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Cronkite School taps digital media leader for new bureau

Mike Reilly
November 19, 2014

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication has selected a digital media innovator to direct a new professional program in which Arizona State University students will produce dynamic multimedia content.

Mike Reilley, a 25-year journalism veteran with stops at the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, will serve as director of the new Cronkite News – Digital Production Bureau opening in January. Students will create multimedia content that integrates text, video, images, statistical information and other content into usable, shareable products, such as interactives, infographics and data visualizations. The work will be part of the Cronkite News website that showcases news and information produced by students across a range of professional programs.

Reilley joins the Cronkite School after five years at DePaul University’s College of Communication. As a faculty member, he developed the award-winning interactive Red Line Project, in which students cover news and urban issues in neighborhoods near Red Line “L” train stops in Chicago. Reilly is also the founder and editor of The Journalist’s Toolbox, a popular Society of Professional Journalists website and Twitter account featuring more than 25,000 resources on a variety of industry topics.

“These are interesting and exciting times for journalism, and I can't think of a better place to be teaching than Cronkite,” Reilley said. “It’s the perfect storm of great students, outstanding faculty and incredible facilities. I'm looking forward to working with students and colleagues to build incredible interactive storytelling.”

At DePaul, Reilley was the founder and faculty adviser to the university’s Society of Professional Journalists and Online News Association group. He won the David Eshelman Award as the top SPJ adviser in the nation and was named DePaul’s outstanding campus organization adviser in 2012. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master’s degree in media management from Northwestern.

Reilley’s career includes leadership roles at the Chicago Tribune and the global public relations agency GolinHarris. He was also a sports reporter for the Los Angeles Times, covering the LA Rams football team, and taught as an adjunct and later as a lecturer at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

“Mike is a digital innovator with great ideas and energy,” said Kristin Gilger, Cronkite associate dean. “We couldn’t be more excited to have him work with our students.”

The Cronkite News Digital Production Bureau is one of 10 professional programs at the Cronkite School in which students can obtain real-world experience under the guidance of professionals. The others include a nightly television news broadcast that airs on Arizona PBS, digital news bureaus in Washington and Phoenix, sports bureaus in Los Angeles and Phoenix, a strategic public relations agency, an entrepreneurial digital innovation lab, a business reporting bureau and a newsgathering and civic journalism bureau.