Co-Founder

Pankaj Mishra is a career journalist with over two decades of experience. He co-founded FactorDaily in 2016 to make sense of technology’s impact on society with the depth it deserves. Pankaj is now rebuilding FactorDaily into a nonprofit media lab that goes beyond day-to-day stories for a needle-moving impact on society. Over the years, Pankaj has led news teams, groomed young reporters, and helped create new editorial products across different newsrooms, both print and multimedia. He has scooped some of the biggest newsbreaks, reported investigative stories, and written long-form stories at The Economic Times, Mint, TechCrunch, and Network18. Pankaj believes journalists and media organizations must unlock the value of their stories by looking at every story as a product. He thinks journalism’s future lies beyond advertising and paywalls as a nonprofit mission. 

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Prabha Natarajan
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: New York, NY, United States
Organization: The Wall Street Journal
Role: Editor of WSJ Professional Products

Prabha Natarajan is the Professional Products Editor for The Wall Street Journal. In this role, she oversees the dozen premium verticals that are targeted at professional audiences and works with multiple teams, including product, engineering, editorial and strategy. Prabha joined Dow Jones as a mortgage reporter during the financial crisis in 2008 and wrote about other credit markets for the wires and the Journal. She shifted to editing when she joined the Journal’s corporate desk as a news editor, helping with multiple print editions and managing stories online. She served as night manager on the Hub for two years. 

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LinkedIn

 

Lucy Nicholson
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: London, United Kingdom
Organization: Reuters
Role: Europe Editor, Pictures

Lucy Nicholson leads the Reuters Europe team of photographers and editors, directing photo coverage across the continent. A part of the Reuters Pictures team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Photography for coverage of migration in the Americas, Lucy has been twice short-listed by the Guardian as Agency Photographer of the Year, among many other awards for her photo and video journalism. Lucy has two decades of experience producing photo, video, and text journalism, leading multiformat teams in the field, and covering major global stories: eight Olympic Games, Afghanistan elections, Hong Kong democracy protests, Israel/Palestinian territories, California wildfires, U.S. political campaigns and protests, World Cup soccer, and the Academy Awards. 

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LinkedIn

 

Amber Payne
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: Boston, MA, United States
Organization: The Emancipator (The Boston Globe)
Role: Co-editor in Chief

Amber Payne is co-editor in chief of The Emancipator, a digital publication created to reimagine the first abolitionist newspapers in the United States and reframe the national conversation around race, equity, and solutions. The outlet is a collaboration between The Boston Globe and The Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University. In 2015, she launched NBCBLK, a section of NBCNews.com dedicated to elevating the conversation around Black identity, social issues, and culture. Amber is the Newmark J Social Impact Fellow.

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Blake Stoner
Pronouns: He/him/his
Current Location: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Organization: Vngle
Role: Founder & CEO

Blake Stoner is the Founder and CEO of the web3 grassroots news agency Vngle. Vngle stands for “various angles” and serves as a nonpartisan newswire that trains diverse constituencies on how to capture verified hyper-local insights to aid newsrooms in combating news deserts and traces of misinformation. He’s led Vngle through Mozilla’s Fix-the-Internet Incubator, Envision Accelerator, and DivInc’s Social Justice Innovation Accelerator. His leadership has earned the MIT Solve Global Community Award for creating Antiracist Technology and a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from the late Congressman John Lewis. Blake is a Knight Foundation Fellow. 

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Walter White
Pronouns: He/him/his
Current Location: Cincinnati, OH, United States
Organization: Sesh Communications/The Cincinnati Herald
Role: Senior Vice President & Publisher 

Walter Lee White, Senior Vice President of Sesh Communications, has over three decades of advertising and marketing experience. He also leads the organization’s innovation, advertising, and marketing sales strategies. Sesh Communications currently publishes The Cincinnati Herald, The Northern Kentucky Herald, The Dayton Defender weekly, and the quarterly publications seshPRIME and PIX. As Publisher of The Cincinnati Herald, Walter aims to create a more robust and profitable digital-first platform that will support and improve the reach of all Sesh Communications publications. Sesh Communications’ growth and its publications’ quality have been recognized on the local, regional, and national levels. Walter is a Google News Initiative Fellow.

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Thomas Zeller
Pronouns: He/him/his
Current Location: Bamberg, Germany
Organization: Mediengruppe Oberfranken (MGO)
Role: Chief Operation Officer

Thomas Zeller is chief operation officer at Mediengruppe Oberfranken (MGO). MGO is a local media company with 20 locations in Germany and Austria. Sixty-five media brands, including five local daily newspapers, belong to the group. He has led teams in different roles (like editor-in-chief or head of cross-media) for over 15 years. Previously, he worked for various local media companies in Germany. Thomas Zeller successfully participated in the “Table Stakes Europe” program. Thomas is a Media Lab Bayern Company Fellow.

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Ariel Zirulnick
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: Los Angeles, CA, United States
Organization: KPCC/LAist
Role: Senior Editor for Community Engagement

Ariel Zirulnick is the senior editor for community engagement at KPCC/LAist in Los Angeles. In this role she works at the intersection of community engagement, editorial, and product strategy to ensure that their journalism consistently serves and centers Angelenos’ needs. Prior to KPCC/LAist, she led the Membership in News Fund and Membership Guide at the Membership Puzzle Project, a global public research project studying membership models in the news. She is a frequent speaker and instructor on membership, engagement routines, and audience research. She is passionate about doing journalism with communities and building systems that make that sustainable. She’s an alumna of the Poynter Women’s Leadership Academy and Miami Fellows. 

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