INMA Elevate Scholar: Kanon Okegawa of Nikkei, Inc.

By Paula Felps


Nashville, Tennessee, United States


In December 2022, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded their third annual Elevate Scholarship to 50 news media professionals from 31 countries. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry.

One of the things Kanon Okegawa’s colleagues appreciate about her is that the Nikkei Asia marketing and product team member approaches everything she does with passion and logical thinking.

In the two years since she began working for Nikkei Asia, she has acquired several new skills, including product management and digital marketing. Okegawa not only successfully launched a new feature that tripled newsletter subscriptions, she also has made extra steps to swiftly launch multiple A/B tests and further improve results.

Kanon Okega wants to learn how to build the right team to run business operations for a news media company.
Kanon Okega wants to learn how to build the right team to run business operations for a news media company.

Although she has much to be proud of, she said she still has much to do.

“I want to contribute to the growth of the media industry in Asia,” Okegawa said. “Particularly in Japan, where I am from, fewer and fewer people are reading the news. I aspire to rejuvenate the Japanese market and restore confidence in news media outlets among the youth.”

Japanese industries are notorious for being extraordinarily exclusive, not just because of language but, most importantly, culture. “As a result, they often languish in globalisation. I hope to bridge this cultural gap within the global news media industry and promote inclusivity,” she said.

Through the Elevate scholarship programme, Okegawa wants to collaborate more effectively with editorial departments from a business perspective. “I want to learn how to build the right team to effectively run business operations for a news media company and learn news media product management skills to provide the best user experience for readers.”

As a Japanese woman working in a male-dominated society and industry, Okegawa had to overcome many challenges in her career and education.

“I believe that by working hard and rising to the top of my field (marketing and product management), I can become a role model for other young women like myself. I believe gender equality is paramount in promoting inclusivity in the news media industry.”

About Paula Felps

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