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Lori Todd, the senior social media editor for NPR, is joining Arizona State University to lead the digital desk of Cronkite News, the student-operated, faculty-led news division of Arizona PBS at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Todd will teach and guide advanced Cronkite students to create multimedia content that integrates text, video, images, statistical information and other content into usable, shareable products such as interactives, infographics and data visualizations for cronkitenews.azpbs.org. She will hold the faculty rank of professor of practice.
At NPR, Todd worked across news and programming divisions to set social strategy, define best practices and develop training and experimentation on emerging platforms. She was responsible for developing NPR’s Social Leads, a cohort of 30-plus digital and audio producers responsible for the organization’s social media accounts.
“Lori’s expertise in digital audience strategy, design and cross-team collaboration are tremendous assets for our students,” said Assistant Dean Rebecca Blatt. “She has a deep commitment to journalistic values that we uphold as well as a passion for working with young journalists. We’re thrilled to have her joining the Cronkite School.”
Todd, who starts Aug. 13, launched her career in newspaper design at the Austin American-Statesman and the Miami Herald. She also served as a social media manager at Tribune Publishing in Florida before arriving at NPR. There, she managed social producers at the South Florida Sun Sentinel and the Orlando Sentinel, helping develop the Sun Sentinel’s first live interactive web series.
She also served as the community manager for the John S and James L. Knight Foundation and outreach coordinator for the public radio series “Under The Sun” on WLRN in Miami.
Todd said she is excited to do innovative work with Cronkite students. At NPR, she mentored interns, teaching them how to tell stories across platforms. With her students and team, she led a push to bring more diverse audiences into the fold at NPR.
Todd said she was attracted to the Cronkite School’s teaching hospital model of journalistic education in which students work and learn from faculty in a professional setting.
“The opportunity to work with students and shape newsrooms is going to be really exciting,” Todd said. “I am excited to join the Cronkite News team and help students get the courage and confidence they need to start a career in journalism.”