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Fellowship program pairs up digitally-minded millennials with newsrooms

This fall, ABC News’ Washington Bureau will benefit from the “great ideas and skillset” of digitally-minded Missouri School of Journalism graduate Hope Howard, a 2019 RJI Student Innovation Fellow, says Audrey Taylor, supervising producer at ABC News. 

Howard will help ABC News with a variety of digital content tasks depending on the various needs of the bureau’s reporting verticals, which include teams that report on the White House, Congress, as well as on transportation issues. These tasks could consist of contributing digital pieces, assisting with research and helping with podcasting needs, said Taylor.

“I hope to soak up as much knowledge from as many people as possible,” says Howard, of St. Louis. “With the 2020 elections, it’s going to be such an exciting time, and I cannot wait to be part of it and contributing in any way possible.”

About the RJI Student Innovation Fellowship

The RJI Student Innovation Fellowship embeds Missouri School of Journalism students and recent graduates in a newsroom for a semester to help with projects employing innovative technologies, storytelling techniques and revenue models.

RJI partners with forward-looking outlets to financially support the Missouri students as they work 30 hours a week. The news outlets and RJI provide a stipend to help the fellow with living expenses. The company is also asked to provide a mentor and to allow the student to publish lessons learned on the RJI website at the completion of the fellowship that could transfer to other news organizations.

Since the fellowship program’s launch in 2018, RJI has partnered with several newsrooms for the fellowships including ABC News, PolitiFact, The Seattle Times, NowThis and the Greeley (Colorado) Tribune. 

Past fellowship projects have included creating multimedia content for a new email newsletter, producing social videos and helping a news outlet’s engineers use emerging technologies such as virtual reality and tap-through technology to produce content.

“We’ve been extremely pleased with the work of our student fellows,” says RJI Associate Director Mike McKean. “They’ve been able to dig deeply into problems and potential solutions that apply to a range of small and large newsrooms.”

About Howard

During her time at the University of Missouri, Howard worked as an editorial intern at The Independent, in London, where she wrote op-eds and news stories. She also worked as a producer and anchor at KBIA-FM, an NPR-member station at the Missouri School of Journalism, and as a producer at Missouri Business Alert where she helped produce a podcast about student entrepreneurs. Before she starts her fall fellowship, she will work as a video intern this summer at Roll Call, which reports on Congress and Capitol Hill.

“She was enthusiastic, and she has a very diverse newsroom background, which I think is important, so she understands the terminology,” said ABC’s Taylor. “(Hope) will understand what’s being asked for, whether it’s broadcast and-or more research-oriented or reporting-oriented and that’s important.”

Have an innovative project your newsroom needs help with or want to become an RJI Student Innovation Fellowship partner? Contact RJI Executive Director Randy Picht.

Jennifer Nelson  
   
Senior Information Specialist



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