50 Elevate Scholarship recipients announced by INMA, Google News Initiative

By Dawn McMullan


Dallas, Texas, USA


Promoting diversity and inclusion in the news industry, the International News Media Association (INMA) and Google News Initiative (GNI) today announced winners of the inaugural Elevate Scholarship.

The 50 scholarship recipients from 18 countries were selected from 173 applications and will receive training and mentoring opportunities through INMA and GNI.

The Elevate Scholarship programme is designed to strengthen the future of the news business by embracing and elevating historically under-represented and disadvantaged groups in early- to mid-career positions below the executive management level at news media companies. Examples include race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, access to higher education, immigration, and disabilities.

“The common themes across this inaugural Elevate Scholarship class were the challenges in overcoming inherent barriers in career advancement and the aspiration to be champions of diverse work environments,” said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director and CEO of INMA. “Elevate Scholarship recipients represent a dream class of professionals. Yet for me, the stories behind the scholarship recipients helped put faces on a wider range of barriers that many professionals must overcome.”

Chrissy Towle, head of news, Americas partnership solutions at Google, said the Elevate Scholarship progamme fits the company’s aspiration for inclusiveness. “Google is committed to helping build a more inclusive and equitable news ecosystem. This programme helps us do that by providing professionals from historically under-represented groups training, development, and career advancement.”

Scholarship recipients will receive free access to three INMA Master Classes, a mentoring meet-up with INMA and Google, a scholarship certification, and one-year INMA membership. 

The 50 scholarship recipients from 18 countries were selected from 173 applications.
The 50 scholarship recipients from 18 countries were selected from 173 applications.

Scholarship recipients announced today by INMA and the Google News Initiative are: 

  • Fatima (Tea) Abaas, Marketing Associate, Dow Jones, United Kingdom
  • Mithun Adhikary, Senior Web Developer, Daily Prothom Alo, Bangladesh 
  • Terrence Agbi, Senior Product Owner, Product, Forbes, United States 
  • Khandaker Fakaruddin Ahmed, Head - NTV Online, International Television Channel Ltd., Bangladesh 
  • Harris Ahmed, CRM and Retention Marketing Manager, Guardian News & Media, United Kingdom 
  • Anam Ajmal, Senior Reporter, Times of India, India 
  • Ruby Allen, Regional Planning Manager, Gannett, United States 
  • Esther Anyakwo, Publishing Editor, Dow Jones Newswires, United States 
  • Naaman Brown, Events Executive, Guardian Media Group, United Kingdom 
  • Robert Cardenas, National Product Liaison, A.H. Belo, United States 
  • Adrija Chakraborty, Associate Media Planner, Wall Street Journal, United States 
  • Liu Chuen Chen, Senior Sub-Editor, The Indian Express, India 
  • John Constantine, Digital Marketing Associate, Dow Jones, United States 
  • Bethany Crowe, Client Services Director, NewsQuest Media Group, United Kingdom 
  • Mussa Dagnew, Head of Acquisition, VG, Norway 
  • Himanshi Dahiya, Deskwriter, Quint, India 
  • Onyinyechi Eze, Head of Digital Services, Business Day, Nigeria 
  • Kashmala Fida, Associate Producer, CBC Edmonton, Canada 
  • Lukas Gorog, Data Strategy Consultant, Die Presse/Styria, Austria 
  • Natalie Grageda, Marketing Coordinator, Los Angeles Times, United States 
  • Charnae Harris, UX Research Manager, McClatchy, United States 
  • Mitzi Natalia Hernandez Cruz, Podcast Producer, OEM, Mexico 
  • Nosheen Iqbal, Reporter, The Observer, United Kingdom
  • Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson, Editor, Pacific Environment Weekly, Samoa 
  • Suchitra Jena, Data Analyst, The Dallas Morning News, United States
  • Cherisse Johnson, Retention Director, Las Vegas Review-Journal, United States 
  • Rei Kurohi, Journalist, Singapore Press Holdings, Singapore
  • Gloria Lago, Manager, Measurement Strategy and Data Architecture, Condé Nast, United States 
  • Jeff Leung, Senior Engineer, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong
  • Jaselle Luna, Publisher, Local Community News, United States 
  • Mercelline Maroma, Production Manager, Nation Media Group, Kenya 
  • Natalia Matesanz Urena, UX and Visual Design Lead, Unidad Editorial, Spain 
  • Jessica (Jacob) Molnar, Digital Marketing Specialist, Gannett, United States
  • Tebogo Mateka Priscillah Monama, Multimedia Reporter, The Star, South Africa 
  • Nazia Parveen, North of England Correspondent, Guardian News & Media, United Kingdom 
  • Andres Perez, Membership Executive, Dow Jones, United States
  • Thivhusiwi (Vhusi) Phadagi, Retail Graphic Artist, Independent Media, South Africa
  • Timothy Rangongo, Business and Finance Journalist, Finweek, South Africa 
  • Abtin Salashor, Business Developer, Dagens Nyheter, Sweden 
  • Lerato Sejake, Multimedia Journalist, City Press/Media 24, South Africa 
  • Muthi-ur-Rahman Siddiqui, Senior Copy Editor, Deccan Herald, India 
  • Rushaye Smith, Junior Product Manager, Media 24, South Africa
  • Nidhi Suresh, Reporter, Newslaundry, India 
  • Jun-Kai Teoh, Data Journalist, Newsday, United States 
  • Vandana Thakur, Chief Manager - Content, Jagran New Media, India 
  • Neo Kay Truinyane, Layout Sub-Editor, Media 24, South Africa 
  • Namrata Venkat, Audience Research Analyst, WHYY, United States 
  • Nancy Verdezoto, News Editor, El Comercio, Peru 
  • Chad Anthony Williams, Content Curator, African News Agency, South Africa 
  • Patricia Yoon, Audience Insights Senior Research Manager, The New York Times, United States 

Through Elevate Scholarships, INMA and the Google News Initiative want to equip new faces and voices with strong news industry fundamentals as well as networking and mentoring opportunities. 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.

“Selecting 50 people from such an outstanding group of candidates was challenging,” Wilkinson said. “We read each application very carefully. We matched their career aspirations and what they wanted to achieve through INMA with the benefits of the INMA community. We gave special consideration to the national context of under-representation and the barriers each candidate had to overcome.”

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 community consists of more than 15,000 members at 850 media companies in 74 countries. Celebrating its 90th anniversary, INMA is the news media industry’s foremost ideas-sharing network with members connected via conferences, reports, Webinars, virtual meetings, and an unparalleled archive of best practices.

About Dawn McMullan

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