Dapo Olorunyomi, emerges first African Fellow of the Poynter Institute, By Omoniyi Ibietan

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Oyekunle Dapo Olorunyomi, founder of Premium Times Group, multimedia journalist and media entrepreneur, and the most celebrated journalist in contemporary Nigeria, has been announced the first African Fellow of the Poynter Institute.

The Poynter Institute, a global leader in journalism, fact-checking and media literacy education, just announced Olorunyomi and 26 other leaders in media across the globe for the 2023 Media Transformation Challenge (MTC) Programme, a Poynter Institute’s Executive Fellowship.

The 2023 Fellows represent some of the biggest media brands in the world, including ABC News, The Associated Press, BBC, CNN and Los Angeles Times, as well as leading-edge nonprofit news organizations testing new audience approaches and business models. This year’s program will also welcome a highly diverse group of media professionals including the first Fellow from Africa — a renowned Nigerian investigative journalist”, the report stated in reference to Olorunyomi, popularly known as Dapsy.

A year-long fellowship birthed in 2007, the Poynter Fellowship has recorded more than 350 alumni who “have realized critical performance results, built lifelong career skills and relationships, and made major contributions to industry transformation” through this fellowship, known industry wide as the original Sulzberger Program which started at Columbia University.

According to a release by the Institute reported from St. Petersburg, “fellows learn and apply MTC’s well-known tools of performance-driven change, have yearlong access to a full slate of diverse executive coaches (including a personal coach), and connect with a world-class set of former Fellows who share common language and program experiences.”

The Executive Director of Poynter, Charlie Baum, said: “I’m deeply grateful for this very diverse, talented incoming class, and we’re excited to begin a new set of MTC journeys… As we enter our 17th year, I want to thank all the program alumni and supporters who helped bring together this particular group of Fellows”.

Fellows will begin the MTC program during an in-person kick-off at Poynter on Jan. 9, 2023, under the leadership of Baum, joined by returning coaches Robyn Tomlin, Amanda Barrett, Stéphane Mayoux and Lauren Gustus. Danyelle White, a 2022 Fellow, will also join the coaching staff and bring extensive experience in developing for-profit and nonprofit journalism business models and mentoring. Quentin Hope and Karen Gordon will retire as longtime coaches of the program but continue to serve as faculty in leadership and strategy.

The report equally noted that “participants will identify and pursue their most significant business performance challenges with help from MTC’s trademark tools, concepts, coaches, peer group and alumni network. In years past, the program has focused on helping newer enterprises deploy quality journalism to deliver audience impact, build capacity and gain financial strength; innovating new business models, service offerings and digital ventures; delivering more powerful audience-focused experiences and outcomes through integrating efforts across internal operations; and strengthening relationships and building audiences across fault lines of race and class”.

“The 2022 class achieved millions of dollars in incremental revenue, deeper audience and newsroom engagement and impact, and rapid cycle experimental testing of new ideas and opportunities,” said Baum. “And built lifelong relationships with each other.”

Additional report about the Fellowship and the Institute is documented below as culled from the original report.

“Several Fellows are supported through the generosity of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

About the Media Transformation Challenge Program

The Media Transformation Challenge (MTC) Program: A Poynter Institute Executive Fellowship is a yearlong fellowship and leadership program designed for senior news executives. Fellows identify and pursue the most significant business performance challenge they face and deliver real results with help from MTC’s trademark tools, concepts, coaches, peer group, and alumni network. This program has over 350 active alumni with strong ties to the program leadership and coaches.

MTC began as the Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program at Columbia in 2006-07 under the direction of program architect Douglas K. Smith. Since January 2020, Poynter has been home to this program, and Charlie Baum has been the executive director. A different program in leadership, network and methodology now operates under the Sulzberger name at Columbia.

The coaches for the 2023 MTC program include Stéphane Mayoux, Robyn Tomlin, Amanda Barrett, Lauren Gustus and Danyelle White.

About The Poynter Institute

The Poynter Institute is a global nonprofit working to address society’s most pressing issues by teaching journalists and journalism, covering the media and the complexities facing the industry, convening and community building, improving the capacity and sustainability of news organizations and fostering trust and reliability of information. The Institute is a gold standard in journalistic excellence and dedicated to the preservation and advancement of press freedom in democracies worldwide. Through Poynter, journalists, newsrooms, businesses, big tech corporations and citizens convene to find solutions that promote trust and transparency in news and stoke meaningful public discourse. The world’s top journalists and emerging media leaders rely on the Institute to learn new skills, adopt best practices, better serve audiences, scale operations and improve the quality of the universally shared information ecosystem.

The Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership, the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), MediaWise and PolitiFact are all members of the Poynter organization.

Support for Poynter and our entities upholds the integrity of the free press and the U.S. First Amendment and builds public confidence in journalism and media — an essential for health democracies.”

Please learn more at poynter.org.

Congratulations to our own Dapsy. More graces sir.

-Ibietan, PhD is Head of Media Relations, Nigerian Communications Commission

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