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EdNC’s Laura Lee selected for ONA’s 2018 Women’s Leadership Accelerator

EdNC’s Content Director and Managing Editor Laura Lee is one of 25 women selected for the Online News Association’s Women’s Leadership Accelerator. More than 400 women applied for the honor.

The Accelerator is “an intensive program aimed squarely at advancing women in digital journalism.”

Co-Founder of EdNC and award-winning journalist Ferrel Guillory says, “Lee’s selection for the prestigious Women’s Leadership Accelerator is yet another marker of EdNC’s ability to build a team of first-rate journalists who are working together and with others nationally to change the media landscape.”

Lee joined the EdNC team in March 2017. Born and raised in Union County, Lee is a journalist, a lawyer, and a nonprofit leader. From 2013 to 2017, she oversaw daily production of North Carolina Public Radio WUNC’s The State of Things.

ONA’s announcement says, “We’re thrilled to announce the participants in the 2018 Women’s Leadership Accelerator, a yearlong intensive 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.”

Lee is in inspiring company. Here is the rest of the cohort:

Jeanette Ageson, Chief Revenue Officer, The Tyee

Liz Bloom, Pittsburgh Pirates Reporter, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Federica Cherubini, Head of Knowledge Sharing, Condé Nast International

Nisha Chittal, Engagement Editor, Racked, Vox Media

Bianca Consunji, Executive Producer, BuzzFeed News

Joni Deutsch, On-demand Content & Audience Engagement Producer, WFAE 90.7 FM 

Rhonda Elnaggar, News Video Producer, Mic

Brittany Grant, General Editor, Strategic Analytics, The Undefeated

Alejandra Gutiérrez Valdizán, Freelance Journalist and Agencia Ocote Coordinator

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams, Founder and CEO, Lantigua Williams & Co.

Laura Lee, Content Director and Manager Editor, EducationNC

Kate Lesniak, Publisher, Bitch Media

Brooke Minters, Executive Producer, Gizmodo Media Group

Eulimar Núñez, Health Editor, Univision

Angela Pacienza, Head of Experience, The Globe and Mail

Brittany Peterson, Video Journalist, McClatchy

Julie Shapiro, Deputy Editor, TIME

Sarah Shenker, Head of Audience Engagement, BBC

Noelle Swan, Science, Technology and Environment Editor, The Christian Science Monitor

Jessica Terrell, Podcast and Multimedia Editor, Honolulu Civil Beat

Neeti Upadhye, Video Journalist, The New York Times

Elizabeth Whitmire, Director of Social Media, Alabama Media Group

Emily Withrow, Editor, Quartz Bot Studio, Quartz

Angela Wong, Product Manager, The Washington Post

Karen Workman, Deputy Editor, News Desk, The New York Times

This “intensive program that supercharges the leadership and management skills of women who are pushing digital innovation” begins Feb. 25-March 2 at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in Los Angeles with an intensive week of mentoring, discussion and learning from some of the top minds in digital media, according to the announcement.

“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. Throughout the year, the women in the program will continue to receive support from ONA and the cohort as they work on their challenges, and the program culminates in a workshop at ONA’s annual conference (ONA18) in Austin, Texas.

EdNC’s Senior Reporter Alex Granados, who also worked with Lee at WUNC, says, “Lee has pushed me to become a better journalist, especially when it comes to incorporating multimedia elements to build compelling digital stories. Under her leadership, EdNC was the first media outlet in North Carolina to use 360 video.

“Lee finds internal and external professional development opportunities for her reporters to build their skill sets. She is at the forefront of community journalism, embedding our Reach NC Voices surveys in our articles to solicit input from readers and provide them with a more personalized experience.”

“Lee is also the best bossy boss lady ever — kind, thoughtful, and inspiring.”

Learn more about the Accelerator here.

Mebane Rash

Mebane Rash is the CEO and editor-in-chief of EducationNC.