Five Grady journalists are training this summer in a program developed by Newsy and sponsored by the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management & Leadership.
Recent Grady graduate Alec Larson (AB ’18) is joined by current Grady journalism majors Mauli Desai, Maycee Dukes, Blanca Lopez-Olmedo and Alex Marchante in the eight-week program. The students spent the first week of June at the Newsy training facility in Columbia, Missouri, before moving into seven weeks of online training.
Marchante said the program is helping him understand what it will be like working professionally. “Being able to learn from the people at Newsy in Columbia as well as those working in Chicago in all levels of the Newsy chain helped me appreciate how many hands need to be on deck and synchronized to create content,” Marchante said.
Newsy is a next-generation national news network with content available on cable television, over-the-top services including Hulu, Roku, Apple TV, Sling TV, Watchable from Comcast, Pluto TV, Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast and on connected television including Xumo. Newsy is also available through its mobile apps and at newsy.com.
“Training someone in our brand of journalism requires pushing them to look at the craft in ways they haven’t thought of before. From story selection to writing to the visuals we choose, it’s so important to learn how to shed the default modes we all slip into,” said Nathan Byrne, supervising editor of academic partnerships at Newsy. “We hope to equip these fellows not just with new skills, but a new mindset around journalism that they can take out into the world as eventual newsroom leaders of the future.”
Keith Herndon, director of the Cox Institute, said it is important for Grady students to have experiential learning opportunities such as the Newsy Training Fellowship. Herndon explained the opportunity with Newsy grew from conversations started with Newsy CEO Blake Sabatinelli, who was the keynote speaker last fall at the Grady Mobile News Lab project showcase. The relationship with Newsy and the Cox Institute is expected to continue with Sabatinelli returning for the Mobile News Lab product showcase in October and an expansion of the Newsy Training Fellowship next summer.
“Partnering with Grady College, and particularly the Cox Institute, makes sense for us because of the strong push for innovation and developing new leaders there,” said Byrne. “We’ve been working toward diversifying the pool of students that come through our program and it’s really great to have that expansion start with the likes of the Grady College.”