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.
Esther Anyakwo is used to standing out in the crowd, and she is using that to shape her future.
“Throughout my education and career, I have become accustomed to being the only Black person. Or the only Black girl. Or the only first-generation queer Black girl,” she said. “It is lonely being the ‘only’ one.”
To quell that loneliness for others, Anyakwo is using her voice to tell the stories of others and change the narrative.
“I want to be an example for more Black girls and women to join institutions that have been ‘pale, male, and stale’ for too long,” she said. “I want to bring them along with me and to use my words to make a difference.”
She does that as the publishing editor for Dow Jones Newswires’ Barcelona bureau, but has found other unexpected ways to use her voice as well. In 2009 and 2010, she was one of just a handful of teenagers selected to perform stand-up comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In 2012, she was part of a group of students that collaborated with All Walks Beyond the Catwalk, a campaign to diversify models in the fashion industry.
Moving forward, she will continue to look at ways to make her voice heard and to represent those who might otherwise be overlooked. She is eager to create opportunities for others while blazing her own trail.
“I take any chance I get to share job opportunities or get interviews or comments from people who look like me or who have similar stories to mine,” she said. “But I want to do more.”