You are cordially invited to the Studio 20 Open Studio, a presentation of innovations in journalism by the students and innovators of Studio 20. These final projects are the both the capstone project for students enrolled in the NYU Arthur L. Carter School of Journalism, and a survey of cutting edge advances in journalism today.
Time: 5:30 PM, December 14th, 2011
Place: Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, New York University 20 Cooper Square, 6th Floor New York, NY 10003
Chelsea Stark partnered with Forbes to explore how to make online video a better return on investment. She focused on optimizing its video content for search and social spaces and built up its online contributor network. She also created guides and repeatable work flows to allow Forbes to repeat these processes in the future. @chelseabot
‘Chao Li spent the summer prepping Future Journalism Project for the work she is doing for them this fall. Chao’s Studio III project is to create tutorials for people interested in digital journalism. A part of that includes interviewing CEOs of startups and helping them create tutorials while they are busy launching their App or service. @cli6cli6
Niel Bekker helped manage and produce social gaming content for the Huffington Post. For Studio III, he is producing an original newsgame that addresses the inefficiencies of game development in an online news environment. @nielbekker
Brittany Binowski drew inspiration from many innovative social feeds on Twitter as well as CNN’s In America documentary unit to help create a list of best practices and suggestions for investigative news organizations. The suggestions aim to better connect sources with reporters and producers in the newsroom and, therefore, create better and more informed journalism.@binowski
Blair Hickman is developing a digital toolkit to help journalists report on social change more effectively. Her partner, Dowser Media, is trying to broaden the scope of typical news coverage by pioneering thoughtful, critical coverage of social innovation—what they call Solution Journalism.@amandablair
This semester, Colin Jones worked on developing a live video chat project with the New York Daily News. These chats took user comments, submitted through Twitter, Facebook and other platforms, and had them answered live on the site by reporters and guests. @Colin_Jones
Radio ProPublica is an experimental audio project that Assia Boundaoui is developing for ProPublica. The project included producing narrative-driven investigative podcasts that seek to explain news in the public interest and engage users by soliciting UGC and crowdsourcing questions in need of explanation. @assuss
This fall, Rachel Slaff is working with GoodHousekeeping.com to solicit and showcase user-generated videos. She’s thrilled to experiment with the traditional journalistic framework of narration by allowing users to share their own stories. @rachelslaff
For Tom Chen’s Studio III project, he teamed up with Artinfo.com and designed an interactive video companion for the website. It will be a video component that largely enriches the visitors’ interactive experience with the site. And it will live on different platforms (website, mobile app, podcast). @tomstation
For Studio III, Nasry Esmat worked with Mujaz.me on creating the first social media news page in Egypt. Mujaz is an Egyptian news aggregator and the created page aims to tell news stories by curating social media posts that challenge the official narrative of traditional news sources. @nasry
Erin Evans worked with the New York Times’ education site, SchoolBook, on an experiment in community outreach. She produced a case study based on her findings at a school in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. @heyerinevans
David Holmes is working with the New York Daily News to implement automated news quizzes while developing a workflow model for algorithmic journalism. @David_M_Holmes
This past summer, Matt Diaz interned with the User Experience and Product Research Team at the New York Times doing both qualitative and quantitative user research. This fall Matt is continuing his work with The Times. His Studio III project is an original research effort centered on the digital identities and behaviors of young adults with a focus on how they produce and consume news on mobile devices. @mgdiaz
This fall, Ruth Spencer explored how data literacy is emerging as a necessary journalistic skill. She created The Datamaster for Jim Brady, Editor in Chief of Journal Register Company. The Datamaster is a comprehensive plan for how Journal Register Company can integrate data resources across its network; it includes a corporate strategy and staff training guide. @onthewag
Din Clarke ’s project, Sight and Sound, has both a video and audio component. She built a prototype for a portable video recording booth to collect stories from residents who have limited or no internet access and taught audio recording/editing to young adults at Reel Works. The pieces will air on local radio station WBAI. @dinclarke
Todd Olmstead collaborated with Mashable to grow engagement through their comments. Mashable already has a highly active commenting community, and Todd’s goal was to optimize the quality contributions that these readers make on the site. @toddjolmstead
Since September 2010, Zoe has worked with Studio 20 as we try and solve the big puzzles in journalism. In Studio II, She introduced us to the skills and tactics we need to execute our long-term project with ProPublica. Zoe taught us the value of iterative project management and agile development, and also lead weekly workshops on everything from photoshop to public speaking. This semester in Studio III, Zoe is working with each of us to make sure we’re on track and prepared to deliver our final projects on time and with confidence.
Zoe has been a resource (even a life saver) for the last year and it’s about time that we give her a proper introduction.
When she’s not at Studio 20, Zoe is either at ITP (where she teaches a class on interaction design) or at General Assembly, where she manages Squishables, one of her many companies. (And yes, I am talking about these giant stuffed balls of fuzz).
Zoe is not the typical journalism prof and that suits us just fine; Studio 20 is far from your average journalism program. We asked Zoe to tell us herself about what it’s been like to transition from working with programs and code to stuffed animals and journalists.
S20: How do you see your role in Studio 20?
My job is to make sure everyone involved in Studio 20 has the skills and connections to do any kind of innovation they can dream up, without regard for technical issues or inexperience. Journalists stereotypically run the risk of fearing change - I can’t fix that but I can prove to them that change is a lot easier than they thought (and also a giggle).
S20: What did you do before joining Studio 20?
Most recently I was at ITP, NYU, and these days on top of the teaching I do a lot of consulting work for existing Media Outlets, news startups, and nonprofits involved with freedom of speech. Usually they’re projects involved in Data Visualization or Meme-Tracking (in one instance, both). And of course I also run the ecommerce startup Squishable (Snurfle us on Facebook).
Before then I was doing web architecture at a large financial regulatory institution, and before then I was consulting for a company involved with running free elections in unusual places. Prior to that….the US Department of Labor, and also did a stint for the US Postal Service. Going way back in time, I was a briefly a researcher in Human Computer Interaction at Brunel University, a Runner at the BBC, and before that I worked for a nonprofit on creating eBay’s Giving Works Tool. Before that, like everyone else in the early 00’s, an internet startup that went under. And before that I worked for the Hubble Space Telescope.
And at one point in 2005 I worked for a couple weeks on a kangaroo farm in Australia. So there’s that.
S20: What attracts you to working with journalists/journalism students?
Folks involved in startups often come at life from this POV: I have a cool idea and if I develop it a bit I bet I can get some people who want to use it. But journalists have this amazing situation going on right now: A lot of people want to use my product, if only I could think up a cool idea how to let them. It’s just a more powerful, more rewarding way to think about the world. More fun too.
S20: What has surprised you about Studio 20?
Surprises on working with Studio 20 - hmm. I didn’t necessarily expect the level of dedication I found here. Because of the three-semester layout it seems like the students are incredibly involved and supportive of each other. It’s amazing the advertising agencies aren’t banging in their door demanding to know how they do it.
S20: How do you compare your work at ITP with your work at Studio 20
ITP and Studio 20, they have very different institutional feels, but it’s interesting to notice how convergent evolution has kicked in here. From originally coming from such divergent POV’s, the drive for innovation and experimentation has linked them up in a way I’m not sure anyone expected. It would be as if Birds and Butterfly’s suddenly realized they were both good at the same thing. And decided to help each other modify some wing structure. And hold races. I can keep going with this metaphor if you want.