The Lenfest Constellation News Leadership Initiative (CNL) is a program designed to provide added support to mid-career media professionals of color. This seven month fellowship will provide world class training from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, mentorship from Executive Advisors who have advanced to positions of leadership in news organizations and career coaching from CLS Next to mid-career media professionals of color in the Greater Philadelphia Area. The goal of this program is to support fellows and lead to increased agency in their current and future roles in journalism.

Fellows Criteria

  • Participant is a person of color who works in a media organization in Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware, Mercer, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester in NJ & New Castle County in Delaware.
  • The program is open to candidates from the editorial, product, business, and technology sides of media organizations
  • Participants are expected to have some leadership experience. Participants with strategic leadership responsibilities but no direct reports will also be considered.
  • Participant has aspirations of advancing in their career with the ultimate goal to run a desk, department, or news organization
  • Participants should have a desire to learn, be coached, mentored and have an understanding of the core competencies they’d like to improve on over the course of this program.
  • The participant keeps it real and is willing to have tough conversations when needed - especially around issues of equity and pushes for progress, developing creative and innovative solutions while being reflective and rooted in past context
  • Participants should expect to dedicate 20-25 hours a month on this project.
  • Applications will close on September 15th, 2022 at 11:59PM

Executive Advisor Criteria

We are looking for desk, department and news organization leaders that are willing and able to mentor fellows in this program. We’re looking for adaptive leaders with strong coaching skills that can support a fellow with setting and meeting their goals. This leader will be adept at influencing and motivating people, have strong listening, relationship building and interpersonal skills and be a strong communicator. Executive Advisors should expect to dedicate 1-4 hours a month on this project. Leaders should also be competent in at least one of the following areas:

  • Organizational Leadership: This competency is about managing people, projects, self and organizations. It includes skills such as conflict resolution, developing staffers, strategic thinking, change management, critical thinking, gaining and managing influence, accountability and resiliency.
  • Reporting & Editing: This competency is about overseeing the content being produced. It includes skills such as identifying content that is of interest to the community, developing journalists’ stories and work-product, team leadership, organizational skills, critical thinking, & goal setting.
  • Audience Development, Data & Metrics: This competency is about understanding our audience and community to be able to meet information needs and increase the number of loyal audience members. It includes skills such as community engagement and listening strategies, developing metrics to determine effectiveness, gathering and understanding user data and creating audience-centric news organizations.
  • Product Management and Development: This competency is about creating and managing current and prospective product ideas to delight your audience and increase loyalty. It includes skills such as creating and executing a strategy, managing interdisciplinary teams, design-thinking, and user research.
  • Revenue Models & Business Models for Journalism: This competency is about building sustainable practices that ensures organizations can continue to function and thrive. It includes skills such as business planning, identifying strategic opportunities, understanding of various various revenue models and project management.
  • Other competencies

This is the reporting form to be completed quarterly by each Lenfest grantee until project completion. Please refer to your contract agreement for project due dates.

If you have any questions, please contact Shawn Mooring at shawn@lenfestinstitute.org or Samiya Green at samiya@lenfestinstitute.org.

This form is for applying for grants from the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. The application format closely mirrors our outside grant applications.


If you have any questions please contact samiya@lenfestinstitute.org.

Lenfest Institute for Journalism