Hi, I'm Anika. 👋🏽

That’s pronounced: Ah-nuh-kuh Uh-naan-d.

I’m the programming director at Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION, for short). It’s a brand new role focused on supporting existing local digital news publishers across the country and promoting the creation of new ones, particularly in places that have little to no local news sources.

My greatest strength (and weakness) is seeing problems everywhere. That's one reason I love startups– everyone's working together to solve big challenges and constantly iterating on our solutions.

These are a few challenges I find most fulfilling to work on:

  • Building user-centered journalism products, experiences and systems

  • Simplifying complex topics in creative ways that inspire curiosity and learning

  • Facilitating tough or uncomfortable conversations

  • Measuring journalistic impact

  • Advocating for media created by and for people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives

  • Creating local journalism that helps people feel more connected to their chosen communities.

Want the more detailed bio? Here it is with all the links. 

I'm originally from North Carolina and currently live in Seattle with my husband and son.

After I cofounded The Evergrey in 2016, it grew into a digital news publication helping Seattleites feel more connected to their city with a daily e-mail newsletter, stories and perspectives, and interactive events. In 2017, The Evergrey was awarded the Society of Professional Journalists Western Washington's Innovator of the Year award. Here's my cofounder and me talking about the launch of The Evergrey.

As the storytelling director and product director at WhereBy.Us, the parent company of The Evergrey, I designed our newsletter and editorial strategies, and created the systems and processes to support all the WhereBy.Us cities. Here's me talking about what I've learned about growing a news product from scratch. I also wrote about using a jobs to be done framework to iterate on our newsletters, strategies for growing our newsletter subscribers, and how to measure journalistic impact.

Other things about me: I write a monthly newsletter about Seattle journalism. I help lead the Online News Association's Seattle chapter. I was part of the 2018 Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media. I was named one of the 50 most influential women in Seattle by Seattle Met Magazine. I've helped organize the Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship for aspiring journalists of color in Washington State. I took a 10-week product management course at General Assembly Seattle. I was an Online News Association 2014 MJ Bear Fellow. I lived in Haiti for a few months while working for an NGO.

Before The Evergrey and WhereBy.Us, I worked for The Seattle Times Education Lab as its engagement editor. Before that, I was the product and engagement director at the education news nonprofit Chalkbeat. Leading up to those gigs, I interned at national news outlets like CNN, Salon, Business Insider, the Center for Investigative Reporting and MSNBC.com – all of which helped me realize I'm most passionate about how to create sustainable models of local journalism using digital tools and platforms.

I learned journalism things from two schools. I graduated from CUNY's Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism with a master's in business and economics reporting. For my capstone project, I produced a short video documentary on our country's lack of paid maternity leave by featuring one woman's experience, which aired on HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

I got my bachelor's in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and wrote and edited for on-campus publications including The Daily Tar Heel, where my crowning achievement was this front-page story on bathroom graffiti

You can find my speaking bios here.