Annenberg’s New JEDI Desk: A Journalism Force Awakens

Before we get into the nitty gritty details, check out a video done by two Annenberg students of the JEDI unit that went viral! The video has garnered more than 15 million views and counting on Facebook.

What I love about Annenberg is that not only do I get to learn from industry leaders through adjunct professors who stay on the pulse of their industries, but I love how we, as students, get to be a part of these conversations.


Through the new JEDI unit, student voices have translated directly into dynamic, actionable programs. Although I’d like to say that the name was inspired by the new Star Wars movie, it’s actually an acronym for Journalism and Emerging Digital Innovation. 


This unit was the brain-child of Annenberg alumnus Fernando Hurtado and works in conjunction with JOUR 499: Journalism for Mobile and Emerging Platforms, a class taught by instructors Amara Aguilar and Rebecca Haggerty. Students and volunteers for the JEDI unit focus on creating shareable video content for social media and other emerging platforms.


“What JEDI is aiming to do is answer the question ‘How do you get your news?’ by saying: ‘We want you to get highly produced content available on your phone [and] the web,'” says Kevin McAllister, executive producer of the JEDI unit. “It’s multimedia content–videos, pictures–that will share well and resonate with the audience.”


As a journalism student, I’ve experienced how the world of journalism has seen a dramatic change from the way audiences consume news and information. There was a time when radio used to be the primary outlet source that consumers received their news. However, nowadays, with many of our technological advancements, living in a time when everyone is pressed for time and wants information “now,” there’s a lot of emphasis in the journalism world on mobile and social media content.


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What’s really cool about the JEDI unit is that we, as Annenberg students, get to place ourselves into the journalism conversation of the changing media landscape. As industry leaders are trying to figure out how to best engage audience members, we get to do that, too! We get to create and experiment using all the tools in the Julie Chen/Leslie Moonves and CBS Media Center to create compelling content and experiment with different models that engage and excites.


To learn more about your future at Annenberg, or to learn more about the JEDI unit and JOUR 499: Journalism for Mobile and Emerging Platforms, feel free to reach out to an Annenberg Ambassador!


Bye for now!

Michelle Tak, Your Annenberg Admissions Ambassador

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