Emerging News Leadership Program

This 6-month online, tuition-free training program prepares a diverse group of rural and local media leaders to run sustainable news organizations by focusing on advanced digital skills, the business of journalism, management and leadership.

At a time when our profession is reeling from financial pressures that threaten its very survival, local and rural journalism is emerging as a source of hope for democracy, civil society and the media landscape. In that spirit, the Emerging News Leadership Program — a new program developed by J+ at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, in partnership with the Google News Initiative — is committed to helping advance the next generation of skilled, innovative, ethically minded, and diverse local and rural media leaders toward sustainability through sound business and management practices.

We decided to draw on our expertise teaching leadership skills to journalism executives through acclaimed programs such as the Executive Program in News Innovation and Leadership, to serve emerging news leaders in local and rural organizations with a new program: the Emerging News Leadership Program.

The program, led by a diverse and experienced group of media leaders and innovators who understand sustainability from a local perspective, will help publishers, founders, editors, managers and others from local and rural news organizations in the United States and abroad refine their understanding of the new business realities of journalism, upgrade their digital skills, explore emerging technologies and gain confidence in their leadership and strategy skills. Niketa Patel, senior director of leadership programs at the Newmark J-School, is the Program Lead.



Participants in the Emerging News Leadership Program will:

  • Gain confidence in their leadership and strategy skills 
  • Refine their understanding of and appreciation for the new business landscape of journalism
  • Upgrade their digital skills and explore emerging technologies
  • Learn sound communication and people management techniques to lead a newsroom
  • Receive ongoing support in their learning journey and career development

How to Apply

Applications will require the following:

  • A completed application
  • A resume
  • An idea of a sustainability or management challenge to be tackled during the course
  • Contact information for two references
  • Participants whose applications are selected will be interviewed by the admissions committee before final decision.

(Photo: John Schnobrich on Unsplash)


The program will run from April 9 to June 18, 2024, then we will take a break for the summer, and resume classes from September 3 to December 3, 2024. 



  • Role of a news organization’s leader
  • Legal and ethics
  • Advertising strategies
  • New business landscape for journalism
  • Strategy
  • Audience management & Marketing
  • Managing a sustainable business
  • Succession plans
  • Growth & Data
  • Product
  • Stakeholder management
  • Reader revenue
  • Supporting staff through DEI
  • Budgets & Finance
  • Fact-checking
  • Execution
  • Project management & Collaborations
  • Emerging technology & Future-proofing


Orange bar graphic of the timeline of events for the Emerging News Leadership Program: Classes and Coaching will take place from April 9 until Nov. 19, 2024, with a summer break from June 19 until Sep. 2. Final Presentations will take place on Dec. 3, 2024.


Google News Initiative logo


Niketa Patel
Senior Director of Leadership Programs
Twitter — @Niketa

Luciana Hall-Pearson
Associate Director of Professional Development
Twitter — @lucianaHP