Jan Schaffer

Executive Director, J-Lab

@janjlab

Jan Schaffer, executive director of J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism and Entrepreneur in Residence at American University’s School of Communication, is a leading thinker in the emerging news landscape. A Pulitzer Prize winner for The Philadelphia Inquirer, she left daily journalism to lead entrepreneurial initiatives in civic, interactive and citizen journalism. She launched J-Lab in 2002 to help newsrooms use innovative technologies to engage people in public issues. J-Lab has helped launch more than 90 news start-ups and journalism partnerships. As a federal court reporter, she helped write a series that won freedom for a man wrongly convicted of five murders. The stories led to the civil rights convictions of six Philadelphia homicide detectives and won the 1978 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service. She is a member of the Journalism Advisory Committee of the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation and the SXSW Accelerator Advisory Board. She was awarded the Manship Prize by Louisiana State University for innovative media work has advanced citizens’ understanding of challenges in the public arena.

Sessions

  • Saturday, 3:30 pm
    Garden Room A-B

    Unconference Session – Innovation and Trends in Video Storytelling

    More of a conversation than presentation, let’s get together and share some of the cool ways we’re using video to tell stories.

  • Saturday, 2:15 pm
    Garden Room A-B

    Unconference Session – How Do We Keep the “Story” in Alternate Story Form?

    Do we lose narratives with alternate story forms? Where's the context? This session encourages discussion about what works and what doesn't.

  • Saturday, 11:30 am
    Garden Room A-B

    Unconference Session – Is Tumblr the New Time, Inc.?

    Are journalists’ future homes in places that aren’t primarily about journalism, and should it be?

  • Thursday, 9:00 am
    Hospitality Room

    Intro to Design Thinking

    This session will be led by staff of Stanford’s world-renowned Hasso M. Plattner Institute of Design — commonly called the d.school.

  • Thursday, 9:15 am
    Grand Ballroom B, Garden Room AB

    Law School for Digital Journalists

    A full day of practical training, taught by leading experts on digital media law.

  • Thursday, 4:30 pm
    Bayview A

    Entrepreneurial Pop-Ups

    Have a challenge? Work with our presenters for one-on-one consults in which they lend their expertise to help you solve your biggest struggle.

  • Thursday, 3:45 pm
    Bayview A

    The Rise of University News Startups

    J-Schools are launching news sites as outlets to teach students both reporting and entrepreneurship skills. Hear about several models that are working.

  • Thursday, 3:00 pm
    Bayview A

    Collaboration vs. Competition

    When should a news start-up partner with a mainstream news outlet? A look at collaboration models, do’s and don’ts and guerrilla marketing.

  • Thursday, 2:00 pm
    Bayview A

    Engaging Audiences

    Just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come. A discussion of the four strata of engagement and successful engagement strategies.

  • Thursday, 1:15 pm
    Bayview A

    The Art of the Close

    Journalists are great at producing content and covering stories. Ask them to sell an ad, though, and generally they can’t close the deal.