INMA unveils 30 rising stars in global news media with young professionals awards

By Dawn McMullan

INMA

Dallas, Texas, USA

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By Tom Corbett

INMA

Antwerp, Belgium

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The International News Media Association (INMA) today unveiled its list of 30 young professionals judged to be rising stars in the global news media industry for 2020. 

The “30 Under 30 Awards” competition is part of INMA’s Young Professionals Initiative and received 163 applications in July and August. 

Members of the association’s Young Professionals Committee and the governing Board of Directors reviewed applications and voted on six winners in five categories: Advertising, Audience, Business Intelligence, Content + Product, and Leadership. Within the list of 30 winners, six overall “grand prize” winners from six regions were selected.

Criteria for selection included being under 30 years of age, early career achievements, insights into innovation, ability to influence, and likely management skills.

Winners in each of the five categories, coming from 20 countries, are:

Advertising

 
Maggie Campbell
Account Director
NZME
New Zealand

 

About Maggie:  As a 6-year-old, Maggie asked her mom if she could have a haircut matching the female news anchor she saw on TV. After four quick successive promotions early in her career, Maggie now holds the lead sales role at NZME, where she recently ran into that same hairstyle inspiration during a content partnership campaign in which the newscaster was the talent. In her first job with MediaWorks, just out of university, Maggie delivered a NZ$5 million deal with a local supermarket client — the largest deal in MediaWorks history. “I still get that rush of excitement when I get a sale across the line,” she said. “I get to deliver a visible difference to this company every single day. During New Zealand’s lockdown through COVID-19, we delivered the revenue that kept this company afloat. That revenue fuels our company’s ambitions and allows NZME to grow its brands and talent and share stories that matter. In media, I’ve found what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

 
Lina Hebert
Performance Marketing Manager/Consumer Revenue
Condé Nast
United States

 

About Lina: Her second job out of college, Lina is the marketing manager of consumer revenue at Condé Nast — her “dream job.” Among other responsibilities, she is responsible for the paid media strategy for The New Yorker and is part of the team tasked with future-proofing the brand and keeping The New Yorker on the forefront of the media landscape. In her first year, paid media contributed significantly to introductory trial subscriptions, and she helped to increase international subscriptions by triple digits. She's now one of eight employees to participate in the inaugural Condé Nast Joint Advisory Board Leadership Program in partnership with Estee Lauder. “I do not wait for the industry to change. It is my goal and my job to always be steps ahead of the next movement and to ask the right questions to get us there,” she said. To keep that up, Lina takes outside courses on emerging digital media trends. Her plans for the next five years? To create a full marketing funnel for Condé Nast’s consumer revenue department.



 
Weijun (Jenny) Lu
Account Manager, Marketing Solutions
South China Morning Post
Hong Kong

 

About Jenny: Born and raised in Shanghai, China, Jenny expanded her horizons quickly in college, studying in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and New York. After a brief position in marketing and PR, Jenny became an account lead at Morning Studio, the South China Morning Post’s integrated marketing solutions teams. “While still early in my career, I am well on the path to becoming an influential news executive,” she said, citing CEO Gary Liu as someone transforming the media landscape: “I don’t see why I can’t get there, too!” Jenny plans to get her Project Management Professional certification and feels that with her trilingual language abilities, she can support clients for SCMP in Hong Kong, mainland China, and internationally. “I truly believe that SCMP is in a unique position. I am a 25-year-old account manager on the front lines at an increasingly important news organisation, helping brands connect to a younger, more influential, and more informed audience.” 



 
Simone Mainprize
Group Digital Manager
News Corp Australia
Australia

 

About Simone: Simone was raised by a radio sales representative, so she was exposed to the media industry through her mother from an early age. Today, she is the youngest group digital manager to be appointed within News Corp. She implemented a monthly programme called “Pitch Perfect” that allows her team to hone their presentation skills with each other in a learning environment and work more collaboratively as a team. When broadband company Optus want to drive awareness of 5G in Australia, Simone worked with News Corp Australia’s Web site team to develop an editorially driven awareness campaign. The results: an integrated newsroom project called The 5G Newsroom sponsored by Optus. Simone worries Big Tech threatens the role of traditional media. “News media plays such a pivotal role in today’s society,” she said. “I want to ensure that there is always a role for traditional media to inform, educate, and inspire a better Australia.”



 
Sade Muhammad
Director, Representation and Inclusion Partnerships
Forbes
United States

 

About Sade: When Sade was just 15 years old, she attended her first National Association of Black Journalists conference. That’s when she knew media would be her future. From an intern at Black Enterprise and a social media strategist for the inaugural Syracuse University social media team, Sade quickly transitioned to post-graduate jobs on the digital media teams at NBC’s Oxygen and Bravo, then to a brand producer at Forbes. She now has a job she pitched to the company. “Through my client work at Forbes with more than 100 enterprise and fashion and luxury clients, my biggest takeaway was that while we were producing amazing campaigns that moved the needle for our clients, something critical was missing from our clients’ conversations: equity. That’s why in late 2019, I pitched a role to senior management that would center the business, revenue, and sales conversations around equity. In January, the Representation and Inclusion Practice became official.”



 
Erin Rettew
Digital Sales Manager
LNP Media Group
United States

 

About Erin: Erin spent three years at a small advertising agency and rose quickly from account assistant to account executive in an environment that taught her to push herself, trust herself, and take on increasingly challenging projects. She then returned to her home city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to join the digital team at LNP Media Group, where she now has oversight for almost all digital revenue in the advertising department. After Erin joined the team in February 2019, the team reached 129% of its digital goal by December, bringing in six figures of new business to the digital team. “I’d like to continue to build our team’s confidence in digital products, while not taking away from the confidence they have in print advertising, and, ideally, see all of our clients running both print and digital initiatives with the team.”

Audience

 
Lovisa Bergström
Data Scientist and Team Lead for Analytics Team
Dagens Nyheter
Sweden

 

About Lovisa: When she was 15 years old, Lovisa got a part-time job for the youth section at her local newspaper, Norrköpings Tidningar. In college, she studied engineering and earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science, a master’s degree in strategy and governance, and did an exchange programme in Taiwan. Her career in the media industry solidified during her Google News Lab fellowship at Dagens Nyheter, where she is now lead of the data analytics team. She was part of a team of five that built a new analytics tool for the newsroom, which has been rolled to 42 newspapers within Bonnier and is saving the company €1 million annually. “I want to … inspire and teach my newsroom to be even more data-driven and to truly see the potential of digitisation, analytics, and data tools. And I want Dagens Nyheter to keep striving to be a leading example within the media industry of how to create and sustain a profitable reader revenue business.”



 
Lily Cloake
Marketing Director
Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones
United States

 

About Lily: As a media planner for News UK, Lily had an idea. She asked for 30 minutes of CMO Katie Vanneck Smith’s time and pitched an idea to sell The Times of London to students. Smith gave her the seed money and, working in her off time, Lily launched the campaign. It worked. Lily quickly moved to The Times’ marketing team then to The Wall Street Journal in New York, where her original idea continues in her role as marketing director for student memberships (a role that didn’t exist until she pitched it). Student memberships have grown 207% under her leadership. “I am so proud of how I have been able to build my team with a relentless focus on the customer to drive world-class work to change the perception of the WSJ amongst young people,” she said. “This is such an important time for young people to understand they need and should be reading credible news sources, and I love the fact that I have a direct impact on that.”



 
Ronan Doyle
Acquisition and Lifecycle Manager
Independent News & Media
Ireland

 

About Ronan: Ronan started his career in eCommerce before joining The Irish Times’ digital subscription team in 2017. There, he led a partnership with National Geographic and The New York Times, expanded reader engagement outside of Ireland, and led a tactical initiative to bundle subscriptions with Amazon Echo Dot devices. In the first weeks of 2020, he moved to Independent News & Media, joining the large European group Mediahuis, where he is focused on proactive churn reduction initiatives and an evolving product catalogue. “I relentlessly parse large volumes of behavioural data to derive actionable insights into emerging opportunities in audience building and new subscriber acquisition,” he said. This led him to initiate an eCommerce funnel with a mobile-first outlook, which saw a 27% increase in mobile conversions in its first six weeks. “My foremost aim is to ensure the editorial initiatives … can be sustained into the future by fostering dynamic, dialogue-based relationships to the news consumers they serve.”



 
Taneth Evans
Head of Audience Development
The Times and Sunday Times
United Kingdom

 

About Taneth: In her final year at university, Taneth got a weekend job as the sole copywriter at a nationwide publication, so she created a customer-centric style guide for all digital communications. She introduced them to SEO and social media, “quickly learning that if I wanted to make a difference as the youngest member of the team, I had to be an expert on the matter during every conversation.” She joined Hearst publications after graduation and later spearheaded the switch from product-led concepts to audience-led concepts with one of its largest clients. By age 26, she was leading the audience development team of 15. She transformed the data-journalism-newsroom connection at The Times. With her suggestions and guidance, dwell time for smartphone app readers increased 25% year-over-year and digital subscribers overcame print subscribers for the first time. “I hope to inspire change at the top: compelling editors, senior executives, and further to take on an audience-first approach to news, publishing, and business.”



 
Mansi Panchamia
Marketing Manager, Corporate Marketing and Strategy
Mid-Day Infomedia
India

 

About Mansi: After graduate school, Mansi started her career as a management trainee in brand communications at Radio City, then was transferred to Mid-Day Infomedia Limited, a sister concern of Radio City. Her first project was to revamp Sunday Mid-Day, including the launch of the Mid-Day Digital Tabloid — part of the company’s move from print-only to digital-first during the early days of the pandemic. “When the newspaper was completely transformed to a digital tabloid I realised that this is an opportunity to drive change. I was responsible for the strategic alliances through which Mid-Day was able to garner a lot of subscribers.” Mansi believes, and wants to be part of, a nationwide shift. “Adapting to change and experimenting with new technology is something that the Indian media industry is struggling with. It is time for the media industry to have a 360-degree makeover.”



 
Naomi Wills
Customer Success Manager
Business Insider
United States

 

About Naomi: Naomi was studying classics and linguistics at Harvard University, then joined a small education start-up in Tokyo after graduation. A desire to serve a broader audience sent her back to school for a master’s degree in forensic linguistics, where she discovered the role word choice and narrative structure reflected and influenced media audiences. She was hooked and joined Business Insider’s customer support team as an intern. A year later she was in her current position as a team lead during a sudden company merger. In her first 10 months, she rebuilt her team, streamlined the customer support process, and took ownership of churn initiative and customer insights. Words still matter to Naomi.  She transitioned her team from “customer support” to “customer success,” organising coffee-and-conversation presentations with other departments to show them “we could do more than only react to customers.”

Business Intelligence

 
Shotaro Ishihara
Data Scientist
Nikkei
Japan

 

About Shotaro: Shotaro kicked off his media career as an undergraduate at the University of Tokyo, eventually serving as editor-in-chief, advertising manager, events manager, and digital manager at the university press while studying data science. Shotaro transitioned after university to Nikkei, Japan’s leading economic daily, to join the data science team. He also publishes a personal weekly newsletter with 1,000 subscribers, has more than 14,000 followers on Twitter, and runs a popular YouTube channel and a blog. “I am continuously exploring new ways to communicate with others using the power of media and information technology.” Shotaro collaborates with non-technical co-workers, suggesting ways to use data science solutions for a new B2B product. “I wish to contribute to the creation of a new business model for the news media,” Shotaro said of his future goals. “Traditional news media organisations strongly depend on subscriptions and advertisements. I don’t believe that these types of revenue can be maintained forever. There is a need for a new, sustainable way of making money in a way that doesn’t damage the value of journalism.”



 
Kartikay Khosla
Deputy Manager
Jagran New Media
India

 

About Kartikay: Kartikay started his career as a quality analyst at Times Internet Limited, then transitioned to the role of product manager at Jagran New Media. During his time in that position, he created an automated in-house tool called Lead Management System, launched to help handle education leads and data efficiently. Kartikay was part of a team that developed an AI/machine learning-based content recommendation engine, capturing various trends of users and mapping to a recommendation system. The result: 92% increase in engagement in recommended content. He moved to his current position 18 months later and now heads up the new data analytics department and is part of the core team working on the revenue road to subscription. “We should ensure the quality and credibility of the content being produced. And this type of content will help us to open a subscription revenue channel where users will pay us directly for the unique and reliable content that enables them to make better-informed decisions in life. This would enable us to create value for the content that is currently quite bleak in the Indian context.”



 
Stephanie Lievano
Business Development Manager
Corporación La Prensa
Panama

 

About Stephanie: When Stephanie won a scholarship to travel to Panama as part of her Latin American studies at university, her already media-focused career expanded from the small U.S. state of Kentucky to the country of Panama. She’s spent the past decade creating new businesses, leading government efforts for the first Model UN on a national level, and serving as the liaison between the World Economic Forum and university volunteers. “Corporación La Prensa has rechallenged everything I knew as head of business development,” said Stephanie, who now leads the company’s digital subscriptions team. “We have mixed in consumer behaviour with opportunities to specialise our products to launch a series of new portals in real estate, automobile, e-commerce and finance.” Stephanie loses sleep over how to increase the number of users logged into the Web site. Several initiatives, including a new “in case you missed it”  newsletter, have increased the number of simultaneous users logged in from 20 to more than 750 just after the newsletter is sent out. “I hope to be much more involved in the creation of algorithms to identify new user personas and continue to pave the way for personalisation for the newsroom. I believe the perspective journalists and editors bring can be packaged in many other ways aside from the Web site.”



 
Arthur Rückert
Head of Data and Strategic Planning
Grupo RBS
Brazil

 

About Arthur: Arthur started his career at Grupo RBS as a strategic planning specialist, directly involved with its business sustainability project. He now leads the company’s data team. The portfolio growth roadmap related to subscriber management and product and technology his team created helped the company reach more than 100,000 digital-only subscribers in 2019. He was also part of the team that worked to position the company’s main title, Zero Hora, into a premium product. In its fifth year, and during the pandemic, the team implemented new pricing and a new segmented retention strategy for the title. The result (even during COVID): an increase of 14% in subscriptions and US$1.34 million in the current cycle. “As a data leader, I hope to scale the data-driven culture for all businesses and areas of the RBS Group, creating a reliable and democratised data ecosystem and enabling the company to direct its strategy and accelerate its results,” he said. “I believe that this will be a market differential for the Grupo RBS.”



 
Virginia Stagni
Business Development Manager and FT Talent Director
Financial Times
United Kingdom

 

About Virginia: As a student at the London School of Economics, Virginia was writing her dissertation about the sustainability of the news industry and reached out to FT’s leaders via LinkedIn. They spotted her entrepreneurial mind and spirit, and she joined FT as a programme coordinator for an education start-up before moving into her current role. In this position, she has headed the new “FT Talent” division, giving access and potential job opportunities at FT to a pool of younger talents from diverse backgrounds and countries. Her FT Talent Challenge initiative is a hackathon type of experience to develop ideas that drive a new digital culture, especially among college-age readers. This now-annual event attracts more than 5,000 applications from five continents and more than 50 countries. And FT hired 30% of participants. “This initiative is really moving the needle for our brand, and it is a very powerful way of showcasing the FT as a ‘place to be’ and developing our younger audience,” she said.



 
Robert Tidball
Head of Data
Australian Community Media
Australia

 

About Robert: Robert started his media career in the strategy department of News UK during his university holidays. His first full-time job was on the portfolio strategy team at News Corp Australia, which hooked him on business strategy and analytics. Robert then worked for six months in Peru with an advisory firm, returned to Australia as a management consultant, then realised he missed the news industry. A position with Australian Community Media (ACM) as an analyst providing audience insights to sales teams quickly taught him the process could be much better. In his spare time, Robert created an internal sales tool using Google Cloud Platform, which immediately brought in about A$50,000 in new revenue. His current position — and department — didn’t exist until he pitched it to management. He now leads a team of six data engineers and data scientists. “I champion data in my role at ACM,” Robert said. “Data will be increasingly important for all industries but particularly the news media industry, which has a complicated relationship with large platforms and is experimenting new business models.”

Content + Product

 
Utkarsh Arora
Group Product Manager
The Economic Times
India

 

About Utkarsh: Uktarsh was promoted to a senior manager position within 15 months of joining The Economic Times, making him the youngest person to reach that level. Under his leadership, ET’s subscription revenue and subscribers have grown 3.5 times year-over-year for the past six quarters with an 80% decrease in marketing spends and significantly increasing average reader per user. With three days’ notice, the company decided to create a campaign for ETPrime paid subscribers. Within 24 hours, Utkarsh assembled 12 members from different teams and created an action plan to take the campaign live within two days. The results: Daily paid subscriber acquisitions increased 10 times during the campaign. “I extended learnings from the campaign by building an experimentation platform which allowed us to pitch custom plans and offer dynamic rewards (without even entering deal codes) to consumers based on their data profile,” he said. “These initiatives, along with other product interventions, helped improve our subscriber acquisition conversion by 3x within the next eight months.” 



 
Dominik Beber
Editor in Chief of JoomBoos
24sata
Croatia

 

About Dominik: As a journalism student in his first year of college, Dominik sent an open letter to the biggest commercial TV house in Croatia, volunteering his services just to get into the business. The company accepted and it was a wild ride for almost two years, during which he worked both as a TV and Web journalist before joining a digital marketing agency. He then transitioned to 24sata, where he was a video marketing specialist before moving to become the youngest editor-in-chief at JoomBoos, its Generation Z brand. “Generation Z and Generation Alpha are audiences which will soon dominate media space,” he said, “and media companies will have to change and adapt the new ways of reporting and reaching those audiences in order to stay relevant.” Dominik launched an anti-bullying project, a “Fake or Fact” format, a print magazine for this age group, and expansion into Slovenia. “I’m hoping that we will do it in even more countries. I know that’s the right way of connecting with younger audiences, and I hope that more people in industry will accept that.”




 
Mara Corbett
Creative Operations Director
Gannett
United States

 

About Mara: Mara moved to Texas with everything she had stuffed into her car to work as an intern on a new media innovation team tasked with bettering Gatehouse Media’s digital journalism (Gatehouse and Gannett subsequently merged in 2019). Her first project was to create a digital simulator to share the experience of a wind turbine. “I knew we’d have readers, like myself, who’d never been close to a turbine much less lived next to one,” she said. “So I let them bring the story into their own homes with a shadow flicker simulator. The digital simulator allows you to upload your own image or to see the effect over a preloaded shot of a living room.” She designed another project — “Unwatched,” a year-long investigation into Texas daycares — with 479,001,600 ways to move through the package. “Ever so subtly, it confronts an underlying problem I see in long-form investigative journalism: We’re still designing our stories for a print product.” She strives to build a design culture among journalists: “I want every journalist to ask ‘Who is this for?’ and push ‘Is this the best way to reach them?’ because the answer is never “Ourselves,’ and ‘Yes, it’s what we’ve done before.’”

 
Jostein Larsen Østring
Vice President Development
Amedia
Norway

 

About Jostein: While he was still in high school, Jostein began working part-time as a journalist. He was recruited at the age of 19 to work as a full-time journalist for Nordlys, and after three years, in 2014, he moved into the news editor’s spot and set about digitising the newsroom. His efforts led to a position as vice president of editorial development at Amedia and, since 2019, he has been vice president of development, product, and editorial. His swift ascent is due to a combination of natural leadership skills and a passion for insight and analytics. He led the “Better Journalism Initaitive” at Amedia, an analysis of 11,000 articles that pointed to a large potential for improvement in Amedia newsrooms. Key was sharing the importance of the digital product with the newsroom. “We made an in-depth analysis on how we work in six newsrooms, had workshops with key editors, and came up with a plan for a change to a digital-first workflow,” he said. “Our newsrooms implemented the changes voluntarily at their own pace — some fast, some after more lenghty processes, but all being convinced by proof of concept.”



 
Adar Rahman
Sub-Editor
Prothom Alo
Bangladesh

 

About Adar: Adar became sub-editor at the age of 20 and, just two years later, attended the 71st Cannes International Film Festival as a journalist on behalf of Prothom Alo, making her the first female journalist from Bangladesh to cover the prestigious event in Cannes, France. Covering the event, she wrote human stories — not just celebrity stories — like the one of a student who traveled 100 miles to see the festival without a ticket. As a girl from a developing country, she rightly counts that as an achievement of hers, and she looks to continue adding to these accomplishments, setting her sights on becoming a top executive in the news media industry. She recognises that as the industry changes, it needs new, vibrant, and sustainable ideas. She wants to be one of the voices shaping that future. “I always tried to go for a path that is less traveled,” she said. “I would like to utilise every competition, every obstacle, every challenge as an opportunity to prove the relevance of an authentic news media.”



 
Michael Sommer
Project Lead Interaktiv
Kleine Zeitung
Austria

 

About Michael: After being accepted by one of Austria’s best journalism programmes, Michael dropped out of software development studies and ultimately found his calling in data journalism. In early 2019, he wrote the final thesis about the introduction of an interactive storytelling team at Kleine Zeitung and, by summer, the company was implementing the step-by-step strategy he had outlined in his paper. One year later, storytelling has become a staple at Kleine Zeitung, the second-largest Austrian daily, and as the year comes to a close, he will take a new role as lead product designer. He sees digitalisation as “both the threat and possible way out of the crisis” facing the news industry and looks forward to helping keep the industry moving forward. “I want to be one of those future top executives embracing the power of these threatening technologies, to be on the solution side at the end,” he said.

Leadership

 
Zack Korman
Lead Architect
Aller Media
Norway

 

About Zack: With a law degree from the University of Edinburgh and a master’s degree in law and finance from the University of Oxford, Zack was hired by Aller Media to do “something useful with data.” He has more than answered that challenge by helping create Xavier, the innovative data platform and personalisation engine that has transformed operations for Aller Media and is at the heart of its technology ecosystem. Today, as lead architect, he is responsible for how technology is developed across the company and most recently led a team in redesigning the login and subscription system to give Aller Media better control over customer data. He attributes his success, as well as the success of Aller Media’s platforms, to a willingness to change. “I went from being a top law graduate to working in tech at a media company,” he said. “In an industry that is going to be changing, we want leaders who can change as well.”



 
Siyavuya Mzantsi
Editor
Independent Media
South Africa

 

About Siyavuya: Siyavuya launched his journalism career as an intern at Independent Media and has quickly climbed up the ranks since then. Before being named the first Black African editor of the Cape Times in its 143-year history last year, he had shown his versatility as a journalist by serving as a multimedia reporter, content producer, news editor, and assistant editor. His appointment to editor at the age of 26 also makes him the youngest editor in the news media group and possibly in Africa. He has been recognised for his bold voice, which includes winning the regional Vodacom Journalist of the Year for his work on racial inequalities and the marginalisation of women. He is dedicated to bringing more Black women into the newsroom while also reaching under-served communities. “The day this publication becomes accessible to children of gardeners and domestic workers, the lowly paid in our society, is the day I would have achieved my goal,” he said.



 
Nicholas O’Connor
Publisher and Chief Revenue Officer
AméricaEconomía
Chile

 

About Nicholas: Nicholas was 23 when he started his newspaper career in the marketing department at AméricaEconomía. The Ireland native had always loved reading and language — he’s fluent in French and Spanish — and found himself attracted to the journalism side of the company. Before long, he began collaborating on small pieces for the Web site and soon was participating in editorial meetings and pitching ideas. Within a year, he was working with sales teams and took an active role in commercial operations. This year, he was named publisher and chief revenue officer, and has been instrumental in helping teams organise virtual events and generate revenue from them during the pandemic. He also is shaping conversations about where they will go as a media company. “The fact that I started at the bottom of the organisation serves me well,” he said. “Having the knowledge of how everything works allows me to design better products and help editorial define better strategies.”



 
Sophia Phan
Deputy Digital Editor
The Sydney Morning Herald (Nine)
Australia

 

About Sophia: Sophia was just 19 when she started her career at the Sydney Morning Herald and has been appointed to several senior positions since, including social media editor at age 23 and deputy digital editor at 26. She has worked on numerous high-profile news stories, including the MH370 disappearance, terror attacks, the coronavirus pandemic, and the tragic Australian bushfires. Her decisions during the coronavirus outbreak, including making content free and creating a dynamic live blog, were commercial successes and helped drive a large amount of traffic to the Web site. “I want to be part of the future of media — to tell and share stories in dynamic and innovative ways,” she said. “To work with product and technology teams developing new templates and formats that can tap into new audiences.”



 
Taras Prokopyshyn
CEO
The Ukrainians
Ukraine

 

About Taras: With a creative and systematic approach to building a deep relationship with a core audience, Taras grew his brand from a small blog into a media company before he turned 29 and has proven that you don't have to be a global giant to succeed. Although he earned his degree in sociology, he was drawn to media and in 2014 founded The Ukrainians, an online magazine about successful Ukrainians. That project, which began with zero investment, has grown into a professional media ecosystem that now includes four brands, a brand studio, and educational projects. Next, it will venture into online radio. “Searching [for] opportunities is a requirement for the existence of independent media in Ukraine,” he said. “Success in the media industry can only be achieved in spite of circumstances.” As he continues searching for opportunities, he is reaching toward his goal to build a world-class media company in Ukraine.



 
Bente Zerrahn
Head of Innovation
Axel Springer
Germany

 

About Bente: After working at a cybersecurity start-up in Tel Aviv for a year, Bente returned to her native Germany and realised how overlooked cybersecurity was. She also recognised an opportunity to solve that problem. She pitched her ideas to the chief information security officer at Axel Springer and, in June 2019, the company created the position of cybersecurity analyst. “There were no efforts to inform and train employees how to deal with novel digital threats,” she said. “This led me to build a cybersecurity training and workshop programme from the ground up.” As she became more familiar with the company’s workings, she identified additional needs and pitched a new position to the Axel Springer executive board, in which she could deliver solutions to the opportunities and threats created by digitalisation — a position she currently holds. 

Grand Prize winners

Within the “30 Under 30 Awards,” judges selected six young professionals as regional Grand Prize winners. They are:

  • Africa: Siyavuya Mzantsi, Editor, Independent Media, South Africa 
  • Asia/Pacific: Shotaro Ishihara, Data Scientist, Nikkei, Japan
  • Europe: Virginia Stagni, Business Development Manager and FT Talent Director, Financial Times, United Kingdom
  • Latin America: Arthur Rückert, Head of Data and Strategic Planning, Grupo RBS, Brazil
  • North America: Mara Corbett, Creative Operations Director, Gannett, USA
  • South Asia: Utkarsh Arora, Group Product Manager, The Economic Times, India

“INMA is profoundly proud of this inaugural class of the 30 Under 30 Awards competition,” said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director and CEO of INMA. “These are future leaders of the news media industry, and INMA is grateful for our Young Professionals Committee and the judges for shining a light on their early career achievements and leadership potential. The judging process was rigorous, and we look forward to tracking the success of all winners and applicants.”

About Young Professionals Initiative

INMA’s Young Professionals Initiative was set up to look at how to engage under-30 rising stars to help them elevate the news media, guide the INMA community, and bring new life and energy to an industry undergoing transformation. The Young Professionals Initiative is spearheaded by the Young Professionals Committee with seven members from around the world.

About INMA

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 840+ news media companies in 71 countries, representing tens of thousands of news brands. 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 the Authors

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