The Grady College’s Mobile News Lab completed its Maymester 2015 session featuring student reporting on a variety of topics including a profile of a Jamaican restaurant, a tour through the State Botanical Gardens and a rousing burlesque show at the 40 Watt Club.
Students in the class worked with a variety of content platforms optimized for presentation on smartphones and tablets including Storehouse, Microsoft’s Sway and Mobile WordPress. They also visited the mobile news operations at CNN and met and discussed mobile news with editors from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“This class has taught me valuable skills I will utilize in the field, which makes it one of the most useful classes I have taken,” said participant Taylor Carpenter.
Joshua Jones, also a participant, said the Mobile News Lab was valuable in teaching how the news media is changing as it adopts mobile. “The class led me to ideas I hope to implement in college media and in my career,” Jones said. “Another great thing was the large amount of new tools for storytelling we learned about.”
In addition to Carpenter and Jones, the Maymester session included: Emily Bearden, Precious Davis, Samuel O’Sullivan and Sarah Rucker.
The Mobile News Lab in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication is sponsored by the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership. It was launched as a non-credit pilot project in Fall 2014 for students to research and experiment with newsgathering techniques designed specifically for smartphones and tablets. It was offered as a special topics course for credit in Spring 2015, which helped to set up the course as a Maymester workshop.
“The way news organizations gather and report stories is evolving rapidly. Every time we have taught this course our students discover something new happening in the marketplace,” said Keith Herndon, visiting professor of journalism who coordinates the Mobile News Lab. “The hands on work these students do in the lab combined with the interactions they have with professionals working in mobile news make this a valuable experiential learning opportunity.”
Herndon said the Mobile News Lab will return in the Fall 2015 semester as an extracurricular program managed by the students leaders of the Grady chapter of the Online News Association/Society of Professional Journalists.
Grady College faculty members Mark Johnson, senior lecturer, and Bartosz Wojdynski, assistant professor, also work with the Mobile News Lab students. Louis Gump, former CEO of LSN Mobile and a mobile pioneer at CNN and The Weather Channel, chairs an industry advisory group that helped develop the Mobile News Lab.
For more information, contact Herndon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-542-7576.