The second annual round of The Young Media Leaders Fellowship (YMLF) is launched today with a new batch of twenty-eight high-potential mid-career editors and journalists from nineteen publications in eleven countries. The YMLF is an initiative of the World Editors Forum Asia Chapter and WAN-IFRA supported by Temasek Foundation. The programme offers leadership and professional development and networking opportunities through dedicated online and physical platforms.
The programme seeks to nurture the next generation of media leaders committed to shaping the regional future. The aim is for YMLF fellows to contribute effectively to the pursuit of good journalism, foster dialogue and greater connectedness among one another, and build up newsrooms to meet the needs of their societies in these uncertain times.
They will gather online over the next six months to share experiences, exchange ideas, amplify the impact of news reporting, and learn to lead in an industry transformed by technology. This is especially relevant as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten the news publishing industry.
"These are challenging times for the media all around the world, and our young newsroom leaders have many big issues to grapple with ahead of them. We want to help equip them with the leadership skills to face those challenges, from the need to transform our newsroom for digital-first operations to inspiring teams with a sense of purpose for public service journalism. Through this programme, we also hope they will build bridges and form their own networks for collaboration across our region," said Warren Fernandez, President of the World Editors Forum and Editor-in-Chief of The Straits Times and English/Malay/Tamil Media Group, Singapore Press Holdings, who mooted the initiative.
"The news industry is counting on young, dynamic changemakers to create a strong, vibrant media ecosystem which can continue to serve society with timely, accurate news, information and analysis. Thanks to generous support of Temasek Foundation, we are able to help groom the next generation of industry leaders at a region-wide level," said Thomas Jacob, Chief Operating Officer of WAN-IFRA.
“The media industry recognises the need for innovation, possibly disruptive ones, to take on the challenges brought about by the changing times, including those arising from the current pandemic. How can media products and services be enhanced and made more relevant? What are the ways to grow an audience and sustain the viability of operations? Through this programme, we hope participants can share with one another from their wealth of experience so as to strengthen the role of the media in supporting and advancing our respective communities,” said Benedict Cheong, Chief Executive of Temasek Foundation International.
Due to the spread of COVID-19, the YMLF programme will take place mostly through online platforms. Participants are attending a week-long online executive leadership programme tailored for newsroom leaders currently. They will attend the virtual Digital Media Asia conference in August, plan events, activities and stories to mark World News Day on 28 September 2021. They will gather in Singapore in January 2022 for the Fellowship finale, conditions permitting.
Fellows will also continue to deepen their engagement with one another during and beyond the programme by establishing an alumni community on social media and through future speaking opportunities.