Alliance Announces Rising Star Awards

  • Kirsten Ballard
  • 05.01.2017

Media Contact:
Lindsey Loving
Manager, Communications


News Media Alliance Announces Winners of Rising Star Awards

Winners Formally Recognized at mediaXchange 2017

May 1, 2017

Arlington, Va. – The News Media Alliance announced the recipients of its Rising Star awards (previously the Top 30 Under 30 Awards) at mediaXchange 2017, being held this week at the New Orleans Marriott. The awards program honors young leaders working in every aspect of the news media who are contributing to the future success of the industry.

The program provides an opportunity to showcase the unique energy and knowledge that young professionals bring to news media companies. From journalists to advertising executives to photographers and social media experts, the Rising Star winners give off an excitement for what is to come – and it is their ideas that continue to push the industry forward.

“If we have learned anything, it is that the news business is now defined by change — technological, political and financial,” says Alliance president and CEO, David Chavern. “And we are experiencing these changes at exactly the same time as the audience for our product is greater than ever.  People like our Rising Stars will allow us to not only adapt to our evolving world but also thrive and continue to deliver high value to our reading public.”

The below individuals were selected from an impressive group of nominees as the recipients of this year’s Rising Star Awards. Each nominee was judged by an Alliance/American Press Institute committee on the value of the nominee’s contributions to his or her company and to the industry. Recipients had to be under the age of 30 on March 31, 2017 to be considered for the award. The Alliance will be highlighting the work of these exceptional individuals on its website over the next several months.


2017 News Media Alliance Rising Stars:

Adam Bolander, Circulation Director, Courier Communications

Adya Beasley, Senior Video Journalist, The Wall Street Journal

Alexandra Smith, Content Strategist, The Coloradoan

Alice Miranda Ollstein, Reporter, Talking Points Memo

Ashley Dunn, Account Executive, Cox Media Group/Austin American-Statesman

Ben Cohen, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

Brian Compere, Night Editor/Designer, Baltimore Sun Media Group

Chloe Stepney, Manager, Audience Development, tronc, Inc.

Colin Campbell, State Government Reporter, The News and Observer

Daisy Chavez, Account Executive, McClatchy Company

Ellie Kuhn, Director, Sales and Marketing, GateHouse Live

Emily Glazer, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

Eric Falquero, Editor-in-Chief, Street Sense Media

Jonathan Utz, Senior Manager, Digital Subscriber Retention, tronc, Inc.

Katherine Kohls, Manager of Preprint Sales, Star Tribune

Katie-Leigh Virginia Corder, SEO and Audience Development Specialist, F+W Media

Lacy Llana, Project Manager, Community Impact Newspaper

Leigha Hornstra, Business Intelligence Manager, Cox Media Group

Luke Kerr-Dineen, Deputy Editor, For the Win, Gannett

Richard Eugene Brown, Director of Digital Operations & Sales, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Robert Copeland, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

Ryan Kanner, WordPress Developer, Digital First Media

Tory Starr, Director of Social Media, WGHB


For more information about the Rising Star Awards, click here.





The annual News Media Alliance mediaXchange 2017 will take place April 30 – May 3, 2017, at the New Orleans Marriott in the French Quarter. The conference is designed to inspire and provide valuable ideas to help news media professionals grow audience and revenue for their print and digital products. The theme of the conference is “The Futures of News” – the many ways news media are positioned to excel through technology and innovation, as well as providing high-quality journalism and engaging with local communities. For more information, visit



The News Media Alliance is a nonprofit organization representing nearly 2,000 news organizations and their multiplatform businesses in the United States and Canada. Alliance members include print, digital and mobile publishers of original news content. Headquartered near Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Va., the association focuses on ensuring the future of news media through communication, research, advocacy and innovation. Information about the News Media Alliance (formerly NAA) can be found at




  • Kirsten Ballard
Kirsten is the Social Media and Blog Editor at the News Media Alliance.