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Eric Newton, innovation chief at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is charged with driving new, cutting-edge ideas and initiatives at Cronkite News, the school’s student-produced news division of Arizona PBS.
Since joining the Cronkite School in June 2015, Newton has launched a number of experimental initiatives, including the school’s first Innovation Day, in which hundreds of students tested drones, virtual reality goggles and robots, as well as a major crowdfunding campaign to support Cronkite News border and immigration reporting.
Newton explored these initiatives and experimentation in journalism education in a three-part series for EducationShift, a leading online site for insight and analysis at the intersection of media and technology.
What follows are links and highlights to Newton’s EducationShift articles on innovation, journalism and ASU’s leading role in reimagining high education.
Defining Innovation: “Innovation is simply a new and better way of doing things. This could be a technology, a process, a product, a service or even an idea. Innovation within colleges or news organizations can be quite practical. But it also can be hard. First, you need to experiment. Try something new. Tinker. Try it again. Tinker some more. If it isn’t working, if it is new but not better, you need to drop it. Try something else.”
Understanding Innovative Experiments: “Innovation Day was an experiment. We learned from it. We learned we could do it. People would come. New technology at a journalism school can be fun. Immediately, VR plans were being hatched. By our basic definition of innovation — a new and better way — the event worked.”
Expanding Innovation Beyond Journalism: “Why can’t we apply the same ideas to the art school, the business school, the public policy school, or any other of the many centers, institutes and schools that make up ASU? We think we can. And we’re working on it.”