Speakers 2019

Ashley Codianni is the executive producer for social and emerging media at CNN Worldwide. Codianni leads the social teams at all of the CNN bureaus globally and works closely with the CNN Digital leadership in their editorial strategy. Her teams span publishing, newsgathering, digital and TV.  She was previously the senior director of social publishing for CNN, overseeing the publishing of social content across CNN's social platforms around the globe. Prior to that, Codianni was a senior producer and digital correspondent for CNN Politics where she produced and oversaw digital video content for the network's CNN Politics team. On the campaign trail, on the road and at the bureau, Codianni creatively captured political news to deliver it to users in creative, compelling and highly sharable ways. She has traveled across the world to cover national elections, local politics and the major issues facing legislators.  A social force, 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.  While at CNN, Codianni has been the recipient of the first ever Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in social media for CNN's social coverage of the 2016 election, in addition to a Webby Award recognizing the same 2016 campaign work.  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.

Ashley Codianni is the executive producer for social and emerging media at CNN Worldwide. Codianni leads the social teams at all of the CNN bureaus globally and works closely with the CNN Digital leadership in their editorial strategy. Her teams span publishing, newsgathering, digital and TV.

She was previously the senior director of social publishing for CNN, overseeing the publishing of social content across CNN's social platforms around the globe. Prior to that, Codianni was a senior producer and digital correspondent for CNN Politics where she produced and oversaw digital video content for the network's CNN Politics team. On the campaign trail, on the road and at the bureau, Codianni creatively captured political news to deliver it to users in creative, compelling and highly sharable ways. She has traveled across the world to cover national elections, local politics and the major issues facing legislators.

A social force, 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.

While at CNN, Codianni has been the recipient of the first ever Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in social media for CNN's social coverage of the 2016 election, in addition to a Webby Award recognizing the same 2016 campaign work.

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.


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.

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.

Ray Soto is the Director of Emerging Tech for the USA TODAY NETWORK.  His primary role within the organization is to revolutionize storytelling with emerging technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality.  He has seen and lead the network’s VR and AR growth, participating in their earliest immersive storytelling ventures in a leading role in the planning and production of USA TODAY NETWORKS’s premiere virtual reality series, VRtually There, and flagship projects like USS Eisenhower VR, 321 LAUNCH, and the Pulitzer Prize winning multi-media report The Wall.  Most recently, USA TODAY NETWORK and GANNETT were named to Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list for AR/VR specifically.

Ray Soto is the Director of Emerging Tech for the USA TODAY NETWORK.

His primary role within the organization is to revolutionize storytelling with emerging technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality.

He has seen and lead the network’s VR and AR growth, participating in their earliest immersive storytelling ventures in a leading role in the planning and production of USA TODAY NETWORKS’s premiere virtual reality series, VRtually There, and flagship projects like USS Eisenhower VR, 321 LAUNCH, and the Pulitzer Prize winning multi-media report The Wall.

Most recently, USA TODAY NETWORK and GANNETT were named to Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list for AR/VR specifically.

Emily Withrow is director 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.

Emily Withrow is director 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.