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INMA honours 30 rising stars in news media with young professionals awards

30 September 2021

DALLAS (30 September 2021) — The International News Media Association (INMA) today unveiled its list of 30 young professionals worldwide judged rising stars in the news media industry for 2021. This is the second year INMA has run this global competition.

The “30 Under 30 Awards” competition is part of INMA’s Young Professionals Initiative and received more than 130 applicants in July and August.

Members of the association’s Young Professionals Committee reviewed applications and voted on six award recipients in five categories: Advertising, Audience, Content, Leadership, and Product.

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:


  • Shirine Bauer, Digital Business Developer, Aftonbladet, Sweden  
  • Katie Fabry, Marketing Director, Wall Street Journal, United States  
  • Afrian Muflihul Imron, Programmatic Sales & Operations Manager, KG Media, Indonesia  
  • Nastasia Pawlak, Manager Business Development, Axel Springer, Germany  
  • Damini Pustake, Senior Officer, Times of India, India  
  • Mark Rossman, Major Accounts Manager, LNP Media Group, United States  


  • Cédric Algoed, Data Performance Manager, DPG Media, Belgium  
  • Brianne Kennedy, Associate Director, Member Engagement, Wall Street Journal, United States  
  • Nidhi Mahajan, Associate Editor, Audience Engagement, The Quint, India  
  • Giuliana Pasquali, Social Media Analyst, Clarín, Argentina  
  • Mitchell Powell, Head of Social/Newsroom, NZME, New Zealand 
  • Katharina Puntigam, Digital Subscription Manager, Kleine Zeitung, Austria  


  • Julia Beil, Senior Editor and Co-Leader, Department For Career, Science and Life News, Insider, Germany  
  • Rafeed Elahi Chowdhury, Lead, Content and Product Growth, The Business Standard, India  
  • Denis Domínguez, Editor, El Heraldo, Honduras  
  • Lee Hee Ai, Team Lead (Young Audience), Singapore Press Holding, Singapore  
  • Claudia Mann, Editor in Chief, Futter Magazine, Funke Media, Germany   
  • Lilys Njeru, Correspondent, Nation Media Group, Kenya  


  • Kayla Alexander, Head of Audience Development, Media24, South Africa  
  • Peder Engesæth, Director/Consumer and Lifestyle, Aller Media, Norway  
  • Betina Hughes Sheen, Senior Producer, The Canberra Times (Australia Community Media), Australia  
  • Katherine Landeck, Co-Director of Planning, Gannett, United States  
  • Agnes Stenbom, Responsible AI Specialist, Schibsted, Sweden  
  • Daniela Werbeniec, Senior Project Manager and Communications Lead, Agora, Poland  


  • Cloudy Carnegie, Senior Data Scientist, Financial Times, United Kingdom  
  • Cassidy Grom, News App Developer, The Star-Ledger (Advance Local), United States  
  • Hiroya Kato, Web Developer and Voice Actor, Nikkei, Japan   
  • Hemant Sahni, Lead Analyst/Data & Analytics, HT Media, India  
  • Sarah Weishäupl, Head of Product Management, Die Presse, Austria  
  • Bettina Widmer, Head of Vertical Hub and New Audiences, Blick Grupp (Ringier), Switzerland  

Beyond recognition, “30 Under 30” awards recipients will receive access to INMA master classes, INMA membership benefits, and more. All 130 applicants have been provided access to an INMA Young Professionals Initiative Slack channel for ideas-sharing and networking.

“INMA is so proud of the 2021 class of the INMA 30 Under 30 Awards, which reflects broad geographical, gender, and racial diversity,” said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director and CEO of INMA. “You can see with the 30 award winners the diverse incubation ground for future media leaders: data, product, audience development, planning, social media, and marketing. INMA looks forward to a fuller embrace of this year’s 30 Under 30 Awards class over the next year.”

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 nearly 19,000 members at 900+ news media companies in 76 countries, representing tens of thousands of news brands. INMA is the news media industry’s foremost ideas-sharing network with members connected via conferences, reports, Webinars, virtual meetings, awards competitions, and an unparalleled archive of best practices. INMA leads the news industry with initiatives dedicated to better understanding digital subscriptions, smart data, product, advertising, and the emerging relationship with Big Tech platforms.




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