Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Journalism and Engineering

PostedApril 14, 2019

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Lede: Journalism and engineering seem like completely different lines of study. So why is one university in the Midwest putting students from those majors together…in Silicon Valley?

Randy Atkins: It’s an in-country cultural immersion program. Twenty-three undergrad students – half majoring in engineering, the other half in journalism – spend a quarter in San Francisco…working together, and with technology companies like Facebook. Elizabeth Gerber, a professor of design, teaches in the Northwestern University initiative.

Elizabeth Gerber: The goal is by the end of the ten weeks, that they have an in-depth hands-on understanding of that intersection of journalism and technology.

Randy Atkins: Gerber says while the journalists’ main interest is in effectively conveying information and the engineers focus on the technical side of efficiently delivering it, all the students…

Elizabeth Gerber: …certainly have a much better understanding after this program of not just how to communicate their ideas, but the importance of connecting with the end user of the technology.

Randy Atkins: And of, together, building trust in the media we consume. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.