Journalism Innovation & Leadership Class of 2023

Our Class of 2023 hail from 12 countries across 4 continents

Journalism Innovation & Leadership Programme

Post-Graduate Certificate / MA Master of Arts

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More than 30 senior editors from around the world will make up the 2023 cohort of the prestigious Journalism Innovation and Leadership (JILeaders) Programme at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

The 32 participants of the flagship programme, which is sponsored by the Google News Initiative (GNI) and International Media Support (IMS), hail from 12 countries across four continents and work in senior roles for a broad range of media organisations, from national broadcasters and news publishers to new digital start-ups and technology companies. 

Course content includes:

  • Systems analysis to evaluate current issues and pinpoint future opportunities Organisational diagnostics to develop practical strategies to drive performance
  • Data-informed user-centred innovation approaches to creative value for customers, organisations and communities
  • Design sprints to help you and your team clearly define goals, validate assumptions before starting product development
    Agile management techniques to deliver complex projects
  • Approaches to leadership that foster performance
    Mentoring to help you map your own professional development pathway

“This will be the third year of the Programme and we welcome our first-ever Sub-Saharan Africa cohort. The class of 2023 boasts a vast range of experience and shares a passion for transforming the journalism industry and supporting their communities.

I am sure this cohort will learn a great deal from each other as well as tapping into the expertise of the Programme’s tutors and mentors”

Dr François Nel, Reader in Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UCLan and director of the programme

Participants will be supported by dedicated and forward-thinking mentors drawn from our alumni and industry advisory board, which features organisations such as the Associate Newspapers of Zimbabwe, the Google News Initiative, Reach PLC, the UK Society of Editors, S&P Global Market Intelligence, the Telegraph Media Group, Twitter, the World Association of News Publishers and the World Editors Forum.

For the first time, participants will have the option to attend face-to-face sessions in both the UK and Africa after UCLan extended the JIL Programme to Sub-Saharan Africa following a successful two-year run in the UK.

The Programmes, which will begin in January, will run concurrently and be taught entirely online to make the course more accessible, with the option of attending two intensive learning blocks in person or online – one will be in Preston and the other in Cape Town.

“Journalism is such a dynamic industry and we need innovation to ensure we have a thriving media landscape. I’m looking forward to learning from experts and peers while developing new ideas to reach, engage and monetise audiences around trusted news.”

Jacqui Merrington, Discovery Director at Reach Plc

Partners: Society of Editors, Google News Initiative

Funders: Google News Initiative

International Media Support


“I’m excited to gain insights from mentors and peers navigating this path, and collaborating to make journalism an authentic experience that is an accurate reflection of our generation.”

Colleen Goko, Senior Reporter at Bloomberg in South Africa

The UCLan Journalism Innovation & Leadership (JILeaders) Programme Class of 2023:

Collins Liberty Adede is a Correspondent for Voice of America and a radio and TV journalist (Kenya)
Aby Agina is a Senior Anchor, Producer at CNBC Africa and a member of the Kenya Editors Guild (Kenya)
Nino Bakradze is an editor and co-founder of the investigative journalists’ team, iFact (Georgia)
Ranoba Baoa is the Managing Editor for the Fiji Sun (Fiji)
John Baron is editor of the West Leeds Dispatch (UK)
Matt Brindley is Head of Output at ITV News (UK)
Christina Chimuka is General Manager at Jester Media, a TV Show host and lifestyle consultant (Zimbabwe)
Maeve Connolly is the deputy digital editor of the Irish News (N Ireland)
Laura Davis is Reach Plc’s Senior Editor North West (UK)
Nata Dzvelishvili is the CEO at Indigo Media (Georgia)
Sakarie Nour Farah is a Senior Correspondent at Garowe Online (Somalia)
Colleen Goko is a Senior Reporter at Bloomberg (South Africa)
Emily Hewett is the Head of Audience Development DC Thomson (UK)
Lucy Jones is Deputy Managing Editor at the Telegraph Media Group (UK)
Stanley Kwenda is a Senior Journalist with BBC World Service in London (UK)
Vimbiso Matarise is Operations Manager at Jester Media (Zimbabwe)
Jacqui Merrington is Discovery Director at Reach Plc (UK)
Leyla Mohamed is the Editor at IMS Radio Ergo (Somalia)
Silence Mugadzawe is a Digital and Online Editor at Alpha Media Holdings (Zimbabwe)
John Mwaura is an Editor at KTN News (Kenya)
Fridah Naliaka is a Digital Sub-editor at Royal Media Services (Kenya)
Paul Nyakazeya is Group Digital Manager at Modus Media (Zimbabwe)
Ciaran O’Neill is a journalist with the Mediahuis group in Northern Ireland (UK)
Morongwa Wandile Phala-Goodwill is a Sub Editor with Dikgang Publishing Company (Botswana)
Ivor Price is a journalist and author, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Food for Mzansi Group (South Africa)
Harriet Rose-Gale is Head of Features (Digital and Print) at SWNS (UK)
Dereje Moges Tadesse is Vice CEO of Amhara Media Corporation (Ethiopia)
Legolo Tebogo is a Senior Information Officer at the Department of Information Services (Botswana)
Ibrahim Khalilulahi Usman is a broadcast journalist and managing editor with Ghanaian Streets (Ghana)
Catherine Vonledebur is a freelance journalist and What’s on editor (UK)
Maximillah Walukhu is a radio journalist with the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (Kenya)
Justus Wanzala is an Editor and Reporter at Kenya Brodcasting Corporation (Kenya)

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