Media Innovation at Northeastern University

IMG_1479Hedgehogs, geeks, artists and storytellers are all part of Jeff Howe’s vision for a new, journalism education ecosystem at Northeastern University in Boston. 

Howe is an author (Crowdsourcing, 2008) and former writer and editor at Wired. He’s now a Northeastern professor. He envisions a multidisciplinary, learning team at the university.  The idea brings together investigative reporters (he calls them the hedgehogs), computer scientists (he “lovingly” calls them the geeks) and graphic artists who can dream up new ways to visualize stories online.

“And finally a storyteller, because I will need employment in the brave new world, because I write long form narratives…We are in a period where narrative and story telling are more important than ever.”

This graduate level program for experienced journalists would have input from other parts of the university including business, computer science, art and design. Diversity is key.

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Click photo see video from Northeastern U

“The idea is to bring in constituencies that haven’t always interacted a lot, and bring them together in essentially a newsroom — a university newsroom.”

Howe is a smart, dynamic guy. We found a common interest, as we’re both developing new media courses. He calls his program Media Innovation.

“I think teaching innovation within institutions is really essential, because I think a lot of these kids are going to graduate and they’ll need to shake things up. It’s tremendously important that we make students aware that there is an option that there wasn’t before to create media startups and that’s very exciting.”