Stacey Woelfel, a professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and the director of the Jonathan B. Murray Center for Documentary Journalism, will be adding some new oversight duties to his portfolio as RJI’s new Director of Aerial Journalism.
In this role, he’ll be overseeing the institute’s four-drone fleet, teaching a drone-flying class in the spring and working with interested Missouri journalism students who want to get their FAA licenses to become drone pilots. “I have been excited to see how drones are changing journalism and documentary filmmaking, so I couldn’t pass up a chance to lead our students into this important area and to help extend RJI’s influence in the skies,” Woelfel said.
Additionally, Woelfel will be writing about drone issues for rjionline.org and other industry news sites and advocating for journalists’ use of drones on the state and national level.
“Stacey brings a wealth of experience in visual storytelling, program management and leading-edge thinking,” said Randy Picht, RJI’s executive director. “He’s the perfect person to lead our drone program.”
Before helping to launch the school’s Murray Center in 2015, Woelfel spent 24 years as the news director for KOMU-TV, the University of Missouri-owned NBC affiliate for central Missouri that serves as a teaching laboratory for the Missouri School of Journalism. He was an RJI Fellow in 2013-14, exploring how newscasts can take advantage of second-screen viewing. And he is a past national chairman of the Radio Television Digital News Association.
His appointment is effective immediately.