A group of 13 journalism students interested in learning about mobile news production and presentation participated in the in the Grady College’s Fall 2015 Mobile News Lab.
The extracurricular program introduced participants to a variety of mobile production tools and design concepts. Students learned from Grady faculty and guest speakers and engaged in hands-on practice using mobile devices and applications to report news.
“I think of what we do in the Mobile News Lab as, essentially, a lab-type internship,” said Keith Herndon, the program coordinator and a visiting professor at Grady, during the program’s kick-off session. “You’ll get out of it what you put into it. It gives you the chance to explore what’s happening in mobile news.”
Fall 2015 participants included Kinsey Lee Clark, Lindsey Conway, Grace Donnelly, Daniel Funke, Leah Griffin, Lauren Herbert, David Kamayor, Macey Kessler, Kendall Little, Lauren McDonald, Alison Menhart, Kendall Trammell and Katelyn Umholtz.
The students learned about smartphone techniques for news photography and videography with Mark Johnson, Grady senior lecturer. They also conducted a mobile research project, under the supervision of Grady assistant professor Bart Wojdynski. Then, student teams produced mobile news projects, working with an array of content platforms optimized for presentation on smartphones and tablets, such as Microsoft’s Sway, Storehouse, CoveritLive, and WordPress Mobile.
Alison Menhart and Macey Lauren Kessler won best project, as voted on by the participants, for their story about the Rook & Pawn board game cafe that recently opened on 294 W. Washington St.
Upon completion of the Mobile News Lab, participants received a certificate of achievement through the workforce development initiative of the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship program.
“I’m excited to see the kind of projects people come up with, and I’m actually pumped to try some of these different platforms,” senior Donnelly said. “I’m interested in mobile design, so I’m hoping that this will teach me some new stuff about that that I haven’t been engaged in before.”
Donnelly is the president of UGA’s Online News Association/Society of Professional Journalists. She, along with vice president Trammell, helped manage the Mobile News Lab.
The Mobile News Lab is sponsored by the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership. It was initially launched as a non-credit pilot project in Fall 2014 and was then offered as a special topics course for credit in Spring and Maymester 2015.
For its fourth installment, the Cox Institute partnered with the Grady chapter of ONA/SPJ to host the program as part of its extracurricular activity.
Donnelly said tying ONA/SPJ to the Mobile News Lab benefits both parties.
“It’s giving us the opportunity to fundraise and have some additional funds to provide more resources for our members,” she said. “It’s also a good way to keep this program going when it’s not a class.” Students were charged $35 to participate as part of the ONA/SPJ fundraising efforts.
Going forward, topics covered in the Mobile News Lab will be integrated into the new, multiplatform journalism curriculum starting Spring 2016.
For more information, contact Herndon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-542-7576.