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Georgia News Lab Moves to KSU School of Communication and Media

The School of Communication and Media announced today the relocation of the award-winning Georgia News Lab to Kennesaw State University and the hiring of its director, Dr. David Armstrong, as a Journalist-in-Residence.

The nationally recognized Georgia News Lab is an investigative reporting collaborative in partnership between some of the state’s top journalism programs and two of the leading news outlets in the Southeast, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV.

"I am delighted to be joining the KSU team,” said Armstrong.  “This opens up opportunities for the News Lab.  I see many possibilities for collaboration and expansion in our new home.”

“We welcome Dr. Armstrong and the Georgia News Lab,” said Dr. Barbara Gainey, director of the School of Communication and Media. “We believe their presence will elevate the recognition of our journalism program in the state, in the region and in the nation.”

The News Lab comes to Kennesaw State after several years at Georgia State University. During those years, News Lab students produced a string of high impact, front-page news stories.

Each year, the News Lab accepts a small number of students from schools in the Atlanta Regional Consortium of Higher Education, which, besides KSU, includes Georgia State University, the University of Georgia, Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, and Emory and Mercer universities.

The students learn advanced reporting techniques, work side by side with professional reporters and prepare for careers in investigative journalism. The students take two intensive Advanced Investigative Reporting classes – one in Fall semester and the second in the Spring. Top students are then eligible for full-time, paid summer investigative internships with the Journal-Constitution or WSB-TV.

The News Lab trains a new generation of diverse investigative reporters, thus helping news outlets better serve the public and bring marginalized voices into the public debate. With their training, the students emerge well prepared for the job market, ready to join professional investigative news organizations upon graduation.

Armstrong said the Lab’s mission is to solve two fundamental problems: making investigative reporting affordable for news organization by providing a pipeline of reporters who can do high-level work from the start of their careers while increasing diversity in professional newsrooms.

The News Lab has a high success rate in placing students in jobs within the industry.

Students in the News Lab have won a number of awards for investigative reporting. The News Lab’s innovative approach has gained considerable recognition as well. It has won the News Innovation Award and the Impact Award in successive years from the Atlanta Press Club. The Lab was twice named the collegiate winner of the Larry Peterson Memorial Award for Investigative Journalism by the Society of Professional Journalists. It was named the Grand Prize winner of the Online News Association’s Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education, over 200 applicants. And it was the winner of the Barry Bingham Sr. Award for its “outstanding efforts to encourage minority students in the field of journalism.”

The News Lab is supported by grants from: the Cox Media Group, the Online News Association, the Gannett Foundation, the Fund for Investigative Journalism, and the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.


Posted: August 25, 2017