Speakers 2018

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Mark Hulsey
The Big Ten Network

Mark Hulsey joined the Big Ten Network as Vice President, Production and Executive Producer in July 2009. In April 2014, Hulsey was promoted to Senior Vice President of Production and Executive Producer. Under Hulsey’s direction, the Big Ten Network produces more than 1,500 live events a year, including 1,000 streamed events through BTN’s innovative Student U initiative.

Throughout Hulsey’s tenure, the network has been an industry leader in technical advancement for the production of live events. Big Ten Network was the first collegiate sports network to initiate the “at home” production model, allowing the network to produce hundreds of live events per year from their Chicago studios, rather than producing all live events solely on-site.

Hulsey came to Chicago after serving as the Executive Producer at Fox Sports Midwest/Fox Sports Indiana/Fox Sports Kansas City since 2000. At Fox Sports Midwest, Hulsey administered the production of more than 450 live events for seven universities and professional sports teams in a six-state region. Additionally, he oversaw all live event studio pre-game and post-game coverage, collegiate preview shows and 30-minute specials. During Hulsey’s tenure, Fox Sports Midwest won multiple Emmy awards for best Live Event Special for coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Blues. Hulsey also produced and directed numerous live events for the network.

Prior to joining Fox, Hulsey served as the VP, Broadcasting for four years with the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes. While in Phoenix, Hulsey created and oversaw the Coyotes in-house broadcast department. He received a regional EMMY award for the Coyotes telecasts in the first year of the franchise.

His career also includes serving as the Director of Broadcasting for the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and the Denver Nuggets of the NBA.

Hulsey graduated with a degree in Film Studies from the University of Kansas.

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Ben Kreimer
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Ben Kreimer is a storytelling technologist who uses drones, virtual reality, 360° video, spatial audio, 3D reconstructions and sensor platforms. He advises journalists and storytellers on how to incorporate these emerging technologies into their work. He’s an adviser for the Drone Journalism Lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has given training courses at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. He has guest lectured at Yale, Stanford, New York University, the University of California at Berkeley and other universities about technology and journalism.

Ben introduced 360° video to BuzzFeed as the Beta Fellow in their Open Lab. He has worked with the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California, Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism, The Times of India, CCTV Africa, SecondMuse and its innovation platform LAUNCH, the African Wildlife Foundation, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade innovationXchange and others.

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Christopher Meighan
Washington Post

Christopher Meighan is the director for Emerging News Products at The Washington Post.

He leads a 30-person team made up of editors, designers and producers. Over the past few years, the team has launched The Post’s national product suite, which includes tablet and smartphone apps, a newsletter and an Apple Watch presence.

The team also runs many of The Post’s distributed platform initiatives, including Apple News, Snapchat Discover and thelily.com.

His team operates on an editorial philosophy and design sensibility that takes advantage of the small screen for mobile-first storytelling. The team is consistently in the innovations mindset, knowing that once something is launched, it’s on to figuring out what the next big thing will be.

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Emily Murtaugh
Verizon

Emily Murtaugh is a marketing strategist working in the telecommunications, advertising and services industries.

A University of Nebraska-Lincoln alum, she currently works within the Global Content and Media division of Verizon as a strategy manager, leading business analyses as well as content and partnership strategy across Verizon Wireless, Verizon Fios, Yahoo!, AOL, and Tumblr.

Emily has previously worked as Marketing Manager for original series produced by AwesomenessTV, Complex, and Machinima, as well as coordinated PR outreach for top emerging talent such as Hayes Grier, Aspyn Ovard, Anne Winters, and Cameron Monaghan.

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Yusuf Omar
Hashtag Our Stories

Yusuf Omar is a multi-award winning journalist and co-founder of Hashtag Our Stories, a TEDx speaker, former CNN Senior Social Media Reporter on Snapchat and former Mobile Editor at the Hindustan Times in India where he empowered 750 journalists to tell stories with the phones.

He has been a foreign correspondent with just his phone since 2010 and covered the Syrian civil war.

At Hashtag Our Stories, he’s empowering mobile video storytelling communities around the world, creating shows in every language.

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Allissa Richardson
USC  Annenberg

Allissa Richardson is an assistant professor at the University of Southern California Annenberg.

She is also the founder of MOJO MediaWorks. Her firm designs mobile journalism workshops for youth, educators and working journalists. Her clients include The Washington Post, PBS, Black Girls Code, GlobalGirl Media, Journalism Educators Association, and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Black Enterprise has called Richardson’s fast-growing company a “feel-good tech firm on the rise.” 

Allissa trains youth to use only smartphones, MP3 players and tablets to report news. She calls her students mobile journalists, or MOJOs. At age 25, she joined the faculty of Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. She served as coordinator of its journalism program, and launched and directed the Morgan MOJO Lab in 2010. Under her leadership, Morgan State became the first and only historically black college in the country to offer mobile journalism courses. 

 

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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. 

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Amy Schmitz Weiss
San Diego
State University
 

Amy Schmitz Weiss is an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Media Studies at San Diego State University.

She teaches journalism courses in basic writing and editing, multimedia, web design, data journalism, mobile journalism, sensor journalism, media entrepreneurship and spatial journalism.

She is the recipient of the 2017-2018 San Diego State University Grant Program. Her project entails examining the intersection of journalism, social media and location-based services in today’s digital/mobile environment.

She was the 2014-2015 recipient of the Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education by the Online News Association.

Her research interests include online journalism, media sociology, news production, multimedia journalism, and international communication. She has published her research in several peer-reviewed articles, chapters and a co-edited book on a variety of topics related to journalism.

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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.

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Emily Withrow
Quartz Bot Studio

Emily Withrow is editor of the 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's also faculty at Northwestern University, where she taught for six years, most recently embedded with the Knight Lab.

Before that, she worked for The A.V. Club and McKinsey & Company. Withrow spends much of her free time talking with robots, rock climbing, and researching recipes she will eventually abandon for nachos.