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With this announcement on Oct. 3, 2017, Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication launched News Co/Lab, a collaborative lab aimed at helping the public find new ways of understanding and engaging with news and information. The lab announced the Facebook Journalism Project as its launch funder and McClatchy is its first news media partner. On Oct. 4, the News Integrity Initiative announced its support, followed by the Rita Allen Foundation in November and the Democracy Fund in December.


The News Co/Lab will promote and accelerate the best work already being done by the partners as well as pursuing its own program of experimentation.

Partners include:


Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.

The Facebook Journalism Project was created in January 2017 to establish stronger ties between Facebook and the news industry. FJP focuses on three pillars: collaborative development of new products; tools and trainings for journalists; and tools and trainings for people.

The News Integrity Initiative at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York is a $14 million fund supporting efforts to connect journalists, technologists, academic institutions, non-profits, and other organizations from around the world to foster informed and engaged communities, combat media manipulation, and support inclusive, constructive, and respectful civic discourse.

The Democracy Fund is a bipartisan foundation established by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar to help ensure that our political system can withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. Since 2011, Democracy Fund has invested more than $70 million in support of effective governance, modern elections, and a vibrant public square.

The Rita Allen Foundation invests in transformative ideas in their earliest stages to leverage their growth and promote breakthrough solutions to significant problems. It enables early-career biomedical scholars to do pioneering research, seeds innovative approaches to fostering informed civic engagement, and develops knowledge and networks to build the effectiveness of the philanthropic sector. Throughout its work, the Foundation embraces collaboration, creativity, learning and leadership.

Craig Newmark Philanthropies was created by craigslist founder Craig Newmark to support and connect people and drive broad civic engagement. It works to advance people and grassroots organizations that are getting stuff done in areas that include trustworthy journalism, voter protection, gender diversity in technology, and veterans and military families.

Press coverage

Kristy Roschke

News Co/Lab Managing Director

Kristy Roschke is a media scholar and educator. She previously served as executive director of KJZZ – SPOT 127 Youth Media Center, a community initiative of the Phoenix NPR member station that mentors and empowers the next-generation of digital storytellers. During her tenure, she launched a successful second location and grew a startup into an award-winning program serving more than 300 teens annually. Roschke has taught journalism, digital media production and media literacy courses
at the high school and university level for 15 years. She co-taught a digital media literacy massive open online course (MOOC) with Dan Gillmor, which served as the basis for her doctoral dissertation at the Cronkite School. She earned her Ph.D. in May 2018.


Dan Gillmor

News Co/Lab Co-Founder

Dan Gillmor is an internationally recognized leader in new media and digital media literacy. He’s author of the 2009 book, Mediactive, discussing media literacy in the digital age from a journalist’s perspective. The book became the basis for his ASU Online courses in digital media literacy and a massive open online course (MOOC) on the topic. A longtime Silicon Valley-based journalist, Gillmor wrote a popular business and technology column for the San Jose Mercury News and launched a weblog in 1999, one of the first mainstream journalism blogs. In 2004, he published We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People, a book that explained the burgeoning field of citizen-based media.


Eric Newton

News Co/Lab Co-Founder

Eric Newton is a global leader in the digital transformation of news and a key figure in the creation of news literacy. As the Innovation Chief, he drives change and experimentation at Cronkite News, the news division for Arizona PBS. Prior to joining the Cronkite School, Newton was senior adviser to the president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where grants he supervised seeded the field that became known as “news literacy.” He expanded the foundation’s journalism and media innovation program, overseeing the development of more than $300 million in grants. He previously was founding managing editor of the Newseum, the first major museum of news, and managing editor of the Oakland Tribune, where he helped guide the paper to numerous awards, including a Pulitzer Prize.


Celeste Sepessy

News Co/Lab Editor

Celeste Sepessy is the News Co/Lab’s digital content editor. The Arizona State alumna brings experience in both traditional magazine journalism and content marketing, primarily in the health and wellness industries. Previously, Sepessy served as the editorial lead for national clients at a start-up content marketing agency. She executed strategic editorial plans — across both print and digital platforms — for organizations like Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Marriott and Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Sepessy has taught news writing and reporting at the Cronkite School since 2014.


Lisa Jackson

News Co/Lab Project Coordinator

Lisa Jackson is a business professional with more than 20 years of experience in corporate and government finance, accounting, supply chain and project management. She worked at Kraft Foods, Honeywell and ASU.  Lisa also taught four years of high school business/marketing and currently teaches economics at Maricopa Community Colleges.


Delaney White


Delaney White is a sophomore at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She currently works as a research aide in the News Co/Lab, assisting the team with social media presence and writing about news literacy research. In the past she has worked for ASU’s student-run Blaze radio station. She expects to graduate in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism.

Serena O’Sullivan

Serena O’Sullivan is a senior at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. For three years, she has written for the Downtown Devil’s Curtain Critic column; last year, she was nominated for an award by the Society of Professional Journalists. When she’s not at her professional program with PBS Catalyst or interning with News Co/Lab, she works as a writing tutor at the Student Success Center or reports for the Phoenix Dog Magazine. She expects to graduate in the fall of 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. 

Sayo Akao

Sayo Akao is a recent graduate from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication. As a digital communications specialist in the News Co/Lab, Akao is managing the social media content for the lab and creating original content for the site. Prior to this position, Akao has worked at Arizona Weddings Magazine, writing lifestyle content for their blog. She has also worked with ASU’s State Press, the student-run publication out of ASU, and the Phoenix Business Journal, where she focused on business reporting and feature stories.


Molly Stellino

Molly Stellino is a junior at the Cronkite School pursuing a dual degree in print journalism and Spanish linguistics. She previously interned at Insight Enterprises where she wrote and edited company news stories. Her work can also be seen in the State Press and the Phoenix Business Journal. At News Co/Lab, Stellino will help distribute and curate information about media literacy. She is expected to graduate in the spring of 2020, after which she hopes to find a career in long-form print journalism.

Pat Poblete

Pat Poblete is a graduate student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University studying broadcast journalism. He has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a focus on International Relations, and hosts a weekly broadcast segment that seeks to decrease partisanship by highlighting the thought process behind contentious political topics. Poblete has two semesters to complete before graduating, after which he hopes to report on domestic and international politics.