Bots, drones, augmented reality to be featured at national mobile journalism conference

Top digital journalists, innovators and researchers from universities and news organizations across the nation will lead this year’s MobileMe&You conference, which is set for Oct. 20 and 21 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

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MobileMe&You 2017 is a journalism and technology conference focused on storytelling on mobile media platforms while highlighting new and innovative techniques and best practices for newsgathering.

The presenters, who include journalists from newsrooms such as The Washington Post, CNN, Quartz, Univision and the Onion, will talk about informing and engaging new audiences in the mobile era. They will cover a variety of techniques and reporting tools, including bots, drones, augmented reality, virtual reality, 360 video and mobile platforms.

Speakers also will discuss geographically targeted place-based messaging, audience engagement and the latest mobile media research from the Pew Research Center.

This year’s conference will feature demonstrations from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, which is co-hosting the conference. The first major commercial web browser, Mosaic, was developed at the NCSA.

Donna Cox, director of the center’s Advanced Visualization Laboratory and the Illinois Emerging Digital Research and Education in Arts Media Institute (eDream), has helped with conference planning and is organizing the demonstrations.

She and her collaborators have created cinematic virtual tours through astrophysics, earth sciences, engineering and other data domains. The laboratory’s work is shared through venues such as international digital-dome museum shows, high-definition documentary television programs and IMAX movies.

Among this year’s speakers:

●       Ashley Codianni, CNN Worldwide
●       Megan Elliott, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
●       Joe Fullman, The Onion
●       Val Hoeppner, Val Hoeppner Media and Consulting
●       Christopher Meighan, The Washington Post
●       Raju Narisetti, Gizmodo Media Group, Univision Communications, Inc.
●       Dan Pacheco, Syracuse University
●       Aron Pilhofer, Temple University
●       Susan Poulton, Franklin Institute
●       Judd Slivka, University of Missouri
●       Aaron Smith, Pew Research Center
●       Almudena Toral, Univision News Digital
●       Matt Waite, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
●       Emily Withrow, Quartz Bot Studio

Since its inception in 2015, MobileMe&You has helped more than 400 journalists and students learn how to better use mobile and digital tools in reporting.

The conference is organized by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Knight Chairs in Investigative Reporting at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University, Univision News and The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, with generous funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the College of Media at Illinois, and the Knight Chairs.

MPI members save big! Register online at


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