The 2018 Women's Leadership Accelerator cohort visits the sculpture studio at Disney Imagineering in Los Angeles, seen here with the original Snow White and the Seven Dwarves marble sculptures.

Warm welcome in Los Angeles for the 2018 class of the Women’s Leadership Accelerator

By on February 28, 2018

ONA is in Los Angeles this week for the start of the 2018 Women’s Leadership Accelerator, an intensive yearlong program that supports women to advance their careers in digital journalism. Twenty-five women with a range of expertise and from diverse news organizations were selected from a global pool of applicants to participate in the program.

The weeklong forum — hosted by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism — kicks off the Accelerator with intensive training on leadership skills, mentorship to begin addressing a specific career challenge and visits to a number of media organizations in the area.

This year’s site visits include:

  • Walt Disney Parks and Resorts: Participants got a glimpse into Disney’s signature immersive storytelling. In a discussion moderated by Michele Himmelberg, creative executives Charita Carter, Jeanette Lomboy and Robin Reardon from Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Parks Live Entertainment shared insights on how diversity of ideas and backgrounds help drive the most creative storytelling teams. The visit also included a tour of the Walt Disney Imagineering campus and a sneak-peek of upcoming attractions.
  • RYOT: The group enjoyed the opportunity to get to know RYOT, an award-winning media company specializing in innovative documentary film production, virtual reality and augmented reality. The visit focused on the intersections of storytelling, innovation and managing change — with speakers Hayley Pappas, Averie Timm and Amy Rosner leading the conversation.
  • KCRW: We had the opportunity to spend time at KCRW, the world-renowned National Public Radio member station. Jen Ferro, Sonya Geis and Caitlin Shamberg engaged the group in a discussion on all things collaboration with other newsrooms as well as with local communities.

The week concludes with an evening reception with ONA Los Angeles on Friday, March 2. Join us to meet the Accelerator’s 2018 class and to hear lightning talks on women in leadership from the local digital journalism community. If you’re interested in delivering a talk, email your pitch to by Thursday, March 1, 6:00 p.m. PT.

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, Knight Foundation, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, VIP, The New York Times, Disney Parks and Resort, the Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau and RYOT. ONA also is grateful to the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, our host for the Accelerator program.

Learn more about the 2018 class and follow them this week on the hashtag #ONAWLA.

Fusion MediaKnight FoundationUSC Annenberg School for Communication and JournalismBeverly Hills