Announcing the 2018 Women’s Leadership Accelerator and more events for women in journalism

By on February 1, 2018

We’re thrilled to announce the participants in the 2018 Women’s Leadership Accelerator, a yearlong program for women innovating in digital journalism. This year, we welcome 25 women representing a range of backgrounds, expertise and newsrooms around the globe that are leading digital innovation.

Meet the 2018 class

Highlights of the 2018 Accelerator

The Women’s Leadership Accelerator kicks off with a week of tailored, intensive training, Feb. 25–March 2, at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and concludes at ONA18. In addition to exploring strategies for navigating their leadership path, women in the Accelerator will also work closely with mentors on challenges unique to their careers. The program culminates in a workshop at ONA’s annual conference (ONA18) in Austin, Texas.

Industry leaders who will speak this year include Jennifer Ferro, President, KCRW; Cory Haik, Publisher,; Charo Henríquez-Scaia, Senior Editor of Digital Storytelling and Training, The New York Times; Amanda Hess, Critic, The New York Times; and Shazna Nessa, Global Head of Visuals and Deputy Managing Editor, The Wall Street Journal.

Beyond the cohort

In 2018, we’re expanding what we offer through the Women’s Leadership Accelerator to reach women outside the intensive program, bringing training to them in their communities. With hundreds of people applying to this year’s Accelerator, it’s clear that more women in journalism are looking for support. We will adapt lessons from the one-week intensive of the Accelerator to deliver in other fora, including training at other ONA events and partnerships with other organizations. We are happy to announce three ways we will reach even more women this year:

  • Collaboration with ONA Local: We will offer a series aimed at helping women advance their careers. The first of this series will be Friday, March 2, in Los Angeles, giving local journalists a chance to learn alongside and connect with the 2018 cohort. This summer, we will host a workshop in Detroit focused on strategies for women to navigate their career paths. We are also working with Local groups to host events throughout the year tackling strategies for women  in local newsrooms managing change, and look forward to bringing these events to smaller markets.
  • Training with NAHJ: ONA is partnering with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists to deliver training at the NAHJ international conference, which takes place July 18-21 in Miami.
  • Programming at ONA18: We look forward to being in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 13-15 for the ONA18 conference. In addition to the final workshop for the 2018 class, ONA18 will also include programming aimed at women in leadership in digital media.

ONA is a small team that’s looking to make a big impact. We’re excited to offer these new opportunities through the Accelerator and will continue to explore ways to support women in journalism.

The Women’s Leadership Accelerator training is tuition-free thanks to the generous support of lead funder, the Dow Jones Foundation, and supporting funders Fusion Media Group, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, VIP and the Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau. ONA also is grateful to the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, our host for the Accelerator program.

If you’re interested in partnerships to support the program, please contact ONA Head of Strategic Partnerships Jessica Strelitz at

Fusion MediaKnight FoundationUSC Annenberg School for Communication and JournalismBeverly Hills