Grady Journalism Students Complete Fall Mobile News Lab

(back row, l-rt.) Annie Jorgensen, Mark Shavin and Emily Middleton. (third row, l-rt.) Zachary Hansen, Erin Valle, Mary Carol Butterfield and Kristin Bradshaw. (second row, l-rt.) Janie Bohlmann, Maddie Ray, Morgan Brown, Gracie Thompson, Alec Larson, Nate Harris, Charlotte Norsworthy and Dr. Keith Herndon. (front row, l-rt.) Blake Sabatinelli, Amy Scott, Savannah Peat, Denver Ellison, Reann Huber and Noelle Lashley.

A group of 18 journalism students completed the Grady College’s Fall 2017 Mobile News Lab.

The Mobile News Lab introduced participants to a variety of mobile media concepts and provided them the opportunity to engage in experiential learning projects in video, social media and virtual reality. Students learned from Grady faculty and guest speakers and presented their work at a projects showcase. The extracurricular program is sponsored by the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership.

“Mobile News Lab taught me to think outside the box. Sometimes we as students can get bogged down thinking about journalism in traditional ways,” said Mary Carol Butterfield. “But participating in Mobile News Lab showed me all the innovative ways to approach media.”

The Fall 2017 participants included: Janie Bolhmann, Kristin Bradshaw, Morgan Brown, Mary Carol Butterfield, Denver Ellison, Zachary Hansen, Nathan Harris, Reann Huber, Ann Jorgensen, Alec Larson, Noelle Lashley, Emily Middleton, Charlotte Norsworthy, Savannah Peat, Maddie Ray, Amy Scott, Elizabeth Thompson and Erin Valle.

  • The students who participated in the virtual reality track used the Samsung Gear 360 series to shoot their films.

During the Mobile News Lab, students learned about smartphone techniques for news photography and videography with Mark Johnson, Grady senior lecturer. They trained in social media techniques with Rodney Thrash, a breaking news editor with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and they provided feedback on a virtual reality project with CNN’s Cathy Farr and Lucas Mire.

The students were organized into three tracks of three teams, each track assigned to either social media, mobile video or virtual reality. As the teams prepared their projects they consulted with Mark Shavin as their industry coach. Shavin, who is currently a graduate student at the Grady College, was previously a senior executive producer with WAGA-TV and WSB-TV in Atlanta.

Blake Sabatinelli, general manager of Newsy, spoke during the certificate ceremony at the program’s final session on November 6.

“Being a Swiss Army knife of skills will really help you in today’s world,” Sabatinelli said, and he encouraged the students to continue experimenting with new techniques for telling compelling stories.

Upon completion of the Mobile News Lab, participants received a certificate of workforce development through the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship initiative. This year’s program was also sponsored by the National Association of Broadcaster’s PILOT innovation initiative.

“The Grady Mobile News Lab is truly a collaborative effort with industry partners. We rely on them to help us bring this experiential learning opportunity to life,” said Keith Herndon, the director of the Cox Institute. “Students get so much out this program when experienced professionals spend time with them and engage over a fundamental discussion of what’s next.”