Innovation team

Our Innovation team explores timely challenges, needs and gaps in journalism to help build safer, stronger, more equitable, diverse and inclusive journalism, news spaces and relationships with the communities we serve. We build free, accessible & open source resources, programs, workshops and tools for and with journalists and newsrooms.

Kat Duncan, Director of Innovation

Will Lager, Senior Editor & Project Manager

Mikaela Rodenbaugh, Senior Editor & Project Manager

Our programs and projects:

  • RJI Student Competition: annual innovation competition where students across the country work together in teams on a project that tackles a challenge faced by the journalism industry. Challenge changes every year to address a timely need in journalism.
  • RJI Fellowship program: annual 8 month fellowship where journalists from all over the world develop innovative resources, programs and tools with our support and guidance.
  • Student Fellowship Program: summer fellowships where students are matched with local newsrooms all over the country to work on innovative initiatives.
  • Women in Journalism Workshop: annual spring workshop where female journalists from around the world gather for vital training, skills building and discussions.
  • RJI innovation guest columnists, journalism leaders who write about issues at the intersection of journalism and practical innovation.
  • RJI funding for Faculty Research: we support cutting edge research by Mizzou Faculty and find applied methods of testing and implementation that can benefit journalists and newsrooms. 
  • Innovation in Focus: a web series which explores emerging technology, tools and storytelling methods for journalism with our student innovation staff.
  • Partnership projects: where we work with newsrooms, organizations and individuals to build free, open source, accessible resources that address a current need, challenge or gap in journalism.
  • Teach at the Missouri School of Journalism.
  • Travel to teach and speak at conferences when requested.

Current partnership projects:

Agenda Watch

Diversity sourcing tool

Tiny News Collective + RJI Founders

Past projects:

Black News and Views

ReportIT! Girl Scout Patch

Interactive data for the Current

JSafe app

Automating calendars for small newsrooms

Optimizing paywalls for readers

The Right to Know Network

Creating a live election dashboard

Interested in working with us?

Kat Duncan duncank@rjionline.org (Any project, program or idea – my door is virtually open!)

Will Lager will.lager@rjionline.org (Partnership projects with local newsrooms, journalists, orgs, individuals)

Mikeala Rodenbaugh mrodenbaugh@rjionline.org (One Newsroom collaborations and student journalism centered innovation)