VCU’s journalism program joins Google News Lab University Network

The Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture has joined the Google News Lab University Network, a new initiative by Google that will provide training materials and support to journalism professors and students on topics such as Google tool fundamentals, trust and verification, immersive storytelling, data journalism, advanced search and Google Trends, data visualization, mapping and more.

The initial cohort of 49 journalism schools around the world, including the Robertson School in VCU’s College of Humanities and Sciences, will gain access to journalism training and support that Google has provided to professional newsrooms for several years.

“Through this network, we hope to foster discussion with educators and offer them an opportunity to review News Lab curriculum and training materials to ensure that it adheres to the right level of pedagogy for journalists and students,” Nicholas Whitaker, training and development manager at Google News Lab, wrote in a blog post announcing the initiative.

This will help faculty and students to experiment with new ways of journalistic storytelling.

Vivian Medina-Messner, a journalism instructor in the Robertson School, spearheaded the effort for the school to join the network.

“It's exciting for the Robertson School to join this global network with more than 40 journalism schools around the world,” she said. “This will help faculty and students to experiment with new ways of journalistic storytelling. We will be part of a network of top-notch journalism schools that will foster dialogue about the future of journalism.” 

Medina-Messner said the network will provide a number of exciting opportunities for VCU journalism faculty and students. 

“I initiated for the Robertson School to join this network as I see immediate applications for our mobile and social journalism capstone course, which has been at the forefront of innovation in journalism education,” she said. “But there will be many opportunities for other faculty and classes as well as the network takes shape in the spring.”


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