Introducing the 2021-2022 Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellows



ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (June 30, 2021) – The Poynter Institute is proud to welcome 53 emerging journalists for the third year of its prestigious Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellowship program. The fellowship kicked off this month with a two-day online opening summit.

This impressive class of early-career media professionals includes journalists, editors, producers and developers from news organizations across the country who aspire to be future industry leaders. They represent a variety of outlets ranging from local stations to niche publications such as The Sacramento Bee, Gay City News, KALB-TV, and WBEZ Chicago.

Fellows are placed as full-time paid employees in participating news organizations and receive intensive one-year training to develop their leadership skills and accelerate their journalism careers. They will connect weekly with seasoned mentors and award-winning journalists and follow a solid, hands-on program led by Poynter’s teacher, Samantha Ragland.

“The scholarship provides new journalists in our country with an interdisciplinary approach to journalism,” said Ragland, who served as a mentor and instructor for the scholarship before taking over the program in 2020. “Newsrooms are evolving rapidly to respond to challenges. demands of the changing media landscape, and our fellows will work together to exploit exclusive opportunities that will help shape the future of journalism.

Participants will participate in a series of experiential learning workshops and discussions on the most pressing issues facing the journalism industry. They will dive deep into a diverse agenda with a series of Covering the Frontlines panels sharing lessons learned from the pandemic, racial justice and natural disasters as well as internal lessons and best practices for diversity in newsrooms. The weekly sessions will evolve to meet the growth needs and desires of fellows in the industry and will include opportunities to develop skills in data reporting, investigative journalism, self-publishing, digital storytelling and Moreover.

“After one of the most difficult years of journalism in recent history, my goal is to instill a sense of renewed hope for our fellows over the next 12 months,” said Ragland. “Fellows will learn to identify and overcome obstacles in journalism with concrete solutions. We will build a community that learns from each other and sparks creativity and innovative thinking.

Ragland works alongside Tim McCaughan, Senior Director of Media Programs at the Charles Koch Institute, to design teaching around four key areas, including Foundations of Journalism, The Art of Storytelling, Audience Engagement Strategies, leadership and innovation.

“Local journalism plays a vital role in ensuring that communities have access to information that has an impact on their lives,” said Tim McCaughan of the Charles Koch Institute, who co-leads the program with Poynter after a career of 25 years in journalism. “We are proud to support and accelerate the career beginnings of journalists working in their communities who represent the future of the institution and the spirit that will identify solutions to ensure a dynamic and unfettered press corps for years to come. to come up. “

Each workshop concludes with a retrospective small group session led by experienced counselors. This year’s list of advisors includes Poynter consultant Omar Gallaga, who spent more than two decades writing for The Austin American-Statesman, as well as Gil Asakawa, cultural communications consultant, journalist and founding member and chapter chair of Denver of the Asian American Journalist Association; Russell Contraras, race and justice journalist for Axios; Caitlin Dewey, corporate reporter for The Buffalo News; Dan Lothian, interim executive producer for The World and founder / chairman of Little Park Media; Chris Sheridan, former media manager for ESPN, CNBC, NBC and ABC; and Benet Wilson, editor of The Points Guy and freelance aviation journalist and blogger.

To complement their weekly training, fellows will also participate in a wrap-up project to test their leadership and journalism skills and attend three multi-day summits.

At the end of the program, fellows will join a strong network of colleagues passionate about the future of journalism and the essential role of the free press in society.

“Journalists inspire and educate with stories that explain, provoke and expose the world around us. And in doing so, the press establishes a foundation of trust and mutual understanding that is essential to the functioning of democracy, ”said Kelly McBride, senior vice president and chairman of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership at Poynter. “By creating a supportive community of early career journalism professionals, we aim to enhance their skills so that they in turn can improve the profession at a time when the field offers incredible opportunities and unprecedented challenges. “

Congratulations to the following 2021-2022 Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellows:

  • Hani Albarghouthi, Breaking News Reporter, The Detroit News
  • Andrew Barnett, Digital Content Producer, WBTV
  • Diego Jesus Bartesaghi Mena, Human Connections Reporter, Montclair Local News
  • Tat Bellamy-Walker, Digital Editor / Journalist, Gay City News
  • Kelsey Beyeler, education reporter, Nashville scene
  • Blade of Tyisha, Producer, WOIO Ch. 19
  • Ambar Castillo, local reporter, Washington City Paper
  • Jeremy chisenhall, Breaking News Reporter, Lexington, Ky. Herald-Leader
  • Jason cohen, reporter, Bronx Times
  • Madison Davis, reporter, Alabama News Network
  • Dylan michael domangue, Reporter / Anchor, KALB-TV
  • Cassidy grom, News App Developer,
  • Margie Gunter, Homework Editor, WBRC
  • Marc Hallum, Editor-in-Chief, American Heritage Magazine
  • Kristin hugo, Editor, Bay Nature Institute
  • Anna johnson, local government reporter, The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
  • Chase karacostas, Travel / Business Journalist, The Myrtle Beach (SC) Sun News
  • Brianna kudisch, journalist, NJ Advance Media
  • Hernz Laguerre, Jr., multimedia reporter, The Detroit News
  • Kristin lam, Liability reporter, The Modesto Bee
  • Asher Lehrer-Petit, Journalist, Le 74
  • Katherine lewin, Enterprise Reporter, The Florida Times-Union
  • Brian lopez, local government reporter, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • Tory Lysik, Associate Editor, DC Witness
  • Rudy Malcom, Associate Editor, Baltimore Witness
  • Davide Mamone, Reporter, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
  • Farrah mina, reporter, The Kansas City Star
  • Challis Morgan, Digital Content Producer, WBRC Fox6 News
  • Tabitha mueller, reporter, The Nevada Independent
  • Syra Ortiz-Blanes, Puerto Rico and Spanish Caribbean journalist, El Nuevo Herald
  • Kasturi Pananjady, Data Reporter, The Connecticut News Project
  • Ashleigh panoo, higher education journalist, The Fresno (Calif.) Bee
  • Harvest Prude, Reporter, La Dépêche
  • Nakeisha Rowe, educational reporter, The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi)
  • Giuseppe Sabella, youth reporter, Bradenton Herald
  • Anna savchenko, reporter, WBEZ Chicago
  • Guillaume Schick, journalist, Street Sense Media
  • Lucille Sherman, State Political Reporter, The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
  • Mackenzie shuman, Journalist, La Tribune
  • C. Isaiah Smalls II, Race & Culture Reporter, The Miami Herald
  • Quentin Smith, General Assignment / MMJ News Reporter, WLBT News
  • Jean Steppe, reporter, The Cedar Rapids Gazette
  • Lauren Teruya, Reporter, Civil Beat
  • Jack tomczuk, reporter, Philadelphia metro
  • DeAndria Turner, bureau chief reporter, Shoals Area WAFF 48 News
  • Elias Valverde, Staff Photographer, The Dallas Morning News
  • Abigail Vervaeke, Social Media Producer, Washingtonian
  • Bailey vogt, local reporter, Washington City Paper
  • Alexis Tisserand, Editor-in-Chief, The Scope: Boston
  • Alexandra Yoon Hendricks, Reporter, The Sacramento Bee

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About the Poynter Institute

The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a center of strategy that represents uncompromising excellence in 21st century journalism, media and public discourse. Poynter professors give seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, and in newsrooms, conferences, and organizations around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, offers the world’s largest online journalism program, with hundreds of interactive courses and tens of thousands of registered international users. The Institute’s website provides 24-hour coverage on media, ethics, technology and the information world. Poynter is home to the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership, the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact, the International Fact-Checking Network and MediaWise, a digital information education project for young people, first-time voters and the elderly . The world’s best journalists and media innovators rely on Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentary filmmakers and broadcasters. This work educates the public on journalism, the media, the First Amendment, and discourse in the service of democracy and the public good. Learn more at

In accordance with Poynter’s ethics policy, Poynter maintains editorial independence with respect to program and content. The media and journalism scholarship relationship between Poynter and the Charles Koch Institute is a teaching partnership. A list of Poynter’s major funders and teaching partners can be found here.

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Tina Dyakon
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The Poynter Institute
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