PRESS RELEASE: INMA, Google News Initiative select 50 media professionals for Elevate Scholarships

October 29, 2021

DALLAS (29 October 2021) – News industry diversity and inclusion is at the heart of an Elevate Scholarship class of 50 media professionals announced today by the International News Media Association (INMA) and the Google News Initiative (GNI).

The scholarship recipients from 29 countries were selected from 137 applications and will receive training and mentoring opportunities through INMA and GNI.

The 2-year-old Elevate Scholarship programme aims to strengthen the news business by equipping new faces and voices with strong media industry fundamentals as well as networking and mentoring opportunities.

The scholarship elevates historically under-represented and disadvantaged groups in early- to mid-career positions. Such groups include race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, access to higher education, immigration, disabilities, and more.

“Removing obstacles for equitable inclusion in news industry training and development can shatter the glass ceiling for professionals from under-represented groups, which hampers innovation and the future of news media,” said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director and CEO of INMA. “INMA is proud to be at the center of news industry efforts that bend toward diversity and inclusion.”

Chrissy Towle, head of news and Americas partnership solutions at Google, said that diversity and inclusion are vital for next-generation news media growth: “The business of news media is jeopardised without novel ideas and innovation from a range of perspectives that represent the communities we serve. The Elevate Scholarship Class of 2021 represents the highest aspirations of media professionals and the news industry.”

The 50 professionals selected for Elevate Scholarships are:

Ria Brown, Retention and CRM Executive, The Guardian, United Kingdom

Liqi Chen, Customer Intelligence Associate, Dow Jones, United States

Yung-yi (Bryan) Chou, Editor/Writer, The News Lens, Taiwan

Shelley Cook, Columnist and Manager of the Reader Bridge, Winnipeg Free Press, Canada

Jesús García Cruz, SEO Editor, Grupo Expansión, Mexico

Laura Curanaj, Retention Marketing Associate, Dow Jones, United States

Emmanuel Ebo-Hawkson, Senior Reporter, Graphic Communications Group Ltd., Ghana

Catherine Edwards, Austria Editor, The Local, Austria

Marienelle Monique Elicay, Assistant Managing Editor, Summit Media, Philippines

Miriam Espinosa, Product Design Team Lead, Mediahuis Ireland, Ireland

Njenga Hakeenah, Editor, The Exchange Africa, Kenya

Sheena Hakimian, Associate Director, Digital Consumer Revenue, Condé Nast, United States

Muhammad Hussain, Deputy Digital Editor, Media24 – City Press, South Africa

Ryan Yeol Jang, Reporter, Korea Daily, United States

Joseph Jibueze, Deputy News Editor/Head of Legal News Desk, The Nation, Nigeria

Andreas Kamasah, News Reporter, Pulse Ghana, Ghana

Katie Kutsko, Education and Strategy Manager, American Press Institute, United States

Deyi Li, Editor, CGTN, China

Lucina Lo, Loyalty and Retention Coordinator, The Globe and Mail, Canada

Bongekile Macupe, Education Journalist, Media24, South Africa

Mahlohonolo Magadla, Online Content Producer, Media Park, South Africa

Francisco Marrero, Digital Product Manager, GFR Media, Puerto Rico

Maira Meija, Head of Subscriptions, Delfi Latvia, Latvia

Marina Menezes, Head of Operations and Institutional Relations, Nexo Jornal, Brazil

Debosmita Meshram, Chief Product Manager, Jagran New Media, India

Sisonke Mlamla, Multimedia Journalist, Independent Media, South Africa

Fabiola Mousinho, Digital Media Analyst, Público, Portugal

Muchemwa Silence Mugadzaweta, Digital and Online Editor, Alpha Media Holdings, Zimbabwe

Lynette Mukami, Audience Engagement Editor, Nation Media Group, Kenya

Shratika Shivanandani Naidu, North Editor, Sun (Fiji) News PTE Limited, Fiji

Phat Le Do Ngoc, Deputy Editor, Zing News, Vietnam

Katarzyna Ostrowska, Subscriptions Growth Manager, Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland

Janice Pereira, Audience Strategist, The Times and Sunday Times, United Kingdom

Saba Rahman, Deputy Associate Editor, The Indian Express Online, India

Prashant Rao, International Editor, The Atlantic, United Kingdom

Amal Ravi, Deputy Manager, KSL Media Limited, India

Dorea Reeser, Executive Editor, Audience Engagement, Chemical & Engineering News, United States

Ely Ilkania Alcantara Reyes, SEO Specialist, Multimedios del Caribe, Dominican Republic

Mehru Roshan, Product Manager, News Corp Australia, Australia

Aparna Seth, Subscription Growth Manager, Newslaundry, India

Dhruti Shah, Journalist, BBC, United Kingdom

Zubiya Shaikh, Social Media Executive, Arab News, United Arab Emirates

Stephanie Sison, Deputy Managing Editor,, Summit Media Publishing Co., Philippines

Mikkel Sloth, Native Specialist, Ekstra Bladet, Denmark

Talia Smith, Journalist, Yung Lords Media, United States

Victor Tisnado, Head of Digital Subscriptions, Corporacion La Prensa, Panama

Jalah Touryalai, Senior Manager, Onsite Optimization, Gannett, United States

Kevin Valani, Full Stack Developer, SaltWire, Canada

Gunther Wellman, Audience and Marketing Director, Prensa Libre, Guatemala

Ratna Sri Widyastuti, Head of Data Science and Product Research, Kompas Media Nusantara, Indonesia
The scholarship includes free access to three INMA Master Classes, a mentoring meet-up with INMA and Google, a scholarship certificate, and a one-year INMA membership.

The Google News Initiative (GNI) is a programme designed to help journalism thrive in the digital age. Working with news partners, the Google News Initiative builds products to meet the needs of news organisations and grow their digital businesses, collaborate with news companies to solve important business and industry-wide challenges, and develop and support programmes to drive innovation across the news industry.

The International News Media Association (INMA) is a global community of market-leading news media companies reinventing how they engage audiences and grow revenue in a multi-platform environment. The INMA network consists of 19,000+ members at 900+ news media companies in 77 countries, representing tens of thousands of news brands. The association focuses on the business of journalism, notably subscriptions, data, product, advertising, and newsrooms.

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