50 media professionals chosen for Elevate Scholarships by INMA, Google News Initiative

By Dawn McMullan


Dallas, Texas, USA


Diversity and inclusion in the news media industry is the focus of the third-annual Elevate Scholarship, whose class of 50 media professionals was announced today by INMA and the Google News Initiative (GNI).

The scholarship recipients from 31 countries were selected from a record-breaking 432 applications and will receive professional development opportunities through INMA and GNI. 

The Elevate Scholarship programme aims to strengthen the news business by equipping new faces and voices with strong media industry fundamentals, as well as networking and mentoring opportunities. 

The scholarship elevates historically under-represented and disadvantaged groups in early- to mid-career positions. Such groups include race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, access to higher education, immigration, disabilities, and more.

“The inclusion of under-represented professionals in the news media industry is critical for innovation and the future of news media,” said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director and CEO of INMA. “INMA is proud to partner with, and be at the front of, news industry efforts in diversity and inclusion.”

“Supporting upcoming news organisations from diverse backgrounds serving many communities is central to the Google News Initiative’s work, and we are proud to continue to partner with INMA to provide these opportunities in enabling a sustainable and innovative news ecosystem,” said Robbie Brown, news partnerships lead at Google.

The 50 professionals selected for Elevate Scholarships are:

  • Samuel Abate Woldetsadik, journalist, Al-AIN News, Ethiopia.
  • Rida Abdul Jaleel, social media specialist, Khaleej Times - Galadari Printing & Publishing LLC., United Arab Emirates.
  • Deeksha Agarwal, product manager, The Economic Times, India.
  • Adegbolahan Akinola, senior digital and print supervisor, Punch Nigeria Limited, Nigeria.
  • Jamila Akweley Okertchiri, journalist, Daily Guide Network, Ghana.
  • Darany Alejandre, marketing coordinator, Sipse.com, Mexico.
  • Jackline Alosi, news/production director and content producer, Nation Media Group Ltd., Kenya.
  • Prachi Aryal, outreach and partnership associate, Newslaundry, United Kingdom.
  • Maike Berndt, product manager/digital newspaper, Rheinische Post Mediengruppe, Germany.
  • Efren Castillo, UX designer, The McClatchy Company, United States.
  • Esme Choi, commercial partnerships manager, Dow Jones, Hong Kong.
  • Marta Cīrule, head of Delfi Brand Studio, JSC Delfi, Latvia.
  • Brooke Coleman, digital marketing specialist, The Dallas Morning News, United States.
  • Emily Cust, audience intelligence manager, News Corp Australia, Australia.
  • Ezaruku Draku Franklin, staff reporter, Monitor Publications Limited, Uganda.
  • Shak Ebrahimjee, associate consultant, FT Strategies, United Kingdom.
  • Seth Enos, brand manager, The Standard Media Group, Kenya.
  • Jonathan Gholston, retention manager, Advance Local, United States.
  • Ralph Gregor Gurango, social media manager, Inquirer.net, Philippines.
  • Noor Hafez, business development coordinator, Financial Times, United Kingdom.
  • Perseverance Javangwe, reporter, Community Voices Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe.
  • Dong-il Ju, reporter, Businesswatch, South Korea.
  • Edyth Kambalame, bureau chief, Nation Publications Limited, Malawi.
  • Ekaterina Kuznetsova, digital producer, Olympic Channel, Spain.
  • Damilola Lawal, product and engagement editor, HumAngle Media, Nigeria.
  • Jinee Lee, growth marketing manager, Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal, United States.
  • Maria Lipińska, reporter, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Poland.
  • Tsering Lock, retention executive, The Economist, United Kingdom.
  • Walter Mabonga, sub-editor, Tuko.co.ke, Kenya.
  • Siddharth Maheshwari, growth product manager, The Hindu, India.
  • Jorge Maraima, strategy director, Australian Community Media, Australia.
  • Er Maninder Singh, product manager, Punjab Kesari, India.
  • Lebogang Mashego, current affairs desk manager, Briefly News, South Africa.
  • Maja Mitchell, marketing manager/digital winback, Gannett | USA Today Network, United States.
  • Moniruzzaman Monir, manager/advertisement sales, Prothom Alo, Bangladesh.
  • Justine Muboka, sub-editor, 102 Mega Fm, Uganda.
  • Mamusa Ndzeku, production/layout sub-editor, Independent Media, South Africa.
  • Winston Nelson Mwale, editor-in-chief, AfricaBrief, Malawi.
  • Kanon Okegawa, Nikkei Asia marketing and product team member, Nikkei, Inc., Japan.
  • Lerato Peggy Matheka, managing editor, Newsday Media, Lesotho.
  • Mehvish Quadri, digital specialist, Hindustan Times, India.
  • Belenn Rebecka Bekele, community researcher, Schibsted, Sweden.
  • Ramadani Saputra, Web editor, Voice of America, Indonesia.
  • Angie September, senior sub-editor, Namibia Press Agency (NAMPA), Namibia.
  • Asnan Stanyslas, editor-in-chief, Le Pays, Chad.
  • Keletso Thobega, news reporter, Botswana Guardian & The Midweek Sun, Botswana.
  • Julija Vercinske, head of subscriptions, Delfi, Lithuania.
  • Luis Vidal, journalist, Ciudadano News, Argentina.
  • Candice Eva Williams, product manager, Mail & Guardian, South Africa.
  • Olubunmi Yekini, senior reporter/producer/content creator, Radio NOW, 95.3FM, Nigeria.

The scholarship includes free access to three INMA master classes in 2023, a meet-up with INMA and Google, a scholarship certificate, and a one-year INMA membership.

About Dawn McMullan

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