Media Innovation graduate student, Yan Wu, ’19, is one of eight recipients of the prestigious Google News Lab U.S. Fellowship. She is the third Northeastern School of Journalism student to receive the fellowship—which nearly 2,000 students applied for each year—in as many years.
“Reveal stood out to me not only because they have done some fascinating projects on data sonification, but also because they are really good at bridging national conversation with hyperlocal reporting,” Wu said. “I want to use my skills on data visualization, interactive storytelling and webVR to create more appealing projects with the team at Reveal.”
Other Google News Lab Fellowship locations include Investigative Reporters & Editors, where Emily Hopkins, Media Innovation ‘17, served in 2017, and Matter, where Jorge Caraballo, ‘17, served in 2016.
“Yan has grown tremendously as a digital journalist and visual storyteller while at Northeastern, starting as a contributor to Storybench, then an intern on the graphics desk at the Boston Globe, and now a Google News fellow at Reveal,” says Aleszu Bajak, graduate programs manager for Northeastern’s School of Journalism. “From day one she has demonstrated a willingness to be exhaustive and experimental with her data reporting. Any newsroom is lucky to have her.”
Wu grew up in a rural suburb in China’s Hebei Province. As a child, she enjoyed reading the newspapers her father took home from work—particularly the stories about faraway places. By the time she was a teenager, she was hooked on the idea of becoming a journalist.
So Wu headed to the Beijing Forestry University to earn her Bachelor’s in digital media art. Next, she attended the Sun Yat-Sen University, a major public research university in Guangdong, China, to earn a Master’s in communication and media studies. Wu worked as a journalist and editor at the Shenzen Evening News, also in China, before leaving for Northeastern University in 2016.
As a Media Innovation graduate student, she’s gravitated toward—and has arguably mastered— data visualization. Currently an interactive journalist at the Boston Globe, Wu has created an enclaves map and a hospital map for the Spotlight series on racism, developed an interactive graphic and co-authored an accompanying story on President Trump’s tweets, and was behind the design and development of a story about the adventures of a missing dog in Milton, Mass., among others.
Wu can’t wait to further her skills in data journalism— and dip her toes in podcasting— during her Google News Lab fellowship.
“I am so grateful that Reveal recognized my work and decided to offer me the opportunity to collaborate with them,” Wu said. “I am also grateful for all my professors, who have not only taught me skills, but also shown me how to be a great data journalist. I am excited and looking forward to experimenting with new ways of storytelling.”