This year's lineup of speakers will bring a spectrum of skills and expertise in mobile media. Don't miss it! 


Jim Brady is the CEO of Spirited Media, which operates the mobile news platform Billy Penn in Philadelphia and the soon-to-launch The Incline in Pittsburgh. Before entering the pure startup world, Jim served as Executive Editor of, Editor in Chief of Digital First Media, General Manager of TBD and as head of News and Sports for America Online. 

Brian Boyer was, until just recently, the Visuals Editor at NPR. Before NPR, he interned at ProPublica and founded the news applications team at Chicago Tribune. He was one of the first two programmers to receive a Knight-funded scholarship to study journalism at Medill. He is learning to use a camera. He loves being a journalist.

Andy Boyle a writer, comedian and internet-maker.  After growing up in Nebraska and getting a fair-priced bachelor’s of journalism degree, he’s worked for some of the largest media companies in the nation, including NBC News, the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, the St. Petersburg Times and The New York Times Regional Media Group. His work was listed in the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News, and he’s won awards in radio, television, print and online journalism. Andy’s work has been featured in TODAY, the icago Tribune, CNN Headline News, Esquire, the Higgs-Weldon, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Omaha World-Herald and more. His first book, “Adulthood for Beginners,” comes out in May 2017 on a Penguin Random House imprint.

Rosemary D’Amour joined Knight Foundation in October 2015. As the digital communications associate, she manages Knight’s social media channels and helps execute digital and editorial strategy.

D’Amour previously worked with the Center for International Media Assistance in Washington, D.C., where she was an associate editor focused on digital engagement and research initiatives in media development. She has worked in community engagement with, and as a blogger with the World Editor’s Forum at the World Association of Newspapers.

Stephanie Edgerly is an assistant professor in the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University with a specialization in audience insight. Her research explores how features of new media alter the way audiences consume news and impact political engagement. She is particularly interested in the mixing of news and entertainment content, how individuals and groups create and share news over social network websites, and how audiences selectively consume media.

Aaron Edwards is a Senior Editor building The Outline, a new digital publication led by Verge co-founder Joshua Topolsky. Before that, he was a Mobile Editor at BuzzFeed News, an Associate Editor at NBC’s Breaking News, a National News Producer at Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome, and a Reporting Fellow at The New York Times.

Joe Fullman is the head of marketing for Onion, Inc.

Fullman came to Onion, Inc. after a decade working on CPG, Healthcare, Auto, and B2B clients at advertising agencies including Arnold, Stardom MediaVest Group, and GreaterThanOne.

In 2010, Fullman was also one of the co-founders of Reunify, a Los Angeles-based predictive analytics startup now owned by NJK Holdings.

Mitch Gelman brings a range of journalism and technology experience to the Newseum. As a reporter at New York Newsday, he was part of a team that earned a Pulitzer Prize for spot news coverage, and later served as editor-in-chief at and as senior vice president and senior executive producer at, helping those organizations grow their digital properties.

Kurt Gessler is the Deputy Editor of Digital News at the Chicago Tribune, managing and measuring the day-to-day operations of the brand across all platforms, including the site, apps, social media and newsletters. He also is an adjunct professor the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University, teaching digital journalism, web development, social media, analytics, SEO and data visualization. Before joining the Tribune,Gessler was Managing Editor/Online at the Daily Herald. Gessler in 2015 was given the Tribune’s inaugural Jones-Beck Award for Digital Audience Growth.

As Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Washington Post, Jeremy Gilbert leads the newsroom to identify, create, and execute unique digital products and storytelling experiences. He reimagined election night experiences, created The Post's first virtual reality stories, built a freelance network that changes how The Post covers national stories and launched a new leadership vertical. Jeremy works closely with the engineering, product design, graphics, audience, analytics and advertising teams. Previously he led digital strategy at National Geographic, taught journalism at Northwestern University, worked at The Poynter Institute and art directed a couple of newspapers.

Acton Gorton does extensive data analysis, web design and programming for the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting and a regional newsroom. He also has worked on several projects that make data more available to the public through mobile phones and he analyzes trends in social media. He is completing his PhD with the Illinois Informatics Institute at the University of Illinois where he focuses on the use of Augmented Reality as a medium for visual story telling adapted for journalism. He writes a blog at, where he occasionally highlights technology or issues of interest.

Roberto Grossman leads Fusion's Vine and Snapchat efforts overseeing and executing the editorial strategy for the platforms. A creative thinker, he makes video content that breaks down news into bite sized pieces for the mobile audience. He mixes entertainment, art and news to provoke and connect with viewers.  

The Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab: Speakers from The Guardian’s innovation team in its U.S. newsroom will discuss their experiments in storytelling and delivering news on small screens. Funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

S. Mitra Kalita is the vice president for programming at CNN Digital. She is a past president of the South Asian Journalists Association, a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, and has spent much of her career diversifying newsrooms and the journalism they produce.

Sasha Koren is the editor of The Guardian U.S. Mobile Innovation Lab. She shares leadership, with Sarah Schmalbach, of a multidisciplinary team dedicated to finding new ways to deliver news and tell stories in mobile-specific formats. Prior to joining The Guardian U.S., Sasha spent over a decade at The New York Times focused on digital transformation and leading storytelling projects in the opinion, features and news sections. Most recently she was a deputy editor of the interactive news team, where she built and led the social media and reader engagement teams, fostered innovations in crowdsourcing and guided newsroom social media strategy.

As a journalism technologist, Ben Kreimer specializes in storytelling with drones, virtual reality, 360° video, 3D virtual reconstructions, and open source hardware sensor platforms. He brought 360° video to BuzzFeed as the first fellow in their San Francisco based Open Lab, a media R&D space. Ben has co-produced many of BuzzFeed's 360° videos, including their first, which has received over six million views.

Rebecca Lai is a graphics editor at The New York Times, working as a reporter, developer and designer to visually present the news.

Edward C. Malthouse is the Theodore R and Annie Laurie Sills Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications and Industrial Engineering and Management Science at Northwestern University and the Research Director for the Spiegel Center for Digital and Database Marketing. He was the co-editor of the Journal of Interactive Marketing between 2005-2011. He earned his PhD in 1995 in computational statistics from Northwestern University and completed a post doc at the Kellogg marketing department. His research interests center on customer engagement and experiences; digital, social and mobile media; big data; customer lifetime value models; predictive analytics; unsupervised learning; and integrated marketing communications.

Carlos Martinez de la Serna is Director of Digital Innovation at Univision, where he leads a cross-functional team driving transformative and sustainable innovation across the organization. With a background in human-centered design and journalism, he has worked in health, media and technology in the U.S., Spain and Japan. He is also a co-founder of the non-profit media organization porCausa, is a member of Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design community and is a former JSK Fellow at Stanford.

Rebekah Monson is co-founder and VP of Product of WhereBy.Us, a local media startup that connects people to their cities through storytelling and experiences. Its first publication, The New Tropic, produces an email newsletter, original journalism and events in Miami that reached more than half a million curious locals in 2015.


Eric Newton is Innovation Chief at Arizona State University’s Cronkite News, the news division for Arizona PBS. He consults with Knight Foundation and others on philanthropy, journalism, education and innovation. He built Knight’s journalism program, led the Newseum’s original content team and edited the Oakland Tribune.  He writes and speaks worldwide. 

Yusuf Omar is Mobile Editor of the Hindustan Times in India. He is currently building the world's largest mobile journalism team,  training 750 reporters to tell stories using their phones. Currently in London, he's attending the Thomson Foundation Media Convergence course

Yusuf won the International Journalists' Network's Journalist of the Month  in September 2016, for his use of Snapchat to tell the stories of sexual abuse survivors in India — or rather, to allow them to tell their own stories through selfie journalism.


Susan Poulton is the Chief Digital Officer of the Franklin Institute science museum in Philadelphia where she is implementing one of the most comprehensive virtual reality strategies in the museum space, including a mobile app with imbedded VR library. Her passion is inspiring and awakening curiosity in any audience and moving them to action through digital experiences and storytelling.  Susan has eighteen years of digital media strategy experience, working with organizations in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Before her current role, she spent seven years as Vice President of Digital Media for the National Geographic Society and prior to that spent nine years at America Online specializing in large-scale digital live event and content production. An avid traveler, photographer, and space enthusiast, Susan spends her spare time photographing rocket launches and volunteers to provide media and digital training to non profit organizations around the world.

Sarah Schmalbach is the senior product manager for the Guardian U.S. Mobile Innovation Lab, a multidisciplinary team focused on finding new ways to deliver news on small screens. With the generous funding of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the five-person lab is spending two years testing innovative formats and sharing data and insights from its experiments with the industry.

Sarah studied journalism at NYU before becoming a mobile product manager for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and where she helped build their first mobile development and product teams. Most recently, Sarah led mobile product development at USA TODAY, overseeing launches of their Android app, mobile site and experimental projects.

Richard Shaw specializes in drone technology as an emerging tool for journalism and co-teaches the course "Civilian Drone Issues, Applications and Flight" at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

E. R. Shipp is a journalist-scholar with advanced degrees from Columbia University (M.S. in journalism, M.A. in history, J.D. in law) and from life. She is a founding member of the faculty of the three-year-old School of Global Journalism and Communication at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md.

Judd Slivka is an assistant professor of convergence journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism. He teaches multimedia, multi-platform journalism as well mobile app development and field production with mobile phones. He is a regular contributor to the Reynolds Journalism Institute’s “Futures Lab” show.

Zach Wade programs news for human, mobile audiences with an intuition for how tech can better connect stories with users. He is Senior Mobile Producer at CNN Digital where he works across disciplines to advance the CNN mobile storytelling experience.

Matt Waite is a professor of journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, founder of the Drone Journalism Lab and co-founder of Hot Type Consulting LLC, a web development firm. From 2007-2011, he was a programmer/journalist for the St. Petersburg Times where he developed the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact. Before that, he was an award-winning investigative reporter for the Times and co-author of the book "Paving Paradise: Florida's Vanishing Wetlands and the Failure of No Net Loss."

Amy Schmitz Weiss is an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Media Studies at San Diego State University. She has a PhD in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. Schmitz Weiss is a 2011 Dart Academic Fellow.

Emily Withrow is an assistant professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, teaching digital narrative methods to undergraduate and graduate students. She is also a member of the Knight Lab, where she conducts research into platform-specific storytelling, with a particular interest in voice user interfaces and conversational computing.

David Wright is an award-winning digital product designer working at a startup in Palo Alto. Most recently, he was a Staff Designer at Twitter where he focused on creating foundational design systems for mobile platforms for both web and native platforms, including a responsive redesign of Twitter's mobile site. Before Twitter, he was the Digital Design Director at NPR where he helped shape the design of award-winning news experiences for all of NPR’s digital platforms.