Grady’s Cox Institute launches Mobile News Lab as pilot innovation initiative

The University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication has launched a Mobile News Lab for students to research and develop newsgathering and reporting techniques designed specifically for smartphones and tablets.

Sponsored by the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership, the Mobile News Lab has affiliated with the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC). Students completing projects through the Mobile News Lab will earn a MAC certificate of achievement in recognition of their innovative career preparation. Students will work on projects coordinated with professional news organizations including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and CNN. Projects will include topics from politics and business to sports and entertainment.

“News organizations tell us that mobile devices now account for one-third to half of their audiences, challenging journalists to find new ways for storytelling,” said Charles Davis, Dean of the Grady College. “As a leading institution training future journalists, we must respond. The Mobile News Lab will engage students with digital platforms through a systematic training program, and we appreciate the support of the Metro Atlanta Chamber in this workforce development initiative.”

Seven Grady students—competitively selected from dozens of applicants—make up the first cohort.  They include: Savannah Brock, Aashka Dave, Hayden Field, Kathryn Harris, Brittini Ray, John Roark and Erin Smith. Faculty members directing the student projects include Keith Herndon, visiting professor; Mark Johnson, senior lecturer; and Bartosz Wojdynski, assistant professor. Louis Gump, CEO of LSN Mobile and an active participant in MAC’s mobility initiatives, chairs an industry advisory group assisting with developing the Mobile News Lab.

“Mobility has become an important fuel for creating a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in many industry segments and that is especially true in the news media,” said Jennifer Sherer, MAC’s Vice President of Business Higher Education. “We are pleased to work with Grady’s Cox Institute in training future journalists about the exciting developments in mobile news.”

The James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership prepares students and professionals for leadership roles in the news media. The Cox Institute was established in 1990 by the late Conrad Fink, a legendary journalism professor in the Grady College, as the Cox Institute for Newspaper Management Studies. It is named for the late James M. Cox Jr., who headed Cox Enterprises and Cox Broadcasting Corporation from 1957 until 1974.

About the Metro Atlanta Chamber 

Everything we do at the Metro Atlanta Chamber is about building our economy and creating prosperity to help Atlanta thrive. We focus on helping small businesses and mid-size companies grow, helping entrepreneurs get started, and recruiting companies nationally and internationally in our key industries: bioscience, clean technology, health IT, mobility, supply chain and advanced manufacturing, and technology. In public policy, we tackle critical issues to support infrastructure and quality of life. For members, we offer 200+ events and activities each year. In sports, MAC's Atlanta Sports Council has helped drive almost $2 billion in economic impact through sporting events over the last 10 years. Visit our website at

Date: September 24, 2014
Author:  Keith Herndon, 706-542-7576
Contact:  Keith Herndon,