Media Maker / Raconteur / Roustabout
Most recently, I worked as the Director of Multimedia and Technology for the Departments of Art and Design at The University of Kansas (KU). In this capacity, I was responsible for the computing and web presence of the departments and the Digital Media Center. In short, I clicked and clacked on a keyboard (a lot). Instead of the work of the departments reaching thousands locally, regionally or nationally, my work brought their work (and that of the students) to the globe.
Upon arrival in August 2007, I implemented an easy-to-use content management system to aide recruiting for the Department of Design and used the same technology for the computing/printing needs of students and the photographic services offered through the Art and Design building.
In 2007, the Knight News Challenge created “incubators” at seven academic institutions (Michigan State University, The University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Western Kentucky University, Ithaca College, University of Nevada-Las Vegas and St. Michael’s College) to foster creative thinking about solutions to digital news problems.
I created and led the Innovation Incubator for The University of Kansas under a $230,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s 21st Century News Challenge. I taught a team of five KU students how to develop, critique and present their news innovation, “VoxPop,” to the other groups from across the country and then to a broader audience. Thirty-five students from the other institutions then joined the KU team and I mentored the new group through their eventual presentation to the Online News Association convention in Toronto. VoxPop is still in development and will hopefully go public soon.
Project: Katrina Hope was founded in July 2007 by one of my KU journalism students, Gretchen Wieland, after she saw the still-fresh devastation of New Orleans almost two years after Hurricane Katrina. She was frustrated by a lack of positive coverage of rebuilding efforts by New Orleans residents and volunteers. Drawing on the indomitable hope in these people, Gretchen set out to educate and inspire others to commit to volunteering by creating a documentary focused on the people who provide this hope to New Orleans and those touched by Hurricane Katrina. Gretchen brought me in as her multimedia consultant and web master back in July 2007.
I served as the New Media faculty member for the Kansas Journalism Institute in 2007. I designed, created and taught a curriculum for high school journalism students from across the nation, with lessons focused on internet publishing, emphasizing responsible SEO methods and web best practices. Specifically, I taught the students how to distinguish themselves through their writing, basic videography and editing skills, slideshow creation (with Soundslides) and how to create netcasts of their experiences at KJI. If you learn best practices from the get-go, you won’t have to relearn these skills down the road.
The multimedia tutorials available at Input/Output were created by my predecessor, Staci Baird. I nurtured and developed them further. They continue to evolve and adapt in the hands of their current custodian. They are designed to help even the least technical students master the technical skills required to be an effective multimedia journalist. From the basics of posting web content to photo and video editing and audio recording, anyone can benefit from the free multimedia education available on this site. These instructions are targeted towards the MovableType system used to publish the eHub, but the basic HTML, Photoshop, and Final Cut tutorials apply to any kind of web publishing. A great asset, free to all thanks to public education!
This is the home of KUJH-TV on the Web, bringing both the daily news content and Jayhawk Sports Talk to the world. The site is written in Python utilizing the django open-source framework. I directed a staff of 12 online producers, 77 multimedia reporters and 48 multimedia editors in the KUJH Multimedia Newsroom. This team won many regional and national awards while producing web-ready audio/visual and written content for the daily news cycle. For more information on what exactly it is we did there, see my résumé.
This is the elder statesman of my newsroom blogs. Established in 2004 as an experiment in online journalism, the award-winning eHub has transformed from its earliest incarnation hard-coded in Dreamweaver through stints in Blogger and WordPress to its current build in MovableType. Though the content is never assured, a hazard of an enrolled staff, there always seems to be something interesting at the eHub. From posts about digital trolls that lead you to the darkest corners of the internet to incisive posts about the state of the media world, it is always worth clicking through to read the latest.
In December 2006, I had the chance to bridge the gap between three powerful players in the university environment when KU’s design department approached me and Professor Rick Musser about developing a long-term, multi-disciplinary project with telecommunications industry leaders Nokia and Cingular (now AT&T) and the KU School of Business’ Entrepreneurship Program. We jumped at the chance to develop these relationships.
Our students gained valuable experience in multi-pronged project management that crossed both international and intra-university borders. They collectively examined the viability of the high-end Nokia N73 and N93 camera phones from the perspective of multimedia newsroom implementations, design and product viability. Their findings can be found on the blog I developed and maintained for this adventure in international design and business.
This is one of the most ambitious blogs I have created, though not for any technical reason. It was implemented to facilitate a discussion among the faculty of the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications as they undertook the first curricular realignment in over a decade. This public forum is unprecedented in any other academic institution. The process was (is) slow going, as evidenced by checking out the blog itself. Faculty are understandably reluctant to take this bold step towards public discourse. To their credit, some openly embraced the blog as a forum while others never logged in at all.
This John S. and James L. Knight Foundation project partnered with The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation and William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications to delve into what it takes to bridge the gap between the newsroom and the citizen on the street. The project was designed to benefit anyone interested in journalism, from a plumber with no prior knowledge of community journalism practices to a working reporter with years of experience, delivering a set of tools that anyone can utilize to achieve civic (tr)action through journalism. Though the burgeoning (yet ancient) world of community journalism is constantly evolving, the site does provide a solid base for community journalists. I served as a graduate and post-graduate research assistant and web master on the project.
The National Credibility Roundtables Project works with media outlets in every state addressing credibility issues. The goal is to understand the public’s credibility concerns and to spur the rebuilding of trust. My work as a web developer for the APME led to a site that now revolves around Carol Nunnelley’s book “Building Trust in the News”. Newspapers across the country still use this page to implement credibility roundtables in their communities, leading to better coverage and better communication between the media and the community.