ASU journalism school launches new digital lab for public

teacher mentoring student

Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is opening the doors of its New Media Innovation Lab to the public, offering expert advice and support on entrepreneurial and technological endeavors.

The Cronkite School's new Digital Solutions Lab gives the ASU community and the public the chance to receive guidance from professional entrepreneurs and Web developers at the New Media Innovation Lab, a technological hub where students from across disciplines come together to create cutting-edge digital media products.

The Digital Solutions Lab is open to the public on select Fridays: Sept. 19, Sept. 26, Oct. 3, Oct. 31, Nov. 7 and Nov. 14. Individuals are welcome to visit the lab, located in Cronkite 206 on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus, from 1 to 4 p.m.

“The Digital Solutions Lab is a great example of the Cronkite School’s commitment to excellence and innovation in the community,” said Retha Hill, executive director of the New Media Innovation Lab. “This is a tremendous opportunity for the ASU community and the public to receive professional help with their entrepreneurial and digital challenges.”

Hill and Cronkite instructional technologist Nic Lindh will be available to answer questions and advise on entrepreneurial projects, websites and other digital ventures such as mobile app development. They will also provide Adobe software support and offer direction to additional tools and informational resources.

The new initiative has generated support from Valley leaders and organizations such as Downtown Phoenix Inc., a community development group dedicated to advancing the continued revitalization of downtown Phoenix.

"We are very excited about ASU’s focus on connecting its resources to the broader downtown community through the New Media Innovation Lab,” said David Krietor, president and CEO of Downtown Phoenix Inc. “These types of partnerships strengthen the diverse and dynamic fabric of our evolving downtown.”

Launched in 2006, the New Media Innovation Lab pairs journalism students with computer engineering, design and business students to plan, prototype and develop media products for media companies and other organizations. Students work under the guidance and direction of Hill, a former BET senior executive, who also helped launch The Washington Post’s first online news operation.

Students in the lab have produced innovative smartphone apps, social media tools, games and websites for national and regional organizations, including Gannett Co., Arizona State Parks and the Society for American Baseball Research.