The Constellation News Leadership Initiative is a career development fellowship to support mid-career media professionals of color. As the inaugural Constellation class completed its fellowship this spring, we asked each fellow to write an essay reflecting on their experience by answering the following questions: Based on what you have learned and seen in journalism, how do you think the field will evolve in the future? What role do you want to play in that transformation?
The news product will be more accessible to anyone in the future, no matter which format you prefer. Language barriers will also not be an accessibility issue as astranslation technology improves. But perhaps the most important question journalists face is how can we, as news industry leaders, push for equality for our readers?
The news industry needs product thinkers. In an age where information is so easily available, qualified newsroom managers need to understand revenue generation, technology, marketing, project management, leadership, and so many other skills.
I was impressed by Constellation courses on product management and development, led by Andrew Losowsky, and managing culture and change, led by Emma Carew Grovum.
At New Mainstream Media, I play an operational role and focus on sales, accounting and public relations, which I love, but prior to this program I never knew the challenges of reporters and editors. But now, I am engaging in news product development and getting interested in more topics. News products are meaningful and make me feel fulfilled. Also, Tony Cuffie was such a great mentor. He started his career at Inquirer from a sales position, just like me. Now he is VP and this is what I will strive to be in the future.
With skills I learned from the Constellation program, I will spend more time on pushing for equality in news products. By deeply knowing how senior Asian people have trouble with access to mainstream digital news, how young people easily get emotional by sensational headlines, and how fake news distracts readers’ attention and hides the truth, I’ve learned that news is not only an article anymore, news is a service. All readers have the right to know what is happening around the world and around the corner. This right should not be limited by technology and money. Readers are humans, not just numbers.
It is challenging since equality is never an easy thing. I will start from community outreach and let people speak out, which I started in March with an anti Asian-Hate rally New Mainstream Media organized and led. The Constellation program has ended, but I am starting a new beginning.