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School of Journalism Graduate Student Wins 2017 Google News Lab Fellowship

Emily Hopkins, School of Journalism, Media Innovation track

For the second year in a row, a student in CAMD’s School of Journalism is representing Northeastern University on the list of recipients for the prestigious Google News Lab Fellowship, a partnership between Google News Lab and several news organizations. This year, out of almost 2,000 applicants, Emily Hopkins, a Media Innovation graduate student, was named a 2017 US Fellowship winner, and will be joining the team at Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of investigative reporting. After a trip to Google headquarters in June, she will be joining IRE’s staff in Columbia, Missouri, where she hopes to tackle some data projects and contribute to their podcast. She will also have the opportunity to go to the IRE national conference, which will address the latest developments in the field of investigative and data journalism.

“I am beyond excited about the prospect of learning more about data journalism,” Emily said. “IRE is the home of the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR), and they were parsing data way before it was trendy, so I am eager to absorb as much knowledge and expertise as I can. I also cannot wait to meet some of the best investigative journalists in the country.”

Emily came to Boston in 2009 to pursue her undergraduate degree at Boston University, where she earned bachelor degrees in English and journalism and began pursuing her strong interests in storytelling, both as an art form and as a public service. After working and gaining valuable experience in the field for a few years, Emily decided to join CAMD’s School of Journalism, Media Innovation track, because she saw her interests, both professional and otherwise, consistently leaning towards dynamic digital storytelling, data journalism, and using digital tools for journalism. Her upcoming experience as a Google News Lab Fellow will allow her to continue to explore these interests and passions in the context of investigative reporting.

“This fellowship is a rare opportunity for a young journalist like Emily to both peek behind the curtain at Google and learn more about the technologies they are developing for journalists and how they are thinking about the future of news and then dig into projects at the IRE with some of the top minds in investigative journalism,” said Dina Kraft, program coordinator of the Media Innovation graduate program. “This is the perfect next step for Emily who I have been lucky to watch blossom as a journalist. She’s smart, she’s dogged and most importantly she cares deeply about the people and issues she covers.”

“In an age where news stories cycle through at dizzying speed, Emily belongs to the tradition of tenacious investigative reporters willing to put in the time and shoe leather necessary to uncover stories the public needs to know,” Kraft added. “I feel better about the future knowing investigative journalists like Emily will be out there covering and breaking important stories.” 

Now, with this new opportunity right around the corner, there are endless ways to tie together what Emily will be experiencing through her time at IRE and what she is learning and studying in her coursework in CAMD.

“The Google News Lab and the Media Innovation track are both really interested in the future of journalism. In fact, I don’t think there’s a journalist out there that goes a day without thinking about where the industry is going,” explained Emily. “As we have seen over the past few months, investigative journalism will be a huge part of that conversation. At CAMD, I’ve investigated civil rights era violence, learned how to parse and visualize data, and taken design classes, so figuring out how to use digital tools for investigative reporting – and then using other digital tools to tell those stories – is both central to the future of news and to what I have learned here.”

Emily would like to thank Dina Kraft and John Wihbey, whose constant encouragement and guidance has made her a better student and journalist. Also a big thank you to her classmates whose talents are out of this world. To read more about last year’s recipient, Media Innovation student Jorge Caraballo Cordovez, click here.