Students Complete the Fall 2018 Grady Mobile News Lab

The participants and special guests of the Mobile News Lab 2018 pose for a photo at the Grady College in Athens, Georgia, on Monday, October 22, 2018. (l-rt. first row) Keith Herndon, Christina Mattacotta, Jessica Wurst, Margaret Holland, Sarah Hammond, Alex Travis and Nicki Brown. (l-rt. second row) Sydney Shadrix, Ashlyn Webb, Dori Butler, Amy Scott, Hannah Echols, Rachel Grace and Charlotte Norsworthy. (l-rt. third row) Donovan Harris, Maddie Ray, Kaley Lefevre, Mauli Desai and Blake Sabatinelli. (l-rt. fourth row) Mark Shavin, Amanda Bright and Donnie Fetter. Not pictured: Brittany Paris and Kelly Mayes. Sarah E. Freeman/Grady College

A group of 19 journalism students completed the Grady College’s Fall 2018 Mobile News Lab with a projects showcase held Monday, Oct. 22.

The Mobile News Lab students experimented with a variety of mobile newsgathering tools and techniques and produced a multi-media story package optimized for mobile platforms. Students learned from Grady faculty and guest speakers before presenting their work during the projects showcase.

The extracurricular program is operated by the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership.  This year’s program was sponsored by the Georgia Association of Broadcasters.

The Fall 2018 participants included: Nicolette Brown, Dori Butler, Mauli Desai, Hannah Echols, Rachel Grace, Sarah Hammond, Donovan Harris, Margaret Holland, Kaley Lefevre, Christina Mattacotta, Kelly Mayes, Charlotte Norsworthy, Brittany Paris, Maddie Ray, Amy Scott, Sydney Shadrix, Alex Travis, Ashlyn Webb and Jessica Wurst.

  • (l-rt.) Alex Travis discusses her project with guest Blake Sabatinelli at the 2018 Mobile News Lab showcase in Athens, Georgia, on Monday, October 22, 2018. Sarah E. Freeman/Grady College

The Mobile News Lab included smartphone techniques for news photography and videography and best practices for presenting news content in a mobile environment. Keith Herndon, director of the Cox Institute, led the program and was assisted by Journalism department colleagues, Amanda Bright and Mark Shavin.

The students also learned about developments in the news app market from Mellissa Long, the chief journalism officer at Ground. Blake Sabatinelli, the CEO of Newsy, spoke during the certificate ceremony following the project showcase and served as a guest judge along with Bright and Donnie Fetter, executive editor at the Athens Banner-Herald.

“It was really interesting trying to tackle different storytelling elements with just a phone,” said junior Amy Scott. “I can see myself incorporating these tools into my future stories.”

Two student teams were awarded medals based on the judges’ assessment of the projects. View the winning project by Nicolette Brown and Christina Mattacotta at:

View the winning project by Maddie Ray and Ashlyn Webb at:

All of the Mobile News Lab projects will be posted soon to

Upon completion of the Mobile News Lab, participants received a certificate of achievement awarded by the program’s 2018 sponsor, the Georgia Association of Broadcasters.

“The Grady Mobile News Lab is set apart as a training program because of its relationships with industry partners. We appreciate the support of the GAB this year to help us bring this experiential learning opportunity to our students,” Herndon said.