Jim Brady, Spirited Media

Jim Brady is the CEO of Spirited Media, which operates Billy Penn in Philadelphia, The Incline in Pittsburgh and Denverite in Denver. Before entering the pure startup world, Jim served as Executive Editor of washingtonpost.com, Editor in Chief of Digital First Media, General Manager of TBD and as head of News and Sports for America Online. Jim also currently serves as the public editor of ESPN.

Ashley Codianni, CNN Worldwide

Ashley Codianni is the senior director of social media for CNN Worldwide. In this role she oversees the publishing of social content across CNN's social platforms around the globe. She was previously a senior producer and digital correspondent for CNN Politics where she produced and oversaw digital video content for the network's CNN Politics team. Codianni has earned attention for filing the first-ever Snapchat interview with a senator, playing Cards Against Humanity with members of congress, and repurposing Jimmy Kimmel's series of celebrities reading critical tweets of themselves for Washington with Congressmen and Congresswomen on Capitol Hill among other so-called 'viral' hits.

Prior to joining CNN, Codianni was director of news video for Mashable, lead the Washington, DC bureau of NowThis News, and was a producer for MSNBC's Way Too Early and Morning Joe. At NowThis she oversaw the company's original and sharable political content and was instrumental in developing social mobile video for the outlet's political coverage, including Instagram-exclusive interviews with politicians like New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, and Vine-exclusive segments of the government shutdown. Codianni graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a degree in political science.


Megan Elliott, Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts

Megan Elliott, founding director of the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is a creative, visionary and agile leader combining first class industry, business and political awareness in the digital, creative, emerging media, and education sectors. A hands-on dynamic executive accomplished in management; conceptualization and implementation; program development; cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary collaborations; influencing; fundraising; marketing; and negotiating at senior levels across industry and government.

Co-created X Media Lab – one of the world’s most forward looking and distinguished digital media and entrepreneurship programs, holding over 70 events in 22 cities and 14 countries across the globe, including: the US, the UK, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, China, India, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, and featuring some of the world’s most cutting edge screen professionals, biggest brands and media stars. Nominated by Advance Australia as one of the “Leading 50 Women for the Future”, and by the Australian Government as one of the “Global 50 – Australia Unlimited – Global Achievers.” The recipient of the 5th China Creative Industries Award for "International Contribution." 


Joe Fullman, The Onion

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.


Kurt Gessler, Chicago Tribune

Kurt Gessler is Deputy Editor, Digital, for the Chicago Tribune, focusing on content strategy, analytics, product, platforms and technology. He also started the Tribune's first internal digital training program. Gessler has served as adjunct faculty at Northwestern University, leading graduate classes in web development, data viz and digital journalism. Most recently, he has taken what he learned from both fields and has helped newsrooms refine their digital strategy and workflow. Before coming to the Tribune, Gessler was Managing Editor/Online for the Daily Herald, focusing on strategy and startups.


Acton Gorton, Chicago Tribune/Tronc  

Acton H. Gorton is a newsroom product engineer for Tronc and the Chicago Tribune. He is also a doctoral student at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, studying data analytics and information visualization. His research focuses on data visualization using augmented reality.


Christopher Guess, Reynolds Journalism Institute

Christopher Guess is a technologist, journalist and creator of Push, an open-source mobile news app. 
 Prior to his RJI Fellowship, Guess was based in Sarajevo, Bosnia, for two years as a Knight International Journalism Fellow with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. During this time, he began work on the Push mobile app ecosystem. Guess graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. After graduation, he worked as a freelance photojournalist in eastern Africa for six months.


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Darrell Hoemann, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

Since leaving Mizzou in 1974, Darrell Hoemann has spent 40 years as a reporter, photographer, chief photographer and photo editor. Since retiring from daily journalism, he has worked with the writers and editors at Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.

Val Hoeppner, Val Hoeppner Media and Consulting

Val Hoeppner is a digital journalist, trainer and media strategist. She has worked in digital, mobile and multi-platform journalism for more than 15 years. As CEO of Val Hoeppner Media and Consulting, LLC, Hoeppner travels to newsrooms, universities and media conferences where she creates and leads training for journalists in mobile, social, video and multi-platform storytelling. She works with media leadership in audience engagement, change management and developing digital and mobile workflow. Hoeppner was multimedia director at the Indianapolis Star and later worked at the John Seigenthaler Center in Nashville as the director of education for the Diversity Institute where she led digital journalism programs for professional and student journalists.

In addition to her media and consulting business, Hoeppner is the director of the Center for Innovation in Media at Middle Tennessee State University and an instructor with the Poynter Institute, the Newseum Institute, Chips Quinn Scholars, Native American Journalism Fellowship, Innovation J-Camp and APME News Train. She is on the board of directors of Teripix, a mobile app that accelerates how media companies and other users capture and publish photographs.

Raju Narisetti, Gizmodo Media Group, Univision Communications, Inc.

Raju Narisetti is the CEO of Gizmodo Media Group of Univision Communications, Inc., a group of digital journalism sites that includes some of the web's most beloved and authentic brands, such as Gizmodo, Jezebel, Deadspin, Kotaku, Jalopnik, Lifehacker, Fusion and The Root. A media executive with a track record in creating, rethinking and managing major media organizations in North America, Europe and Asia, Raju was most recently Senior Vice-President of Strategy at News Corp.

Prior to that, he was Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal Digital Network, where he was responsible for WSJ's digital/mobile content strategy and execution; the Managing Editor of The Washington Post, where he led the integration of its digital and print businesses; the Editor of The Wall Street Journal Europe; and the Founder of Mint, the second-largest business newspaper/website in India. His home is in Brooklyn, though he is often found, rather plainspoken, @raju.

Dan Pacheco, Syracuse University

Dan Pacheco holds the Peter A. Horvitz Chair of Journalism Innovation at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, and is a pioneer in the use of virtual reality for journalism. In 2014 he started and co-produced The Des Moines Register’s Harvest of Change VR project for the Oculus Rift, the world’s first large-scale use of virtual reality by a commercial news organization. Harvest of Change earned an Edward R. Murrow Award in 2015 for its innovative use of 360-degree video for virtual reality.

Previously, Pacheco spent 20 years in digital publishing everywhere from Fortune 500 companies to startups. He started his career as an online producer for Washingtonpost.com, where he produced Interact, one of the first online news communities on the Web. Subsequently, as a principal product manager at America Online, he oversaw some of the Internet’s first truly global community products.

In 2005, after pioneering the first implementation of a social networking platform at a U.S. newspaper, he received an NAA “20 Under 40” award. And in 2007, he received a Knight News Challenge grant to build a democratized publishing service that evolved into an eBook platform. When he’s not teaching, Pacheco is busy exploring new technologies shaping the future of media, which lately means augmented reality, citizen sensor networks and drones. He also teaches an Emerging Media Platforms course offered through Newhouse’s Communications@ Syracuse online master's program.

Aron Pilhofer, Temple University

Aron Pilhofer is the James B. Steele Chair in Journalism Innovation at Temple University. In addition to teaching, his work is focused on new business models, digital transformation and innovation in news. Before joining Temple, Pilhofer was Executive Editor, Digital, and interim Chief Digital Officer at the Guardian in London. There, he led the Guardian's product and technology teams as well as heading visual journalism -- including pictures, graphics, interactive and data journalism.

Before coming to the Guardian, Aron was Associate Managing Editor for Digital Strategy and editor of Interactive News at The New York Times. He also was a reporter at Gannett newspapers in New Jersey and Delaware, headed data journalism at the Center for Public Integrity in Washington and on the training staff of Investigative Reporters and Editors. Outside the newsroom. Aron co-founded two news-related startups: DocumentCloud.org and Hacks & Hackers.


Susan Poulton, Franklin Institute

Susan Poulton is the Chief Digital Officer of the Franklin Institute science museum in Philadelphia. She has created one of the most comprehensive virtual reality strategies in the museum space with a combined mobile app/on-site experience. The Franklin Institute mobile app is launching with augmented reality and artificial intelligence systems in late 2017. The Institute's goal is to find effective ways to utilize native app technologies in place-based and museum environments that both support an on-site visitor experience and attract a national & global audience.

Susan has 18 years of digital media strategy experience, working with organizations in both the for-profit and nonprofit 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. She has participated on numerous panels and advisory boards and was an Innovator in Residence at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, lecturing on tactics for maximizing consumer engagement to create meaningful digital experiences. An avid traveler, photographer, and space enthusiast, Susan spends her spare time photographing rocket launches and volunteers to provide media and digital training to nonprofit organizations around the world.

Judd Slivka, University of Missouri

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.

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Aaron Smith, Pew Research Center

Aaron Smith is associate director of research on internet and technology issues at Pew Research Center. Much of his recent research focuses on the impact of technology on workforce and economic issues, Americans’ attitudes towards the sharing and gig economy, and the potential impact of advancements in workforce automation. He has also conducted studies examining the impact of the digital divide and the growing role of mobile devices in Americans’ digital access habits, the importance of technology to special populations such as older adults, and the role of digital platforms in connecting Americans to political and civic information. He has a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Texas at Austin. Smith has testified before Congress and conducts regular briefings and media interviews on the Center’s technology research.

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Almudena Toral, Univision News Digital

Almudena Toral is a visual journalist and filmmaker heading the feature video team at Univision News Digital's headquarters in Miami. The team covers the U.S. and Latin America through documentaries, photography, film, virtual reality, illustration and motion graphics. Previously, Toral taught video storytelling at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York City, pursued her own projects worldwide as a freelance journalist and worked at The New York Times and TIME. She is a member of Fotovisura/GUILD. 

Toral's team is the recipient of several awards, including the Emmys, the Webbys, Pictures of the Year International, RFK Human Rights Journalism Awards, PDN Photo Annual, the National Press Photographers Association, Ortega & Gasset, the Eppys, The Deadline Press Club and others. 

Matt Waite, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Matt Waite is a professor of practice at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, teaching reporting and digital product development. He is also a graduate of the college, earning a Bachelor of Journalism degree in 1997.

Prior to joining the faculty, he was the senior news technologist for the St. Petersburg Times of Florida and the principal developer of the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact. In 2007, he began working as a hybrid journalist/programmer, combining reporting experience and Web development to create new platforms for journalism. The first platform he developed was PolitiFact, a website that fact checks what politicians say. The site became the first website awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2009.

After PolitiFact, he and the New Products Development Team built journalistic products involving entertainment listings, high school sports, local crime and real estate. His projects tripled traffic to high school sports content, doubled local audience, won awards and accounted for more than 50 percent of all traffic to the St. Petersburg Times websites in less than a year.


Emily Withrow, Quartz Bot Studio

Emily Withrow is editor of Quartz Bot Studio, where she writes, designs and builds conversational news experiences. Her work examines how people and bots interact, and how journalists might reach new audiences and deliver news and information with these emerging platforms. She also holds an appointment as an assistant professor at Northwestern University.