Presentation of the 58 Poynter-Koch Fellows in Media and Journalism for 2022-2023

The Poynter Institute is proud to welcome 58 emerging journalists for the fourth year of its prestigious Poynter-Koch Fellowship for Media and Journalism program. The year-long exchange kicked off this month and includes a two-day online opening high.

This impressive class of early-career media professionals includes reporters, editors, producers, and photojournalists from news organizations across the country. They represent a variety of outlets and media such as The Texas Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, Baltimore Witness, WBTV News and WBEZ.

Fellows are placed as full-time paid employees at participating news outlets and receive intensive training to develop interdisciplinary skills and accelerate their media careers. They will connect with seasoned mentors and award-winning journalists on a weekly basis and follow a solid, real-world curriculum led by Poynter faculty Kristen Hare.

Hare, who has spent the past nine years covering local media, sees the program as an opportunity to develop and retain top local news talent.

“We are working against an entire industry that wants more and faster from its workforce,” said Hare, director of the exchange since 2021. “This program takes a long-term view that faster and faster are fast exits from journalism. Our journalists and the communities they serve deserve better. Fellows will receive additional layers of community, mentorship, and training to help them carve out a place in the forefront of local news.

The Poynter-Koch Fellowship for Media and Journalism is an educational partnership between Poynter Fellowships and Stand Together.

“Stand Together Fellowships is delighted to welcome these 58 talented professionals to the Poynter-Koch Media & Journalism Fellowship,” said Hugh Cherry, director of education at Stand Together Fellowships. “We are thrilled to see the experiences, perspectives and passion they bring to address the challenges and opportunities facing the journalism industry, their workplaces and the communities they serve. A free press is an essential part of a thriving free and democratic society, and we’re proud to invest in helping future leaders accelerate their professional development.

Poynter-Koch Fellows will complete a series of experiential learning workshops and discussions on the most pressing issues facing the journalism industry today. Weekly sessions will evolve to meet fellows’ needs and desires for growth in the industry and will include opportunities to develop technical and soft skills including trauma reporting, journalism craft, building centered journalism on hearing and other basic skills. Fellows will also lead a capstone innovation project to address business and journalistic challenges in their organization and attend three multi-day summits.

“The Fellowship is a real opportunity for young journalists to connect and get advice from mentors who have seen it all in the industry, as well as peers who are also navigating some of the same tricky waters in other rooms. newsroom across the country,” said Omar Gallagafreelance journalist and one of the program’s key advisors working with fellows weekly throughout the program year.

Other advisers include Benoit Wilsoneditor of The Points Guy; Caitlin Deweybusiness reporter at The Buffalo News; Gil Asakawaassociate editor of the New Hope Network’s Nutrition Business Journal; Katie Hawkins Gaarfreelance writer and co-founder of Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Media; Chris Sheridan, a professor at Wake Forest University and a Poynter adjunct; and Dan Lothianexecutive producer of The World.

In addition to Poynter-Koch advisors, guest instructors help bring fellow training experiences to life. This year they include conflict experts Amanda Ripley and Helene Biandudi HoferFounder of StoryCorps David Isayformer CNN correspondent Moni BasuAssociated Press investigative reporter Kat StaffordAxios’ Russ Contreras and editor of The Journalist’s Resource Naseem Miller.

For 2021-22 Poynter-Koch Fellow Will Schick, the program has created a pathway from a decade-long career in the Marine Corps to a rookie journalist at Street Sense Media. Midway through the program, he took on the role of editor.

“I didn’t think I was running the press room at first. I was thinking more about how to become a complete journalist. Thanks to the scholarship, I realized, wow, I can actually take on projects and I have ideas of how to lead,” said Schick, who is sending two more employees on the scholarship this year. “Our goal at Street Sense Media is to report fairly and accurately on issues related to poverty and homelessness. I can think of no better place for journalists and editors than the Poynter-Koch Fellowship to develop the journalistic skills they need to do so.

Poynter-Koch Fellows have also won significant awards. The Miami Herald won a Pulitzer Prize this year for Latest news report, acknowledging “his urgent but sweeping coverage of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium complex”. Included in the victory submission are six fellows.

Congratulations to the new class of Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellows:

  • Athiyah AzimProduction Editor, Street Sense Media
  • Nicolas Baintrubnewsletter editor and immigration reporter, Enlace Latino NC
  • JM BanksCulture & Identity Reporter, The Kansas City Star
  • Justin BaxleyDigital Content Manager, Tegna/13WMAZ
  • Nicole Blanchardinvestigative journalist, Idaho statesman
  • Alison Booth, Audience Growth Producer, The Kansas City Star
  • Kirstyn BrendlenDigital Publisher, Schneps Media/Brooklyn Paper
  • Courtney BubbleReporter, Government Executive
  • Michael ButlerBusiness Journalist, The Miami Herald
  • Janelle CalderonGeneral Assignment Reporter, The Nevada Independent
  • Megan Cardonduty journalism reporter, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • Lexi Cortesinvestigative reporter, Belleville News-Democrat/McClatchy
  • Willie Daniely IIIMMJ, WTVG-13ABC
  • Sierra Dawn McClainReporter, CapitalPress
  • Keely DollEducation Reporter, Center Daily Times
  • Esther Eatonassociate editor, The Dispatch
  • Benjy EgelFood and Beverage Reporter, The Sacramento Bee
  • Cassandra Garibayhousing journalist, Fresnoland
  • Kelly GarrettNews Producer, WBRC
  • Oliva Georgesbusiness reporter, Tampa Bay Times
  • Mary Glen HatcherGeneral Assignment Reporter, Green Valley News and Sahuarita Sun (Wick Communications)
  • Sean GolonkaGeneral Assignment Reporter and Elections Reporter, The Nevada Independent
  • Katy GolvalaResearcher Investigator, Mirror CT
  • Aidan GrahamEditor, amNewYork
  • Morgan HughesCity of Columbia Reporter, The State Media Company
  • Palak Jayswalcultural reporter, The Salt Lake Tribune
  • Lia KeenerAssociate Editor, Bay Nature
  • Indira KheraSubway Reporter, WBEZ
  • Ava KianRacial Equity and Health Researcher, MinnPost
  • Katherine Kocalcommunity reporter, The Palm Beach Post
  • Evan L’RoyStaff Photographer, The Texas Tribune
  • Joni LandBend/Central Oregon Reporter, Oregon Public Broadcasting
  • Anila LijoEngagement Producer, Tampa Bay Times
  • Alexandria MansfieldGrowth and Development Reporter, The Florida Times-Union
  • Cory McCoyreporter/editor, Tri-City Herald (McClatchy)
  • Marianna McMurdockStaff Reporter, Le 74
  • Guillaume MelhadoGeneral Assignment Reporter, The Texas Tribune
  • Andrew Michaelsenior court reporter, Baltimore witness
  • Justin MitchellSenior Editor, The Sun Herald/McClatchy
  • Diba MohtashamAssociate Producer, NPR
  • Kate MurphyHigher Education Reporter, The News & Observer
  • Reese OxnerLate-breaking reporter, The Texas Tribune
  • Palm tree Valentinacommunity reporter, The Palm Beach Post
  • Josephine PetersonDallas County reporter, The Dallas Morning News
  • Powers of LiesbethVisual Reporter, The Dallas Morning News
  • Gordon RagoGrowth and Development Reporter, The Charlotte Observer
  • Omar Rodriguez OrtizGeneral Assignment – Breaking News Reporter, Miami Herald
  • Kaela RoederAssociate Editor, Street Sense Media
  • Karla SantosLatin American Community News Specialist, RJ Media Group
  • Aliya SchneiderDigital Editor, Bronx Times
  • Mehr SinghEditor-in-Chief, The Scope
  • Anne SnabesSarasota County government/politics reporter, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
  • Hayley SperlingEditorial Manager, Madison Minutes
  • Steven TrombelloAssignment Manager, WBTV News
  • Rose Varela HenriquezReporter, El Nuevo Herald
  • Nick WootenAccountability Reporter, Ledger-Enquirer
  • Will Wrightpolitical journalist, The Charlotte Observer
  • Olivia WynkoopReporter, Bay City News Foundation

About the Poynter Institute

The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a world leader in journalism education and a center for strategy representing uncompromising excellence in 21st century journalism, media and public discourse. Poynter professors teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, and at newsrooms, conferences, and organizations around the world. Its online learning division, News University, offers the world’s largest online journalism program, with hundreds of interactive courses and tens of thousands of registered international users. The Institute’s website produces round-the-clock coverage of media, ethics, technology and current affairs. Poynter is home to the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership, Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact, the international fact-checking network, and MediaWise, a digital media education project for youth, new voters, and seniors. The world’s best journalists and media innovators rely on Poynter to learn and teach new generations of journalists, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcasters. This work educates the public about journalism, media, the First Amendment, and speech that serves democracy and the public good.

By Poynter Ethics Policy, Poynter maintains editorial independence regarding program and content. The Media and Journalism Fellowship relationship between Poynter and Stand Together Fellowships is a teaching partnership. A List of Poynter’s Greatest funders and educational partners can be found here.

Media Contact:

Tina Dyakon
Marketing Director
The Poynter Institute
[email protected]
727-553-4343

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