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‘Hacker journalism’ panel launches WVU speaker series April 15

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A Monday, April 15 panel of tech-savvy journalists who are engineering change on the front lines of big data launches a new speaker series hosted by the West Virginia University P.I. Reed School of Journalism.

"Coding for the Future: The Rise of Hacker Journalism" will be the first event in the school's new year-long speaker series, "The Future of Media – NOW!" The new series will explore current trends and emerging practices in media and journalism. The event starts at 6 p.m., in G20 Ming Hsieh Hall. It is free and open to the public.

Spinning code into content, this new breed of "hacker journalist" is helping to transform digital storytelling for modern audiences – ushering in a new relationship between audience and data, code and content and the past and future of media.

Sponsored by the Ogden Newspapers Seminar Series, "Coding for the Future" will bring together six techno-journalists who are building open-source news apps, visualizing and mapping data and revolutionizing election reporting. In an "Ignite" style discussion, these top journalists will demonstrate their award-winning projects and identify the new skills needed in today's dynamic media environment.

A panel discussion moderated by Erin Reilly (@ebreilly) will follow the presentations. Reilly is the managing / creative director at the University of Southern California Annenberg Innovation Lab, where she oversees product design and mentors students in developing applications and business ideas. Reilly also serves as research director for project new media literacies established at MIT but now housed at USC.

Panelists include

  • Brian Boyer (@brianboyer) is news applications editor with National Public Radio. Before joining NPR, Boyer founded the news applications team at The Chicago Tribune. He was one of the first two programmers to receive a Knight News Challenge‑funded scholarship to study journalism at Medill at Northwestern University.
  • Lena Groeger (@lenagroeger) is a journalist who builds data driven news applications and interactive graphics at ProPublica, a non-profit organization that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. She has previously written about science and health for Scientific American and designed infographics for Wired.
  • John Keefe (@jkeefe) is the senior editor for data news & journalism technology at WNYC, New York Public Radio, where he incorporates data reporting, maps, interactive applications and crowdsourcing into the station's news coverage. Keefe is also on the board of the Online News Association.
  • Michelle Minkoff (@michelleminkoff) is an interactive producer for The Associated Press, where she creates data‑driven Web projects and visualizations for news, designed to capitalize on the Web's interactive nature. Based in the AP's Washington, D.C., bureau, she has focused on political applications and mapping.
  • Lauren Rabaino (@laurenrabaino) is The Seattle Times' first news applications editor, where she works with designers, editors, news artists, and engineers to build digital products that present news and information in innovative ways. She also blogs about journalism and technology. Rabaino was recently named a top-50 female innovator by Journalism.co.uk.
  • Derek Willis (@derekwillis) is an interactive developer with The New York Times, working primarily on political and election‑related applications. He maintains The Times' congressional and campaign finance data and contributes to other projects. Willis also co‑founded OpenElections, a project funded by the Knight Foundation.

"The Future of Media – NOW!" series will bring to campus professionals who are reinventing journalism, media and 21st century communications.

"The media industry is changing so dramatically that our students need to be on the forefront of what his happening now," said School of Journalism Dean Maryanne Reed. "By bringing in young change-makers, we hope to expose students to new career opportunities and help foster a culture of innovation and creativity at the School of Journalism and WVU."