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

By Dawn McMullan


Dallas, Texas, USA


News industry diversity and inclusion is at the heart of an Elevate Scholarship class of 50 media professionals announced today by the International News Media Association (INMA) and the Google News Initiative (GNI).

The scholarship recipients from 29 countries were selected from 137 applications and will receive training and mentoring opportunities through INMA and GNI. 

The 2-year-old 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.

“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,” said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director and CEO of INMA. “INMA is proud to be at the center of news industry efforts that bend toward diversity and inclusion.”

Chrissy Towle, head of news and Americas partnership solutions at Google, said diversity and inclusion are vital for next-generation news media growth: “The business of news media is jeopardised without novel ideas and innovation from a range of perspectives that represent the communities we serve. The Elevate Scholarship Class of 2021 represents the highest aspirations of media professionals and the news industry.”

The 50 professionals selected for Elevate Scholarships are: 

  • Ria Brown, Retention and CRM Executive, The Guardian, United Kingdom
  • Liqi Chen, Customer Intelligence Associate, Dow Jones, United States
  • Yung-yi (Bryan) Chou, Editor/Writer, The News Lens, Taiwan
  • Shelley Cook, Columnist and Manager of the Reader Bridge, Winnipeg Free Press, Canada
  • Jesús García Cruz, SEO Editor, Grupo Expansión, Mexico
  • Laura Curanaj, Retention Marketing Associate, Dow Jones, United States
  • Emmanuel Ebo-Hawkson, Senior Reporter, Graphic Communications Group Ltd., Ghana
  • Catherine Edwards, Austria Editor, The Local, Austria
  • Marienelle Monique Elicay, Assistant Managing Editor, Summit Media, Philippines
  • Miriam Espinosa, Product Design Team Lead, Mediahuis Ireland, Ireland
  • Njenga Hakeenah, Editor, The Exchange Africa, Kenya
  • Sheena Hakimian, Associate Director, Digital Consumer Revenue, Condé Nast, United States
  • Muhammad Hussain, Deputy Digital Editor, Media24 - City Press, South Africa
  • Ryan Yeol Jang, Reporter, Korea Daily, United States
  • Joseph Jibueze, Deputy News Editor/Head of Legal News Desk, The Nation, Nigeria
  • Andreas Kamasah, News Reporter, Pulse Ghana, Ghana
  • Katie Kutsko, Education and Strategy Manager, American Press Institute, United States
  • Deyi Li, Editor, CGTN, China
  • Lucina Lo, Loyalty and Retention Coordinator, The Globe and Mail, Canada
  • Bongekile Macupe, Education Journalist, Media24, South Africa
  • Mahlohonolo Magadla, Online Content Producer, Media Park, South Africa
  • Francisco Marrero, Digital Product Manager, GFR Media, Puerto Rico
  • Maira Meija, Head of Subscriptions, Delfi Latvia, Latvia
  • Marina Menezes, Head of Operations and Institutional Relations, Nexo Jornal, Brazil
  • Debosmita Meshram, Chief Product Manager, Jagran New Media, India
  • Sisonke Mlamla, Multimedia Journalist, Independent Media, South Africa
  • Fabiola Mousinho, Digital Media Analyst, Público, Portugal
  • Muchemwa Silence Mugadzaweta, Digital and Online Editor, Alpha Media Holdings, Zimbabwe
  • Lynette Mukami, Audience Engagement Editor, Nation Media Group, Kenya
  • Shratika Shivanandani Naidu, North Editor, Sun (Fiji) News PTE Limited, Fiji
  • Phat Le Do Ngoc, Deputy Editor, Zing News, Vietnam
  • Katarzyna Ostrowska, Subscriptions Growth Manager, Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland
  • Janice Pereira, Audience Strategist, The Times and Sunday Times, United Kingdom
  • Saba Rahman, Deputy Associate Editor, The Indian Express Online, India
  • Prashant Rao, International Editor, The Atlantic, United Kingdom
  • Amal Ravi, Deputy Manager, KSL Media Limited, India
  • Dorea Reeser, Executive Editor, Audience Engagement, Chemical & Engineering News, United States
  • Ely Ilkania Alcantara Reyes, SEO Specialist, Multimedios del Caribe, Dominican Republic
  • Mehru Roshan, Product Manager, News Corp Australia, Australia
  • Aparna Seth, Subscription Growth Manager, Newslaundry, India
  • Dhruti Shah, Journalist, BBC, United Kingdom
  • Zubiya Shaikh, Social Media Executive, Arab News, United Arab Emirates
  • Stephanie Sison, Deputy Managing Editor, Preview.ph, Summit Media Publishing Co., Philippines
  • Mikkel Sloth, Native Specialist, Ekstra Bladet, Denmark
  • Talia Smith, Journalist, Yung Lords Media, United States
  • Victor Tisnado, Head of Digital Subscriptions, Corporacion La Prensa, Panama
  • Jalah Touryalai, Senior Manager, Onsite Optimization, Gannett, United States
  • Kevin Valani, Full Stack Developer, SaltWire, Canada
  • Gunther Wellman, Audience and Marketing Director, Prensa Libre, Guatemala
  • Ratna Sri Widyastuti, Head of Data Science and Product Research, Kompas Media Nusantara, Indonesia

The scholarship includes free access to three INMA Master Classes, a mentoring meet-up with INMA and Google, a scholarship certificate, and a one-year INMA membership.

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 network consists of 19,000+ members at 900+ news media companies in 77 countries, representing tens of thousands of news brands. The association focuses on the business of journalism, notably subscriptions, data, product, advertising, and newsrooms.

About Dawn McMullan

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