NNS deputy editor selected for leadership academy

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NNS deputy editor selected for leadership academy

Burtin was one of 30 selected of 120 applicants.

Burtin was one of 30 selected of 120 applicants.

Photo by Zach Bukowski

Burtin was one of 30 selected of 120 applicants.

Photo by Zach Bukowski

Photo by Zach Bukowski

Burtin was one of 30 selected of 120 applicants.

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Dwayne Burtin, a deputy editor of digital news at Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service and web producer in the Office of Marketing and Communication for Marquette University, was recently named a member of the 2019 Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media, according to a university news release. 

The academy, which is a partnership between the Poynter Institute and the Washington Post, recognizes leaders in digital media who come from underrepresented backgrounds, the release said. 

The Poynter Institute is a nonprofit journalism school that champions “freedom of expression, civil dialogue and compelling journalism that helps citizens participate in healthy democracies,” according to its website. 

Burtin is one of 30 journalists selected out of 120 applicants, the release said.

The group of journalists selected was one of the most intersectionally diverse classes in the history of the program, the Poynter Institute’s website said. 

The academy event took place last week Oct. 13-18 in St. Petersburg, Florida. It included a tuition free leadership program and was taught by more than 20 expert instructors, the release said. 

Burtin said he was surprised to be selected. He missed the first email that he got about it and noticed a second one a few weeks later.

“My reaction was slower than everybody else’s,” he said. “I probably appeared less excited.” 

He said as it got closer to the academy, he became more excited as his energy built. 

Burtin heard about the organization through NNS editor Ron Smith, who advised him to apply.

When Smith was told to spread the word about the opportunity, he said he thought “Dwayne, duh!”

Smith said he expected the academy to go for larger organizations, but said The Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service is a small non-profit that should not be overlooked.

Burtin said NNS stands out among the group selected. 

“I think we stand out in a positive way because of how unique we are in the work we do, in our focus, in our approach and just our mission in general,” Burtin said. 

The application process included an essay and nomination. 

Smith said Burtin brings numerous skill sets that the other people at the academy may not have. 

“I think that he is very into entrepreneurial journalism, solutions to journalism, that he’s always coming up with great story ideas,” Smith said. “He knows the Milwaukee community, he’s well-read, he does a lot of fundraising.”  

Former NNS editor Sharon McGowan said Burtin was an extremely dedicated worker at NNS.

“Dwayne is one of the reasons NNS is successful,” McGowan said. 

Smith said the selection shows how small newsrooms like NNS can do powerful work. 

Other organizations selected include The Huffington Post, ESPN and CNN, according to the Poynter Institute’s website. 

Smith said he is excited for Burtin’s opportunity to learn and grow and hopes he will bring the information he learned back to NNS. 

“I hope to learn a lot but I think I will be able to offer a lot of insights,” Burtin said. 

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