MISSOULA – The University of Montana School of Journalism has established a new media lab to serve as a center of innovation offering skills-based journalism training to members of the public interested in multimedia storytelling and audience engagement.

Anne Bailey (UM Photo)
Anne Bailey (UM Photo)

Journalist and filmmaker Anne Bailey, a former professor and graduate of the school, will become the founding director of the Montana Journalism Media Lab. This new center marks a major expansion for the century-old journalism school, which regularly ranks among the top 10 journalism schools in the nation.

The School of Journalism will create the lab as an interdisciplinary center that will make the school and its work more accessible to other units on campus and to storytellers around the state and the nation.

Journalism Dean Larry Abramson announced the new effort, saying it would help the school push boundaries and expand its influence beyond the student body.

“For over a century, we have trained some of the nation’s top journalists,” Abramson said. “Under Anne Bailey’s leadership, the Montana Journalism Media Lab will help train scientists, entrepreneurs and businesspeople how to tell their stories in the most effective way.”

Plans for the lab include workshops taught by experts outside of Missoula who will share their expertise in subjects such as web design, data visualization and social media strategy. The Media Lab is supported by private donations, Abramson said, and will be the focus of major fundraising efforts in the years to come.

Bailey graduated from the School of Journalism master’s program in 2008. She has taught and practiced journalism all over the world: from a smartphone video course for Libyans in Rome to a multimedia journalism project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She has taught courses at the SALT Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine, and served as the Distinguished Anthony T. Pollner Professor at the UM School of Journalism in the spring of 2017. She also has filed regularly for the PRI news program “The World.”

As founding director, Bailey will have a strong voice in designing the lab and in finding initial partners.

“I’m excited to be in on the ground floor of this exciting opportunity,” Bailey said. “I believe the lab could make UM and Missoula a center for innovative media projects.”

The lab will be housed in Don Anderson Hall, the journalism school’s home on the UM campus.

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