Campus News

Executive director of J-Lab, will discuss innovation, future of journalism at McGill Lecture

Jan Schaffer

A leading thinker about the future of journalism will deliver this year’s McGill Lecture on Oct. 26 at 4 p.m. in Room 101 of the Miller Learning Center.

Jan Schaffer, executive director of J-Lab, will speak on “The Courage to Innovate for the Future of Journalism.” The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

Schaffer is a former Pulitzer Prize winner for The Philadelphia Inquirer, where she worked for more than 20 years as a reporter and editor. She previously directed the Pew Center for Civic Journalism, a $14 million initiative that funded more than 120 pilot news projects that better engaged people in public issues.

In 2002, Schaffer launched J-Lab as a journalism catalyst. Based at American University in Washington, D.C., J-Lab is designed to incubate interactive and participatory journalism initiatives, innovations and citizen media ventures.

J-Lab rewards novel ideas through the Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism and has funded 70 news media start-ups through its New Voices and McCormick New Media Women Entrepreneur programs. J-Lab also has pioneered more than 20 collaborative journalism ventures. The lab produces Web tutorials on digital media, community publishing and the Knight Citizen News Network.

Established in 1978, the  lecture honors Ralph McGill, a Pulitzer Prize-winning editor of publisher of The Atlanta Journal Constitution, who  used the newspaper’s editorial pages to challenge segregation in the 1950s and 1960s.