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Rappler’s Kevin Hapal, Ryan Macasero picked for US-Asia leadership program

Rappler’s Kevin Hapal, Ryan Macasero picked for US-Asia leadership program
Don Kevin Hapal and Ryan Macasero receive fellowships to join the 2021 Asian American Journalists Association’s Executive Leadership Program

Two of Rappler’s young leaders, data and innovation director Don Kevin Hapal and multimedia reporter Ryan Macasero, have been chosen as fellows at a prestigious US-Asia leadership program for journalists across the globe.

Hapal and Macasero are part of the 38-member US-Asia joint cohort of the 2021 Asian American Journalists Association’s (AAJA) Executive Leadership Program (ELP).

With 1,500 members in America and Asia, the AAJA is an organization helping advance the interests of Asian and Asian American journalists and the communities they cover.

This is the first time AAJA is holding the US and Asia program together.

Macasero and Hapal’s fellowships cover full tuition fees to participate in the three-month long program. 

The ELP is a program that is a “transformational experience program aimed at developing the next generation of diverse journalism leaders who can lead in uncertain times and build a sustainable future for journalism.”

The program began on May 25 and will run through August.

Participants will join sessions on diversity and culture, leadership skills, and professional and career goal setting, among others.

They will also get to connect with industry leaders from top media companies in Asia and the United States. 

Members of the cohort include journalists from Bloomberg, the New York Times, the Straits Times, the Associated Press, GMA News, and Cignal TV, among others.

Macasero joined Rappler in 2013 as a social media producer, before becoming a desk editor and then a correspondent in Cebu. After a three-year hiatus from Rappler, he now heads its Cebu bureau as coordinator, helping oversee news operations in the Visayas.

Hapal was also a social media producer, section head of #BalikBayan, handling the section covering overseas Filipino communities, before becoming head of data and innovation in 2018.

According to the AAJA, “ELP has trained more than 500 media professionals to date, successfully fostering a pipeline of savvy industry leaders – many at major media companies – and providing graduates with access to a robust, life-long, and supportive alumni network.” – Rappler.com