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Sabrina Argoub

May 23rd, 2022

Meet the instructors of the JournalismAI Academy for Small Newsrooms

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Sabrina Argoub

May 23rd, 2022

Meet the instructors of the JournalismAI Academy for Small Newsrooms

0 comments | 7 shares

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

How would you like to get free advice from top journalists and tech experts about how to use AI tools to power your journalism and your newsroom? Our JournalismAI Academy for Small Newsrooms features some leading practitioners from around the world and they are looking forward to running new courses this 2022 in the Americas and Asia-Pacific.

Two weeks ago, we opened applications for the second edition of the JournalismAI Academy for Small Newsrooms. The free training programme aims to help journalists and media professionals from small and mid-sized news organisations (fewer than 100 employees) understand the opportunities and challenges offered by AI technologies.

The 8-week curriculum, which will run through September and October 2022, is led by a diverse panel of experts from around the world who are leading the way in helping their newsrooms and the whole journalism industry leverage the opportunities offered by artificial intelligence. At the Academy, they will share examples of successful implementation, and the tools to help participants in setting up an action plan to guide the development of AI projects in their own organisations.

Our instructors include leaders in AI and journalism with years of experience working with emerging technologies to create innovative stories and products, as well as experts studying the implications that AI is having on the way news is produced and distributed.

❝ The Academy brought high-end AI experts from top media organisations to share their experiences and knowledge with our smaller newsrooms. This journey has been a fantastic shortcut to decide on our next steps into AI and has equipped us to ground it solidly on best practices.

2021 Academy participant


Meet the first confirmed instructors of the 2022 JournalismAI Academy for Small Newsrooms:


Alyssa Zeisler, Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives, Dow Jones

Alyssa leads the Strategic Products group at Dow Jones, which works across brands (including The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, MarketWatch and more) to solve and execute complex, ambiguous problems that span from early growth initiatives to revitalizing legacy products to implementing operational changes across the organization and more. She was previously R&D Chief for The Wall Street Journal, where she led a team of engineers, designers, and journalists to improve the experience of users across Dow Jones’ newsrooms and directed the newsroom R&D team, which applied Machine Learning and other emerging technologies to ambitious journalism projects.

Surya Mattu, Senior Data Engineer & Investigative Data Journalist, The Markup

Surya is a Brooklyn-based investigative journalist, artist and engineer who looks at the ways in which algorithmic systems perpetuate systemic biases and inequalities in society. Currently he works as an investigative data journalist at The Markup. Previously, he was a contributing researcher at ProPublica, where he worked on Machine Bias, a series that aims to highlight how algorithmic systems can be biased and discriminate against people. Machine Bias was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Explanatory Journalism. He has also worked at Gizmodos’ Special Projects Desk and been a visiting scholar at the MIT Media Lab.

Romain Rouquier, Head of Data, South China Morning Post

Romain joined the South China Morning Post in January 2019 as Director of the Data team. At the Post, Romain advises and implements the data strategy to drive business decisions and growth. He fosters data democratization across all departments and partners with business lines to deliver analytics and artificial intelligence projects. Before joining SCMP, Romain has been working 10 years as a data analyst and data scientist in the financial industry before founding a tech company focusing on offline to online marketing. More recently Romain was co-heading the Hong Kong branch of Maltem Consulting, a boutique consulting firm specialized in digital transformation, where he created and developed the data practice.

Cynthia DuBose, Vice President, Audience Growth + Content Monetization, McClatchy

Cynthia has nearly 20 years of experience helping local news organizations leverage digital products and platforms to reach the right audience at the right time. As McClatchy’s Vice President, Audience Growth + Content Monetization, she drives cross-departmental collaboration and planning of initiatives to rapidly and significantly expand the company’s reach. She leads the News division’s audience growth efforts and the development of new platforms, experiences and products.

Uli Köppen, Head of the AI + Automation Lab, Bayerischer Rundfunk

Uli leads the AI + Automation Lab at Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) – the public-service radio and television broadcaster of Bavaria, in Germany – and co-leads BR Data, the investigative data journalism team. Uli was also a 2019 Nieman Fellow at Harvard and MIT, where she focused her studies on journalism automation and algorithmic accountability reporting. She oversees a team of journalists, coders, and designers specialising in investigative data stories, interactive storytelling, and experimentation with new research methods such as bots and machine learning.


Ernest Kung, Product Manager, Local News AI Initiative, Associated Press

Ernest is the AI Product Manager for the Associated Press. Previously, he was an award-winning local television news producer for nearly 15 years. In January 2019, he paused his newsroom career to pursue a master’s degree. The idea was to shift into the technology development side of news and make it easier for journalists to do their jobs. In April 2020, he earned a Master of Business Information Systems with Distinction from the University of Canterbury where his research project was on Artificial Intelligence in Journalism. Ernest worked for the Paramount-owned station in Los Angeles, along with CBS affiliates in San Diego and Portland, Oregon. He also holds a BA in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Southern California.

Tess Jeffers, Director of Data Science, The Wall Street Journal

Tess is the Director of Data Science for the News Insights team at The Wall Street Journal. Tess leads a team of data scientists, analysts, and engineers responsible for actionable product, content, and audience insights – and productionised data science models delivered at scale. Prior to joining the Journal, Tess was a manager on the data science team at Known, a data-driven media and marketing consulting firm. There she built custom machine learning models and helped Fortune 500 media companies optimize their data strategy initiatives.

Abhishek Prasad, Head of Insights / AI & Innovations, HT Media

Abhishek heads Analytics and AI projects CoE at HT Media – one of India’s largest media organisations. He leads a team of analysts, data scientists and PM’s responsible for driving insights for Product, Editorial, Audience decisions. He is also responsible for the adoption of AI-ML based innovations within multiple SBU’s of HT media. He’s spent the last decade in the intersections of core business functions within the media industry and has been in the founding team of several award-winning new initiatives. Abhishek is fascinated by the role analytics and technology can play in this industry. His interests are around AI for media, Analytics and Martech.

Joanne Kuai, PhD Candidate in Media and Communication Studies, Karlstad University

Joanne is a lecturer and a PhD Candidate at Karlstad University, Sweden, with a research project on Artificial Intelligence in Chinese Newsrooms. She is a member of the Ander Center for Research on News and Opinion in the Digital Era (NODE) and Geomedia Research Group at Karlstad University and also an affiliated PhD student at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies at the University of Copenhagen. Her research interests centre around data and AI for media, computational journalism, and the social implications of automation and algorithms. Prior to her academic career, she had worked as a reporter, editor and news anchor in China for over a decade.

Aimee Rinehart, Program Manager, Local News AI Initiative, Associated Press

Aimee is the program manager for the Associated Press Local News AI initiative, which aims to narrow the growing technology gap between national and local newsrooms. The program will distribute a national “scorecard” to assess AI readiness, provide free online courses to address knowledge gaps, and consult with newsrooms to integrate AI across their operations. Prior to joining the AP, she worked for First Draft on solutions to creating better information streams, worked as an editor at the Wall Street Journal Europe print edition and is a digital originator at

Florencia Coelho, New Media Research and Training Manager, La Nación

Florencia is co-founder of La Nación Data team in Argentina. She joined La Nación in 2006 as part of the Nueva Redacción project to familiarise journalists and managers with the potential of digital. 

Florencia is a JSK Stanford Fellow 2018-2019, where she researched AI challenges and opportunities for journalism.


Anna Vissens, Lead Data Scientist, The Guardian

Anna joined the Data & Insights team at the UK-based Guardian News and Media in 2019 where she is Lead Data Scientist. Previously she had spent 15 years at the BBC where in 2007 she received an award for best BBC World Service producer in recognition of success in building new audiences and developing an effective social media strategy. In 2015, Anna joined the BBC’s audience engagement and data team. She has also expanded her skills by coding in Python and using data science modelling to gain a better understanding of audiences.

Pedro Burgos, Professor of Journalism and Communication, Insper

Pedro teaches Data and Machine Learning applied to Journalism at Insper, in Brazil since 2018. Before that, he was a Knight Fellow at The International Center for Journalism (ICFJ), where he developed Impacto.jor, a suite of tools to collect journalistic impact. He also developed automated engagement reports at The Marshall Project, where he was Audience Editor, and a fact-checking Twitter bot at Aos Fatos, in Brazil.

We are honoured to have such an incredible line-up of experts generously sharing their insights with our Academy participants. If you want to get the opportunity to learn from them this year – and 2021 participants say you should – apply as soon as possible to not miss this opportunity. The deadline is 8 June 2022, at 11:59 PM GMT. [Applications are now closed.]

JournalismAI is a global initiative that empowers news organisations to use artificial intelligence responsibly. It’s a project of Polis – the journalism think-tank of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) – and it’s supported by the Google News Initiative.

About the author

Sabrina Argoub

Posted In: Featured | JournalismAI | Project Update