If a journalist is in the industry long enough, they hear about the Poynter Institute and its reputation for training great editors.

Meredith Shamburger, editor of The Panola Watchman, has been selected to attend Poynter’s 2019 Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media.

The fifth annual Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media is being held in October in St. Petersburg, Florida. This elite group of 29 women will join a network of more than 300 graduates who consistently report being transformed personally and professionally through the nationally-recognized program.

Shamburger was chosen from more than 400 applicants for the 2019 academies.

“Every women’s leadership academy is special, so we are eager to empower our latest cohort,” said Doris Truong, Poynter director of training and diversity. “Their time at Poynter will give them greater insights into how to manage their teams and themselves. And it’s always special when we have non-U.S. journalists participate because we can find globally relevant solutions to shared challenges in connecting with a 21st-century audience.”

During the intensive program, participants receive one-on-one career coaching from top media executives, learn practical advice on navigating newsroom culture and gain a deep understanding of what it takes to successfully lead today’s digital news organizations.

Guest faculty members for the class include:

  • Neil Brown, President, the Poynter Institute
  • Moni Basu, the Michael and Linda Connelly Lecturer for Narrative Nonfiction, Department of Journalism at the University of Florida
  • Cheryl Carpenter, Leadership Faculty, the Poynter Institute
  • Candice Fortman, Chief of Engagement and Operations, Outlier Media
  • Mel Grau, Marketing Communications Writer, the Poynter Institute
  • Kristen Hare, Local News Reporter, the Poynter Institute
  • Sabrina Hersi Issa, CEO, Be Bold Media
  • Sara Konrad Baranowski, Editor, Times Citizen Communications
  • Dani Mae, Yoga Instructor, Breath Guide, Breath Guidance
  • Kelly McBride, Senior Vice President, the Poynter Institute; Chair, Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership
  • Carol Pauli, Associate Professor of Law, Texas A&M University
  • Chris Sheridan, Former Media Executive at ESPN, CNBC, NBC and ABC
  • Rachel Smolkin, Vice President and Executive Editor, CNN Politics
  • Doris Truong, Director of Training & Diversity, the Poynter Institute

“It’s a pleasure to see one of our own selected for this prestigious training,” Publisher Jerry Pye said. “Meredith is one of the best young talents in the business and this will give her the opportunity to meet with journalists from across the county to improve her journalistic skills.”

Shamburger, who grew up in Carthage, graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2011 with a major in journalism and a minor in political science. After graduating, she worked in New York and for the Dallas Morning News until 2016.

Since then, she has worked at M.Roberts Media, first at the Marshall News Messenger, then the Longview News-Journal. She joined the Watchman staff in January 2018 and became editor in July 2018.

Shamburger has received numerous individual and team reporting awards from both the Texas Press Association and the North East Texas Press Association.

She credits “the great Annette Johnson” with responsibility for her catching the journalism bug while in high school and said that having a great string of editors throughout her journalism career has helped with her success.

“This is a fantastic program, and I am beyond thrilled to be able to take part in it. The other women in my cohort are amazing at what they do — and I can’t wait to meet them all in October,” Shamburger said.