Announcing Global News Leaders for the 2024 Executive Program Cohort

  • By Newmark J-School Staff

The Executive Program in News Innovation and Leadership at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY is thrilled to introduce its fourth cohort of 20 journalism leaders and change makers. These individuals possess the transformative ability to reshape not only their organizations but also the entire news industry through state-of-the-art strategies, inventive business models, and profit-generating products.

“We are delighted to uphold the tradition of inspiring, empowering and supporting leaders in our ever-evolving industry. The diversity and global nature of our cohort really speaks to their dexterity as agents of change in journalism,” said Program Director Niketa Patel. 

Our cohort hails from numerous countries across the world, including Canada, China, Cuba, Finland, Germany, Romania, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Their different roles tackle various topics in the newsroom from product and strategy to artificial intelligence and digital subscriptions.

The program will run from September 5, 2023, to June 28, 2024. It will be conducted primarily online, with in-person residencies in Fall 2023, Spring 2024 and Summer 2024. Tuition support for some of our participants has been provided by the Google News Initiative, Helsingin Sanomat Foundation, Media Lab Bayern, and the Tow-Knight Award in AI Studies. Additionally, the Newmark J-School is supporting two Social Impact Fellows with a full scholarship, honoring participants who are empowering communities who are often not given a voice.

 

EXECUTIVE PROGRAM CLASS OF 2024

 

Joyce Adeluwoye-Adams, MBE
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: United Kingdom
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Organization: Reuters
Role: Global Editor, Newsroom Diversity

Joyce Adeluwoye-Adams is Global Editor, Newsroom Diversity, Reuters, appointed in September 2019.  Reporting directly into the Editor-in-Chief, she looks after a global team of text, video and photojournalists in 200 locations and is responsible for designing and implementing a newsroom strategy that focuses on attracting, developing and retaining diverse talent, whilst also shaping an inclusive culture that ensures all journalists have access to the support needed to maintain good mental health. Before this, she was the Global Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Sustainability at Swedish gaming company King, where she signed the company up to the Tech Talent Charter and designed and developed a Games Industry Pledge to push games and tech companies to take measurable steps to increase diversity. At the BBC from 2015, Joyce designed and implemented a new onscreen and workforce diversity strategy across BBC Content, before becoming the Corporation’s lead on Diamond, a pioneering industry-wide approach to tracking and improving workforce and on-air diversity in UK broadcasting. She played a pivotal role on the project which also includes ITV, Sky, Channel 4 and Viacom defining its reach, dealing with its members, and gaining parliamentary support for its goals. Between 2009 and 2015 she was Head of Diversity at the Producer’s Alliance for Cinema and TV, a UK trade association that has led efforts to increase diversity, both on- and off-screen, in the broadcasting and production industries. During Joyce’s time there, PACT signed up more than 500 organizations to a pledge that committed them to putting diversity at the heart of their businesses. In 2018, she was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her services to diversity in the media industry, while the Financial Times named her one of its top 100 influential BAME (Black, Asia and Minority Ethnic) tech leaders.

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Deanna Buckman
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: New York, New York, United States
Country of Origin: United States
Organization: Dotdash Meredith
Role: Director, Business Development

Deanna Buckman is a Director of Business Development for Dotdash Meredith, America’s largest digital and print publisher. Prior to this, she worked for Condé Nast developing digital strategies. Deanna is a graduate of the London School of Economics.

 

Julie Crosby
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: New York, New York, United States
Country of Origin: United States
Organization: Democracy Now! Productions
Role: Executive Director

Julie Crosby has led Democracy Now! as General Manager and Executive Director for almost two decades, guiding its growth from a small grassroots news program to one of the nation’s leading independent multi-platform non-profit news organizations. Julie has helped shape many aspects of Democracy Now!’s development, sharpening its editorial focus, leading its emergence as a digital publisher and strengthening relationships with other news organizations. Julie has innovated Democracy Now!’s business and fundraising operations, supporting the needs of a nimble and dynamic newsroom in an era of unprecedented media industry disruption. Previously, Julie worked at Free Speech TV in Colorado and was a Fulbright Scholar.

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Coburn Dukehart
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Country of Origin: United States
Organization: Wisconsin Watch
Role: Associate Director

Coburn Dukehart is an Associate Director for Wisconsin Watch. In her role, she acts as the head of product, directs visual and digital strategy, creates visual content, trains student journalists, and is a member of the senior leadership team. Coburn has spent more than 20 years in a career spanning digital strategy, product development, photojournalism, and multimedia storytelling. She previously was a senior photo editor at National Geographic, picture and multimedia editor at NPR, and a photo editor at USATODAY.com and washingtonpost.com. She has received awards from the National Press Photographers Association, Pictures of the Year International, the White House News Photographers Association, the Webbys, the Edward R. Murrow Awards, the Milwaukee Press Club, and has been nominated for a national Emmy. Coburn holds Bachelor’s degrees in journalism and English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master’s degree in photojournalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband and two daughters. She is a Google News Initiative Fellow.

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Eden Fineday
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Country of Origin: Canada
Organization: IndigiNews
Role: Publisher

Eden Fineday is the publisher of IndigiNews, one of few Indigenous-women-led journalism outlets globally. Eden and her colleagues at IndigiNews are leaders in trauma-informed journalism, prioritizing the cultural safety of staff and community members while decolonizing the practice of journalism. She received First Place for Best Column from the Indigenous Journalist Association in their 2023 Professional Division.In 2001, Eden graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a degree in Language Studies. She is from the Sweetgrass First Nation in what is now known as Saskatchewan, Canada. She is currently working on her first novel on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqeum), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Peoples. She is a Google News Initiative Fellow.

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Rosi Gantner
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: Rosenheim, Germany
Country of Origin: Germany
Organization: OVB Media Rosenheim
Role: Chief Reporter & Deputy Editor in Chief

Rosi Gantner is the Chief Reporter and Deputy Editor in Chief of the newspaper OVB Heimatzeitungen and OVB Online (OVB Media) in Rosenheim, Upper Bavaria, Germany. She has been in the media business for 25 years, starting as a reporter for local news. In her current position, she coordinates a daily exchange of news stories for both online and the newspaper, while also developing strategic projects. Rosi is fervently driving the online-first strategy of OVB Media. She actively participates in the DRIVE-Projekt (dpa/Schickler), which supports and advances about 50 publishers in their paid content strategy, fostering exchange and inspiration for the optimization of OVB/OVB24’s paid content approach. Additionally, she is a key figure in the DRIVE-Projekt “User Needs,” playing a leading role in shaping the “OVB model” and crafting the strategy. Rosi is a Media Lab Bayern Company Fellow.

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Rieke Harmsen
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: Bayern, Germany
Country of Origin: Germany
Organization: Sonntagsblatt
Role: Chief Editor Online

Rieke C. Harmsen holds the position of Chief Editor Online at the online magazine sonntagsblatt.de and is the Founder of ausstellung-leihen.de a platform dedicated to the production and dissemination of exhibitions. She possesses a fervent dedication to digital transformation, innovation, and leadership within NGOs. As a journalist, she covers topics encompassing art, history, and serves as the host of the podcast ethik-digital.de. Rieke is also well-versed as an experienced team leader, coach, and mentor. Her online team, consisting of over 30 members, is responsible for product redesign and development, partnership management, the introduction of new products, and the pursuit of web solutions, particularly tailored to small businesses and NGOs. She is a Media Lab Bayern Company Fellow.

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Oliver Haustein-Teßmer
Pronouns: He/him/his
Current Location: Cottbus, State of Brandenburg, Germany
Country of Origin: Germany
Organization: LR Medienverlag GmbH
Role: Editor-in-Chief, Lausitzer Rundschau | Märkische Oderzeitung

Oliver Haustein-Teßmer holds the position of Editor-in-Chief at Lausitzer Rundschau and Märkische Oderzeitung. These two regional media brands in Germany are under the umbrella of the Neue Pressegesellschaft media group based in Ulm. With a career spanning over two decades, he has been deeply involved in both online and print journalism across national and regional media. Collaborating with his current team, he has successfully established an audience-focused online workflow within the newsroom. Oliver’s fascination lies in pioneering digital strategies aimed at securing the future financial sustainability of local journalism. Presently, he is engaged in the creation of a book centered around the topic of digitally effective editorial workflows. He is also a Mercator Fellow.

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Megan Hess
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: Astoria, New York, United States
Country of Origin: United States
Organization: Bloomberg
Role: Senior Subscriptions Editor

Megan Hess holds the role of senior editor of digital subscriptions at Bloomberg. In this capacity, she spearheads editorial growth endeavors for the consumer subscriptions segment, keeping a watchful eye on both retention and acquisition aspects. She maintains close collaboration with the product and marketing teams. Megan’s previous five-year tenure in Hong Kong was dedicated to expanding audiences across APAC and EMEA, all while indulging in ample servings of dim sum. Before joining Bloomberg, Megan was an editor at Mashable and Scholastic Corporation. She is also the founder and operator of No Joe Schmo, a website that showcases individuals worldwide who occupy unique and unconventional roles. Megan is an alumna of the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University. While she hails from New Jersey, she acknowledges its unfairly tarnished reputation.

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Yukari Kane
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Organization: Prison Journalism Project
Role: Co-Founder and CEO

Yukari Kane serves as the co-founder and CEO of the Prison Journalism Project. A seasoned journalist, educator, and author, she possesses two decades of experience and notably held positions as a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal and Reuters. Her book, “Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs,” achieved best-seller status and has been translated into seven languages. Yukari’s educational contributions span Northwestern University, UC Berkeley, and San Quentin State Prison. She takes pride in her affiliation with prestigious institutions such as the INN Emerging Leaders Council, Reynolds Journalism Institute, and Poynter Women’s Leadership Academy. She is a Google News Initiative Fellow.

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Cristian Lupșa
Pronouns: He/him/his
Current Location: Bucharest, Romania
Country of Origin: Romania
Organization: DoR
Role: Former Founder

Cristian Lupșa is a storyteller, editor, and founder. For 13 years he ran DoR, a digital and print magazine that was an important landmark in Romanian independent journalism until it closed in 2022. His two-decades long career has taken him from Romania to the U.S., and back. He co-founded DoR in 2009, and, in 2011, began hosting The Power of Storytelling, an international storytelling conference in Bucharest. In 2020, DoR won the European Press Prize Innovation award, the culmination of a series of experiments it was known for: from launching new products and formats, to bringing journalism on stage, to creating community. Cristian is a 2014 Nieman Fellow, and currently the chair of the European Press Prize Preparatory Committee. He coaches young journalists, consults local and regional newsrooms, and still believes well-crafted true stories can connect people, heal wounds, inspire, lead, and create change.

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Nokuthula Manyathi
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Country of Origin: South Africa
Organization: News24
Role: Deputy Multimedia Editor

Nokuthula Manyathi has a decade-long media career, working in digital, broadcast and print newsrooms. At News24 (South Africa’s most trusted news brand as awarded by the Reuters Institute, 2019 – 2023), she’s the deputy multimedia editor, where she spearheaded the publication’s audio department. Work produced through the hub has won several awards, including a gold and bronze statue at the New York Festivals Radio Awards. In 2022, she was chosen by the Online News Association as one of 26 women globally leading change and innovation in journalism. As a reporter, her investigative work exposed a Christian cult masquerading as a mission station and a ring of sports coaches with predatory behavior at elite schools in South Africa. She’s a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and speaks German, Zulu and Afrikaans. Her proudest achievement? She’s the reigning champ of her family’s annual board games day. She is a Newmark J+ Social Impact Fellow.

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José Nieves
Pronouns: He/him/his
Current Location: Miami, Florida, United States
Country of Origin: Cuba
Organization: El Toque
Role: Editor-in-Chief

José J. Nieves is a Cuban journalist exiled in Miami, Florida, since 2019. From this enclave of the Cuban diaspora, he has continued to drive elTOQUE.com, an award-winning independent digital media focused on civic participation, economics, legal education, gender equality, data journalism, and the fight against disinformation. Innovation is a core value for El Toque, an organization that, under José’s leadership, has begun developing products that add value to the media’s traditional journalistic proposal, such as currency exchange rates of the Cuban informal market, chatbots, multimedia specials, and search engines. He is a Newmark J+ Social Impact Fellow.

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Hui (Lulu) Ning
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: Brussels, Belgium
Country of Origin: China
Organization: Initium Media
Role: Editor-in-Chief

Hui (Lulu) Ning is the Editor-in-Chief at The Initium Media, an independent and in-depth reporting Chinese media based in Singapore. She leads the Initium Media’s global editorial team and provides oversight to both the membership and product teams. Lulu is a multiple award-winning journalist and editor. Her main area of interest is exploring China’s global links. Many of her projects involve collaborative cross-border investigations, often published in multiple languages. Her reporting has taken her to diverse locations in all continents, from Madagascar, Congo to the Amazon Rainforest, from the United States, Europe to the high seas. Previously, Lulu worked at Caixin Media and Oxfam Hong Kong. She studied across different regions including Mainland China, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Her academic focuses are politics, journalism and public policy. She is also Ford Global Fellow.

 

Aimee Rinehart
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: New York, New York, United States
Country of Origin: United States
Organization: Associated Press
Role: Senior Product Manager, AI Strategy

Aimee Rinehart is the Senior Product Manager of AI Strategy for The Associated Press. Before joining AP, she was the Deputy Director of First Draft’s New York Bureau helping journalists and newsroom to identify, verify and responsibly report on mis- and disinformation through the 2018 and 2020 U.S. election cycles. In 2018, she managed Comprova, a project to monitor and analyze misinformation and disinformation around the 2018 Brazilian elections. Aimee started working online in 1996 and was a digital originator at The New York Times, and returned to print briefly as an editor at the Wall Street Journal Europe in Brussels. She is the Tow-Knight Fellow in AI Studies.

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Lily Rothman
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: New York, New York, United States
Country of Origin: United States
Organization: TIME
Role: Managing Editor

Lily Rothman is Managing Editor at TIME, where she oversees both the print magazine and cross-platform newsroom operations. She previously served as the founding editor of TIME’s history section, which tells the stories of what came before today’s news. She also writes for TIME on history, culture, and society having interviewed John Lewis, Yoko Ono, Madeleine Albright, and Big Bird, among many others and her work has appeared in The Atlantic, the Washington Post, and Slate. A native New Yorker, she is a graduate of Yale, where she studied history, and of the CUNY School of Journalism. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.

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Merituuli Saikkonen
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: Helsinki, Finland
Country of Origin: Finland
Organization: Helsingin Sanomat
Role: Head of Lifestyle News

Merituuli Saikkonen is the Head of Lifestyle News at Helsingin Sanomat, the largest newspaper in the Nordic countries. She has over 20 years of experience in news and feature journalism. Merituuli has been one of the most valuable key people in the digital transformation of Helsingin Sanomat. With the help of Merituuli, lifestyle news has succeeded in creating a content strategy that has been a crucial part of the digital and subscription-based growth of Helsingin Sanomat. Lately, Merituuli has had a groundbreaking role in the successful digital transformation of lifestyle journalism from print to digital magazines and newsletters. She lives in Helsinki with her family and an Australian labradoodle. Merituuli is a Helsingin Sanomat Foundation Fellow.

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William Storey
Pronouns: He/him/his
Current Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Country of Origin: United States
Organization: Insider, Inc.
Role: Senior Managing Producer

With more than a decade of experience at all levels of production, Will is an Emmy-nominated journalist who has written for The New York Times and Vulture, and produced series for NBC, Comedy Central, and Vox Media. Currently, as a Senior Managing Producer for Insider, he runs the Emmy-nominated environmental series World Wide Waste. He previously produced and hosted Vox Media’s news series Consider It, and worked for several years in late night television. In 2017, he joined Comedy Central’s The Opposition with Jordan Klepper, where he consumed an unhealthy amount of alt-right media. He has also managed the research department and written monologue jokes for Late Night with Seth Meyers. He got his start in media assisting New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, while covering a variety of subjects, from the 2012 election to weddings for the Vows column. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter and numerous house plants. 

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Leezel Tanglao
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: Dallas, Texas, United States
Country of Origin: United States
Organization: Dallas Morning News
Role: Assistant Managing Editor, Digital

Leezel Tanglao is a bridge journalist at the intersection of editorial, product and business development. She has worked at several media companies including The Points Guy, HuffPost, Associated Press, CNN, CBSNews.com, VICE News, NowThis, ABCNews.com, KCBS/KCAL and Press-Enterprise. She is the Assistant Managing Editor for Digital at Dallas Morning News. She received her Bachelor’s degree at Loyola Marymount University and a Masters degree at UCLA. She was a Reynolds Journalism Institute Non-Residential Fellow. She was named 2018 Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) Member of the Year. She is currently the Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO) President and cofounder and project director of FYLPRO’s Tayo, a data innovation hub and media literacy initiative that works to empower Filipinx/a/o communities by collecting data, publishing culturally relevant insights, and developing leaders to create an equitable future. If you’re wondering how to say her name, it’s pronounced LEE-ZEL (not Liesel from the “Sound of Music”). 

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Laura Trujillo
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Current Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Country of Origin: United States
Organization: USA TODAY
Role: Managing Editor for Life & Entertainment

Laura Trujillo loves to help people tell stories  and sometimes tells her own. She joined USA TODAY two years ago as the Managing Editor for Life & Entertainment. Prior to that, she took a journalism break to write a book  and work at a bank. “Stepping Back from the Ledge,” which is about her mother’s suicide and her search for answers, was published by Random House in 2022. She is a mother of four and has been a reporter and editor at The (Cincinnati) Enquirer, The Arizona Republic and The (Portland) Oregonian.

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