A Wall Street Journal innovator is leading an interactive project at the West Virginia University P.I. Reed School of Journalism as part of the school’s growing emphasis on modern media education.

This month, the journalism school welcomed its first Visiting Ogden Newspapers Innovator in Residence, Sarah Slobin. Slobin, a senior graphics editor at The Wall Street Journal, is serving as an expert on a new, experimental project in interactive journalism. In a course co-taught by Slobin and journalism professor John Temple, students will conceptualize a data-driven project that utilizes the latest interactive storytelling techniques, multimedia production and interactive design.

The multidisciplinary project will bring together students and faculty from across campus to collaborate at the intersection of journalism, technology and media and create a rich, interactive news experience.

School of Journalism Dean Maryanne Reed said this project gives students the opportunity to solve real-world problems with journalistic tools and technology.

“We are very excited to work with Sarah Slobin, a nationally recognized visual journalist who is an expert in new forms of digital storytelling and data,” Reed said. “We’re grateful for the support of the Nutting family and Ogden Newspapers that allows us to bring to campus an innovative journalism professional of Slobin’s stature.”

As a visual journalist at The Wall Street Journal, Slobin works with developers, editors and reporters to create interactive stories using data, photography, audio, video and infographics. Since starting at The Wall Street Journal in 2009, Slobin has produced or directed several multimedia projects including Trials, Life in the Euro Zone and The Vote. She was also part of the What They Know series producing database-driven journalism on digital tracking that won the Loeb award for interactive journalism in 2010.

“It’s an awesome opportunity,” Slobin said of joining the School of Journalism team. “I love the idea of building a project from the ground up with a group of students who are digital natives. Especially now when the model for consuming media and journalism is entirely turned on its head.”

Prior to The Wall Street Journal, Slobin was the infographics director for Fortune Magazine working with Fortune.com and CNNMoney. Before Fortune, Slobin spent 15 years at The New York Times – 10 as a graphics editor working on every news desk and as manager of the Business graphics desk. In addition, Slobin has taught infographics and classes at New York University, The New School and Columbia University.

Bill Nutting, vice president of Ogden Newspapers, says he is thrilled to have Slobin come to WVU as part of the Ogden Newspapers Innovator in Residence program.

“Bringing in Sarah Slobin to lead a high-level reporting project will give students valuable experience in creating the kind of interactive digital storytelling today’s news consumers seek,” Nutting said. “With more than 100 years in the media business, our family understands the importance of pushing the boundaries of journalism and ensuring its continued impact and relevance.”

In the fall, Slobin and faculty will assemble their team, outline the project and establish the reporting and production timeframe. The class will launch in Spring 2014.



CONTACT: Kimberly Walker, School of Journalism
304.293.5726, Kimberly.Walker@mail.wvu.edu

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