IMG_2531

NOVEMBER 3, 2015 – The Stanford Journalism Program’s Chilton R. Bush Journalism Laboratory was completely remodeled over the summer with new state-of-the-art technology to better support data journalism and multimedia storytelling instruction and collaborative newsroom work.

Ergonomically friendly standing workstations for multimedia production and data visualization.

Ergonomically friendly standing workstations for multimedia production and data visualization.

The lab, housed in the Department of Communication, now has brand-new 27’’ iMac computers, a powerful Mac Pro station, five 55” wall displays, a new HD video projector and Blu-ray capabilities. The entire audio-visual system is managed by a custom-programmed touchscreen control panel that allows instructors to easily show multiple display inputs on various screens. The lab also got a physical makeover with new carpet, furniture, paint and lighting.

“The new lab gives students access to powerful computing for video rendering and other tasks,” said Lorry I. Lokey Visiting Professor Geri Migielicz, who leads the program’s multimedia instruction. “The teaching space allows us to explore apps and tools while we build best practice lists. The multi-screen environment allows close readings – and comparisons – of multimedia.”

For example, the technology allows an iPhone app to be demoed on the secondary screens, while a slide deck or video might be presented on the main screen. The room was designed for flexible situations: students working in groups can project collaborative work from their laptops or the lab’s iMacs onto the wall-mounted LCD screens.

MA students working on a collaborative reporting project in the lab, after interviewing a congressperson. (Photo by Kim Kenny, MA '16)

MA students working on a collaborative reporting project in the lab, after interviewing a congressperson. (Photo by Kim Kenny, MA ’16)

“The new lab has made it much easier to demonstrate complicated data concepts during lecture, which is essential in making sure students don’t feel left out simply because of where they’re sitting in the classroom,” said Dan Nguyen, Hearst Professional In Residence, who is currently teaching Public Affairs Data Journalism I in the new lab this fall.

“It is much easier to teach hands-on classes in data journalism because I can easily see how the students are doing and they can easily see what I’m doing on the screens around the lab,” said Cheryl Phillips, Hearst Professional In Residence.

“The setup is also designed to bolster research in the Computational Journalism Lab, with the multiple screens making it possible to visualize patterns across data sets so that we can discover stories more easily,” said Stanford Journalism Program Director Jay Hamilton, who also co-founded the new research lab focused on using computational methods to uncover accountability stories that would otherwise go untold.

The lab's custom touchscreen control panel.

The lab’s custom touchscreen control panel.

The lab is available for use by all students in the master’s journalism program, as well as any students who take elective journalism courses.

Applications for 2016-2017 admission to the nine-month master’s journalism program are now open. The deadline to apply is Dec. 1, 2015.