Phoebe Connelly, executive producer of video at The Washington Post, and Danese Kenon, assistant managing editor of visuals at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette are leading College of Media students and faculty to test new ways of telling immersive video and visual stories in 360°.

Connelly and Kenon are the College’s newest Innovators-in-Residence in the Knight-funded program that partners faculty and industry innovators to co-teach an immersion course in experimental journalism, exposing students to emerging media technology and creating new practices for the industry.

In collaboration with Ogden Newspapers Visiting Professor in Media Innovation Nancy Andrews, Associate Professor Dana Coester and Lecturer David Smith, the Innovators-in-Residence are working with students to use 360° video and audio in a real-life immersive reporting project. Students have the opportunity to work with a variety of cameras, tools and headsets, such as the Ricoh Theta, Matterport, Kodak PixPro SP360, Go-Pro 360°Hero rig, and others as they experiment with new story models.

“Telling stories in 360 allows us to bring readers to the center of an unfolding story—but it also brings new challenges when constructing a narrative,” said Connelly. “We’re sorting out these issues as a profession, and this class offers students the chance to work through the same questions journalists are dealing with in the field right now.”

As executive producer of video, Connelly is the product owner for video technology and oversees production of original video at The Washington Post in Washington, D.C. She has coordinated major event coverage, including the 2014 midterm election and the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. Previously, she was involved in crowd-sourced projects and social media campaigns for Yahoo! News in Washington, D.C., where she served as an on-air social media analyst. In 2012, she was part of the team producing live streams of election coverage for Yahoo!/ABC. Connelly received her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Literature from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.

Kenon is the assistant managing editor of visuals at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette where she oversees the visual department. She is also responsible for creating training initiatives and opportunities throughout the newsroom as well as formulating community service and outreach. Before coming to Pittsburgh, Kenon worked as a multimedia photojournalist at The Indianapolis Star and a photojournalist at the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. In 2008, she taught multimedia journalism as an adjunct professor at the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute in Nashville, Tennessee. Kenon has a bachelor’s degree in English and mass communications from Virginia State University and a master’s degree in photography from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School.