Women's Leadership Accelerator - Apply by Nov 15th

Applications open for ONA’s 2017 Women’s Leadership Accelerator at USC Annenberg

By on October 18, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC — The Online News Association, the world’s largest association of digital journalists, today opened applications for the 2017 Women’s Leadership Accelerator, which will provide tuition-free intensive training, professional development and support tailored to 25 women leaders pushing innovation in digital media.

ONA is partnering with the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism to host the training in Los Angeles Feb. 5-10, 2017. The focus for the week will be on developing critical leadership skills and tools for navigating change, as well as finding solutions to the unique challenges faced by women in media and technology. Participants also will target and work through a challenge specific to their careers.

The Accelerator forum offers a unique blend of practical guidance, mentorship and off-the-record group discussion, providing a built-in support system for the future. It is squarely aimed at expanding the pipeline, retention and engagement of emerging women leaders in the digital journalism industry, drawing on the expertise of media executives and game-changers and using real-world use cases.

“The results of past trainings, and the strong bonds among the cohorts that have emerged, have proven the effectiveness of this unique approach,” said ONA Executive Director Jane McDonnell. “We’re delighted to join with the Dow Jones Foundation and USC Annenberg to provide more opportunities to seed empowered women leaders in newsrooms.”

The Accelerator is open to all women working in digital media, including freelancers, entrepreneurs and independent journalists. ONA will screen candidates for potential, need and diversity across ethnicity, age, geography, technology platforms and skill sets. The Accelerator is now accepting international applicants for the first time. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on Nov. 15.

This new partnership will bring a range of prominent women leaders as speakers and mentors to Los Angeles, including:

Kara Swisher
Executive Editor at Recode

Jennifer Brandel
CEO and Co-founder, Hearken

Charo Henriquez-Scaia
former Digital Executive Editor of People en Español

Liz Heron
former Executive Editor at Huffington Post

Thanks to the generous support of the Dow Jones Foundation, the Women’s Leadership Accelerator training is tuition-free. Participants will cover their own travel costs; ONA is able to offer a limited number of travel stipends to participants. ONA is grateful to USC Annenberg for generously donating space to the Accelerator program.

Apply Now

This new program is the latest iteration of the ONA-Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media, a two-year training in partnership with the Poynter Institute. In its first two years, the program received close to 1,000 applications for just over 50 seats. At the conclusion of the partnership, it was clear to both organizations that there is a critical need for expanded training opportunities, and ONA and Poynter will host separate leadership programs for women in 2017.

onalogoAbout ONA
The Online News Association is the world’s largest association of online journalists. ONA’s mission is to inspire innovation and excellence among journalists to better serve the public. The membership includes news writers, producers, designers, editors, bloggers, technologists, photographers, academics, students and others who produce and distribute news for digital delivery systems. ONA also hosts the annual Online News Association annual conference and administers the Online Journalism Awards.

DowJonesAbout the Dow Jones Foundation

The Dow Jones Foundation supports organizations involved with journalism, free press, literacy and education and the arts. This program is kindly supported by the Dow Jones Foundation.

USC Annenberg School for Communication and JournalismAbout the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
Located in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California, the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is a national leader in education and scholarship in the fields of communication, journalism, public diplomacy and public relations. With an enrollment of more than 2,200 students, USC Annenberg offers doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degree programs, as well as continuing development programs for working professionals across a broad scope of academic inquiry. The school’s comprehensive curriculum emphasizes the core skills of leadership, innovation, service and entrepreneurship and draws upon the resources of a networked university located in the media capital of the world.


Jennifer Mizgata

Jennifer Mizgata is Director of Programs at the Online News Association, where she leads the Women's Leadership Accelerator. At ONA, Jennifer focuses on identifying talented digital journalists and innovative journalism projects and providing them with support. Jennifer is a business and design strategist with over a decade of experience creating industry-changing training programs, investing in award-winning projects, and managing key relationships with journalism partners and tech stakeholders. She regularly coaches managers, senior leaders and entrepreneurs on challenges related to their careers and launching new ventures. Jennifer shares advice for navigating tough work challenges in Work Space, a monthly column for Fortune.