A group of 20 journalism students interested in mobile news production and presentation completed the Grady College’s Fall 2016 Mobile News Lab.
The Mobile News Lab 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. The extracurricular program is sponsored by the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership.
“One of the biggest things I’ve taken from the Mobile News Lab is how you can take any subject or story and create something different using multimedia tools,” said Kaitlyn Yarborough, the assistant student manager for the lab. “There are so many ways to really make a story unique if you can just commit and be creative with it. It’s all about learning to use tools that are already at your disposal.”
Fall 2016 participants included: Macie Banks, Michelle Baruchman, Emily Boyer, Mary Carol Butterfield, Taylor Cromwell, Denver Ellison, Lauren Herbert, Reann Huber, Alex Vanden Heuvel, Lia Jordan, Ann Marie Jorgensen, Noelle Lashley, McKenzie Lewis, Martha Michael, Dillon Richards, William Robinson, Nicholas Seymour, Lauren Sloan, Henry Taylor, and Kaitlyn Yarborough.
During the Mobile News Lab, students learned about smartphone techniques for news photography and videography with Mark Johnson, Grady senior lecturer. They discussed mobile design with Dan Maccarone, the CEO of Charming Robot, and learned about field production using mobile tools from Mike Fomil, an independent producer who works with the Weather Channel and NBC.
The students were organized into teams and produced their own mobile packages using tools such as Adobe Spark, Stellar and Storify. Each team was assigned an industry coach, which included Erica Hernandez, Ana Santos, Melanie Stolte and Rodney Thrash from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Alison Menhart and Alex Sembra from NewsON and Andrew Plaskowsky from Macon’s WMAZ television.
Louis Gump, the CEO of NewsOn and a member of the Cox Institute’s advisory board, spoke at the final session and awards ceremony for the program on November 30.
“Anyone who overlooks mobile is probably sacrificing their business,” Gump said. “I want to encourage you to think cross-platform.”
Upon completion of the Mobile News Lab, participants received a certificate of achievement through the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship initiative.
“I have learned a lot about how to produce news on my mobile device,” said Lauren Herbert, who completed the Mobile News Lab last year and returned this year as its student manager. “I have gained vital skills that has helped me in my time at Grady NewSource and also will help project me into a career in mobile news.”