Keith Jenkins is named National Geographic Digital’s executive editor

Congratulations to faculty member Keith Jenkins for his promotion to executive editor for National Geographic Digital. He joined the National Geographic staff last year as the director of photography.

Jenkins previously served as supervising senior producer for multimedia at NPR, and, prior to that, spent 13 years at the Washington Post, where he was a staff photographer, photography editor and deputy assistant managing editor for photo.

Jenkins teaches Multimedia Storytelling in the Journalism program.

Derek Willis joins The New York Times’ The Upshot

Faculty member Derek Willis ​has​ join​ed​ The New York Times’ The Upshot. Willis previous worked for The Times as an interactive developer, ​focusing​ mainly on political and election-related applications.

Willis ​is part of a team of ​more than​ 15 journalists creating content for The Upshot, a new politics and policy website launched by The Times in April.

“We created The Upshot to serve as a destination for readers who want to deepen their understanding of the issues and policies that influence their daily lives,” said the site’s editor, David Leonhardt, in a statement. “Using a conversational tone and a rich stream of graphics and interactives, The Upshot will build on what the Times already does so well — provide analysis of the news happening all around us.”

Willis teaches Data Reporting in the Journalism program.​

Five new faculty members join the MPS Journalism team

The Journalism program ​is pleased to welcome five new faculty members for the summer term: J. Michael Falgoust of CSN Washington, Elise Hu of NPR, ​Gregg Leslie of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker and Sudeep Reddy of the Wall Street Journal.

Elise Hu covers technology and culture for NPR’s on-air, online and multimedia platforms. Hu will co-teach Digital Essentials for Journalists.

Ryan Lizza is the Washington ​c​orrespondent for the New Yorker, covering the White House, presidential campaigns, Congress and national politics. Lizza will teach Feature Writing.

Gregg Leslie, Legal Defense Director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, will be co-teaching Media Law.

J. Michael Falgoust leads digital media coverage of the Washington Wizards for Comcast SportsNet, contributing to its news, entertainment and live-game programming. Falgoust will co-teach Sports Journalism.

Sudeep Reddy is an economics editor in The Wall Street Journal’s Washington bureau. In this position, he directs economics reporters in every Journal platform, including its newswires, website, print editions, video channel and radio service. Reddy will co-teach Digital Essentials for Journalists.

​We also want to welcome back our returning faculty members: Cindy BorenBruce Brown, ​Ben de la CruzJon DeNunzioLinda Kramer Jenning and Doug Mitchell.

Faculty member Matt Apuzzo wins Shadid Award

Congratulations to faculty member Matt Apuzzo on winning the 2014 Anthony Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics with reporter Adam Goldman and editor Ted Bridis. The team won the award, which is presented by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Journalism Ethics, for their Associated Press report on the CIA ties of  former FBI agent  Robert Levinson, who disappeared in 2007 while working in Iran.

According to Jack Mitchell, the chairman of the award selection committee, the Associated Press was chosen to receive this year’s award because of the responsibility the reporters and editors demonstrated in delaying publication of the story three times while the U.S. government was attempting to find and return Levinson to the United States.

“Our committee was blown away by the quality of the entries in the 2014 competition,” Mitchell said in an AP story about the award. “They would restore the faith of the most hardened cynic in the high purposes of journalism.”

Apuzzo now works for The New York Times and is teaching Ethics in Journalism this semester.


Faculty member Steve Buttry presents at ethics symposium

Faculty member Steve Buttry spoke on March 14 as part of the Digital Journalism Ethics Symposium at the University of Colorado-Boulder about the need to change the understanding of journalistic ethics as the media industry changes.

“I’m not here to protect old school ethical standards,” Buttry said. “I’m here because we can and must raise our ethical standards.”

Buttry specifically addressed the challenge of upholding accuracy and attribution in the age of social media reporting. He also focused on the importance of maintaining validity when sources want to be anonymous.

“If we can’t confirm a story independently, we should refrain from telling that story,” he said.

Buttry is the digital transformation editor for Digital First Media and is co-teaching Entrepreneurial Journalism in the Digital Age this semester.

Faculty member Mandy Jenkins presents at SXSW

Faculty member Mandy Jenkins presented at South by Southwest 2014 as part of an Online News Association working group tasked with identifying the key challenges in gathering news from social media.

The group found that verification and accuracy, contributor’s safety, rights and legal issues, social journalists’ well-being and workflow and resources are the biggest problems in finding news via social media platforms.

Jenkins is the managing editor of Digital First Media’s Thunderdome and has most recently taught Social Media & Reporting.

Faculty member Steve Buttry works to “unbolt” the newsroom

In his piece for The International News Media Association’s Culture Change blog, faculty member Steve Buttry spoke to the need to move the news industry away from its factory model and toward placing a priority on digital news operations.  According to Buttry, today’s newsrooms are print operations with digital media “bolted” on. In response, Buttry has planned Project Unbolt, an initiative directed at the newsrooms run by Digital First Media, where Buttry serves as digital transformation editor.

“We don’t know when the presses will finally stop for good, but we do know that our future is digital and that our current growth is digital,” Buttry wrote.

“We need to free our journalists to think and work for digital platforms and digital story forms. We need to turn Digital First from an aspiration to an achievement.”

Buttry co-teaches Entrepreneurial Journalism in the Digital Age.

Faculty member Steve Buttry speaks at Southern Regional Press Institute

Faculty member Steve Buttry spoke on February 20 as part of the opening panel for the 63rd annual Southern Regional Press Institute. This year’s conference, held by Savannah State University’s Department of Mass Communications, focused on “Social Media in a Global Society: Ethics, Urgency and Accuracy.”

Buttry, who is digital transformation editor for Digital First Media, and panelists from the Savannah Morning News, SSU, the Poynter Institute and CNN discussed the role of social media in the future of journalism and how social media can be used for fast but accurate reporting.

Buttry particularly emphasized the importance of fact-checking: “The first best question in journalism is, how do you know that? How else do you know that?” he said.

Buttry is co-teaching Entrepreneurial Journalism is the Digital Age this semester.

Faculty member Dina Cappiello talks to The Diane Rehm Show

Faculty member Dina Cappiello was a guest on The Diane Rehm Show, a radio program produced by WAMU 88.5 and distributed by NPR, on February 24.

Cappiello, a national environment and energy reporter for The Associated Press, and Rehm’s other guests talked about the safety of the U.S. water supply in the wake of the recent toxic chemical spills in West Virginia and North Carolina. Cappiello has written about the spills for the AP.

Cappiello teaches Reporting & News Writing.