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Students work on computers in the Knight Lab.

Knight Lab

Northwestern University Knight Lab is a community of designers, developers, students and educators experimenting to push journalism into new spaces.

Students in front of a chalkboard in the Knight Lab.

Each quarter, multidisciplinary teams of students, faculty and professionals collaborate on projects we believe are important for the future of media.

Invent the future of journalism

A partnership between Medill and the McCormick School of Engineering, the Knight Lab in Evanston allows you to better understand how technology changes the way we report, consume and share news and information.

In addition to events, brown-bag lunches, networking and collaboration opportunities, the lab offers a course for academic credit. Small teams spend a quarter working on a single project and may repeat the class as their work continues to evolve. Student participation in Knight Lab is by application.

This results in the development of innovative open-source, adaptable tools for data management, research, reporting and storytelling.

Knight Lab Successes

Student work has been used by more than 300,000 people and has reached more than 160 million readers, according to lab estimates. One of the most successful projects to come out of the lab is Timeline JS3, a tool that enables any storyteller to build visually rich, interactive timelines using nothing more than a Google spreadsheet.

The Knight Lab exists at the intersection of the future of media and the future of technology, drawing a diverse group of students, such as women and students of color, who often are underrepresented in tech. Students and lab leaders build a community. For example, one night a week, students hang out at the lab to share their work, learning from and encouraging one another over pizza. They also may attend lunch in the lab once a week to hear guest speakers talk about how they use media and technology in their work.

Anne Li (BSJ16)
"My experience at the Knight Lab gave me more control over an industry that is constantly changing, teaching me to think of storytelling as an exercise in design. It's so exciting for me to see current fellows find the tools to enhance their stories and expand their understanding of journalism beyond simply words on a page."Anne Li (BSJ16)

Interactive Audio Producer, Washington Post

Explore the Knight Lab website