Communication students garner top prizes at journalism gathering in Greensboro

Travis Mitchell and Lauren Harbury, two Elon University communications students, received top prizes at the Journalism That Matters "Create or Die 2" gathering held at the University of North Carolina Greensboro on June 2-5. The design | build | pitch event focused on creating innovations in new media to serve diverse audiences.

Tani Ikeda, part of the Wake Up Tour and Show Me Your ID project, chats with Travis Mitchell at theJournalism That Matters “Create or Die 2” held in Greensboro on June 2-5, 2011. Both Ikeda and Mitchell received individual and team prizes for their ideas.

Mitchell, a senior media arts and entertainment major, created “Document Durham” out of his participation in the first Create or Die event in Detroit in June 2010. His expanded pitch this year built on his original idea of an indy Durham online community by adding mini video documentaries of the Durham businesses and individuals. Mitchell will receive mentorship and business development support through the Center for Entrepreneurial Development in Durham.

Mitchell said he was surprised to receive such an award. “I really was surprised but I’m glad to be given the opportunity to expand the idea what I originally had in mind,” he said. “Within the first two hours, the event had blown my mind.”

Harbury is part of the Show Me Your ID/Wake Up Tour team, a group that plans to develop an online community platform for alternative video news. The Wake Up Tour uses an alternative-fuel bus to bring technology/production tools to communities for training and education on media justice. The team received $1,000 in support to begin development.

Host team member Eugene Daniel, a School of Communications graduate in the Class of 2011, said the event “brought together youthful enthusiasm with seasoned knowledge” to create media innovations. Michelle Ferrier, an associate professor in the School of Communications, organized the event sponsored by the School of Communications, the Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and other journalism organization sponsors.

The Show Me Your ID initiative includes a diverse group of talented communicators, marketers, musicians, poets and community activists creating news with communities through a media justice program.

Participants included journalists, technologists, educators, community activists, funders and artists. The group, self defined as “The Greensboro 52” or “G52” also spawned several other local projects including the “She Who Holds the Pen Institute” developed by Tamara Jeffries, a professor at Bennett College, and the “Global News Network” developed by Seung-Hyun Lee at UNCG.

Each will also benefit from partnerships with local business incubators in Greensboro and Winston-Salem.