25 journalists selected to participate in Product Immersion Americas cohort

  • By Newmark J-School Staff

The third and final cohort of this popular product thinking program for journalists in North, Central and South America has been selected and will kick off on February 24.

The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY is pleased to announce the 25 participants of the third and final cohort of this round of the Product Immersion for Small Newsrooms, a popular training program in partnership with the Google News Initiative and the News Product Alliance

The two-month, tuition-free program aims to teach participants from small to mid-sized news organizations product thinking methodologies and ways to incorporate it into existing workflows in order to create more efficient and sustainable product development and management. 

“We are thrilled to welcome such a diverse group of journalism professionals. Each participant brings their unique experiences; all with the common goal of developing or growing products in their newsroom. We can’t wait to watch their growth throughout the program,” said Marie Gilot, Executive Director of J+ at the Newmark J-School. 

These journalists come from seven countries across the Western Hemisphere including Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico and the United States. Many of them work in small newsrooms for magazines, newspapers, radio stations and online startups with fewer than 25 employees. 

“We are excited to see what these journalists take away from the program and how the teachings can help them attract new audiences and explore new revenue streams,” said Feli Carrique, Executive Director of the News Product Alliance.

This training program offers online classes led by industry experts and product design practitioners from newsrooms and organizations around the world. Additionally, participants will also receive small-group coaching throughout the program. 

“This program has proven to be extremely effective in guiding media professionals into integrating product thinking into their work, so I’m looking forward to seeing how this newest cohort will share their learnings with their newsrooms and the industry as a whole,” said Marco Túlio Pires, News Lab Lead for the Google News Initiative. 

Meet the 2023 Americas cohort of the Product Immersion program:

  • Giulia Carvalho Afiune is an audience editor at Agencia Publica, an investigative journalism agency where she leads the newsroom’s membership program and coordinates engagement reporting projects. She is based in São Paulo, Brazil.
  • Ana Carolina Araujo is a journalism manager at AzMina Magazine and a researcher on public transparency, and data journalism in the coverage of stories about women. She is based in Salvador, Brazil.
  • Hector Jaime Barraza is head of growth at Whitepaper and chief digital officer at Digifolk Media. He is based in Mexico City, Mexico.
  • Hilary Becker is the audience and product manager with The Beacon. She is based in Kansas City, Missouri.
  • Ambar Castillo is a Sharon Begley Science Reporting Fellow at STAT News, where her reporting focuses on community health and health equity. She is based in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Evan Croen is a digital content producer for WHYY News, a public media organization that is a member station for both NPR and PBS. He is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Ana Rita Lima da Cunha is head of strategy and community engagement at Aos Fatos, where she was previously editor-in-chief. She is based in São Paulo, Brazil.
  • Mathias Felipe de Lima Santos is project manager for InfoAmazonia and coordinator of the collaborative project PlenaMata, a platform for data and news about deforestation in the Amazon. He is based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Eden Fineday is a nehiyaw iskwew (Cree woman) from the Sweetgrass First Nation in Treaty 6 territory and the publisher at IndigiNews where she writes the weekly newsletter for subscribers and a bi-weekly column. She is based in New Westminster, Canada.
  • Suzie Genest is the editing manager and a journalist at Monquartier.quebec. She is based in Québec City, Canada.
  • Laura Hackett is the senior city editor at AVLtoday, a daily newsletter produced by parent company 6AM City. She is based in Asheville, North Carolina.
  • Dru Oja Jay is publisher of The Breach and executive director of CUTV. He is based near Montreal, Canada.
  • Natalia Luján is producer and community editor at Esto no es radio. She is based in  Guadalajara, Mexico.
  • Heather May is the project manager of the Great Salt Lake Collaborative, a solutions journalism initiative of almost two dozen newsrooms and community partners. She is based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Michael McGinnis is the founder and editor of Rockton-Roscoe News, an online news publication that serves two adjacent communities in northern Illinois. He is based in Roscoe, Illinois.
  • Kevin McLean is the multimedia managing producer at Science Magazine, where he produces video and audio stories about science news and research. He is based in Davis, California.
  • César Pérez is a part of the audience development team at El Universo, but will soon take charge of their digital product. He is based in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
  • Kelly-Anne Riess is the founder of The Flatlander, a weekly Canadian newsletter that covers important issues impacting the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. She is based in Moose Jaw, Canada.
  • Diogo Rodriguez is a digital projects specialist at Inteligência Financeira, an investment and finances website. He is based in São Paulo, Brazil.
  • Latasha Rouseau is the executive director for Sapelo Square, a digital media and education collective that documents and amplifies the experiences of Black Muslims in the United States. She is based in Snellville, Georgia.
  • Nikita Roy is the founder and publisher of The NRI Nation, a news media startup incubating at the Harvard Innovation Labs. She is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Johel Solano is a journalist covering national issues, investigative journalism and open data for the online newspaper crhoy.com. He is based in San José, Costa Rica.
  • Erica Tricarico is the managing editor for the Association of Health Care Journalists, where she produces and edits content to support the organization’s member services. She is based in Denville, New Jersey.
  • Eric Wickham is a podcast producer and journalist for The Hoser, a local news outlet. He is based in Toronto, Canada.
  • Mijail Miranda Zapata is product manager and editor-in-chief of Muy Waso Magazine. He is based in Oruro, Bolivia.