On October 29, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded 50 news media professionals around the world with its debut Elevate Scholarship. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry.
Adrija Chakraborty’s lifelong love of storytelling led her into journalism — but not in the way one might expect. While many storytellers find their way to the newsroom, Chakraborty saw opportunities for using her talents in a different channel.
“I believe in advertising’s ability to create systemic change at scale through authentic storytelling,” she said. “I feel connected to digital storytelling because it continues to be a theme and a channel for self-discovery.”
The door to advertising opened for her in 2019 when she was named a finalist in Griffin Farley’s Search for Beautiful Minds. At that boot camp, she served as the team’s data-driven researcher and translated numbers into a communication plan. Now, as associate media planner at The Wall Street Journal for the technology, media, and telecom sector, she interprets performance data and KPIs for advertisers. She sees the connection between advertising and editorial as powerful and essential.
“Truthful, trusted, and factual journalism drives WSJ,” she said. “The advertising ecosystem I thrive in would not exist without the excellence of journalists worldwide. I want to be a global storyteller, working at the intersection of technology and business through strategic planning and analytics.”
In the future, she hopes to collaborate more closely with journalists, strategists, and other storytellers to bring to light some of the underrepresented perspectives of people from different walks of life.
In addition to giving a voice to the community outside of her workspace, she also has made headway in spotlighting the challenges faced by minorities. She is one of the founding members of Asian@DJ, an internal resource group at Dow Jones for Asians, which has helped identify pressing topics within the work community, such as career development and identifying workplace microaggressions.
Such initiatives bring her full circle to her passion for storytelling, she said.
“This is just a small step toward greater inclusiveness,” she said. “It illustrates how data storytelling can help us continue to ask, ‘Who are we leaving behind?’ I seek to contribute greater inclusion, equity, and belonging in the news media industry by observing who we have yet to make room for in spaces where important decisions are made.”