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JoLT Initiative

JoLT Resource Website

Game design thinking can solve problems in news journalism. Our team of game designers and research fellows share lessons learned from a year of news leader summits, workshops and prototypes.


What is JoLT? 

First and foremost, JoLT is a verb, an action. This American University School of Communication initiative will catalyze the evolution of journalism by developing new media leaders who will disrupt the status quo. Game design theory and systems thinking are the foundation of this unique leadership development program. Read more

Three JoLT Fellows Named

JoLT Graduate Student Fellows Will Rethink Media and Journalism Leadership through Game Design

Three fellows have been named to the inaugural JoLT program cohort at the American University School of Communication, bringing a range of digital, journalism and academic skills to the innovative initiative.

In announcing the fellows, Dean Jeff Rutenbeck pointed to their unique mix of creative, entrepreneurial and broadcast backgrounds, which he called ideal for the program funded with a $250,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Read more

Media Innovators Join JoLT as Professional Fellows

Five professional fellows have joined the inaugural JoLT cohort at the American University School of Communication, bringing a wealth of expertise in digital communication, user experience, game design, and entrepreneurial instinct to the initiative.

The fellows are: Maggie Farley, an award-winning foreign correspondent at the LA Times, who created a game to teach Chinese to children; Mitch Gelman, Vice President for Product, Gannett; Tory Hargro, Design Manager, USA TODAY; Matt Thompson, Deputy Editor at Atlantic Media; Bob Hone, freelance UX Designer, Lecturer and former Creative Director at Red Hill Studios. Read more

JoLT in the News

"What Game Design Can Do for Journalism," Columbia Journalism Review

"Can Studying the Minds of Video Game Designers Make For Better Journalists?," Inside Philanthropy

"Journalism school nets $250k grant to train leaders in game design," Gamasutra

"American University fellowship to foster leadership in media innovation", Knight Blog

News release

American University unveils new disruptive leadership initiative for media innovators with $250,000 from Knight Foundation
Initiative will use game design and new approaches to innovation to reimagine media leadership
The American University School of Communication today announced that it will launch a program for disruptive leadership development in media and journalism with $250,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Full media release