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Hearst, Reynolds Journalism Institute, Adobe, Google & Sprint Nextel Announce Student Mobile Media Design Competition


NEW YORK, Hearst Corporation’s Innovation group announced that it is partnering with The University of Missouri’s Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI), Adobe Systems Inc., Google, and Sprint Nextel to hold a student competition aimed at creating new journalism-focused mobile apps using Google’s open-source Android mobile operating system.

Journalism, business, and computer-science students at the University of Missouri will compete, working in teams, to address key media challenges, with guidance from Hearst Corporate Innovation and employees from across Hearst’s diverse businesses.

Adobe is providing the student teams with a spectrum of tools aimed at generating Android-based applications. Sprint is supporting the competition with help from its Android developers and phones for testing the apps as they are developed. Google is providing assistance with Android development.

During the 2009-10 academic year, Hearst, RJI, and Adobe came together for a student competition to produce journalism-related products and services using Adobe’s Flash Catalyst technology. One of that competition’s winning ideas has been placed in development as a potential Hearst business.
“Fostering innovative and entrepreneurial thinking, and looking for it in new and unique places, is one of our core missions,” said Beth Polish, director of Corporate

Innovation and senior vice president of Hearst Interactive Media. “We found last year’s partnership with Adobe and the students and faculty of RJI not only valuable from a business perspective, but an enriching and inspiring experience all around. We are thrilled to have Google and Sprint join us as technology partners for what we’re sure will be another productive and illuminating collaboration.”

“Once again, we are excited to work with Hearst and RJI to develop innovative, real-world solutions for the journalism industry,” said Megan Stewart, director of worldwide higher education at Adobe. “This year’s focus on creating content for the Android platform is timely and relevant, providing solutions to many challenges facing our customers today. Adobe Creative Suite software can enable students to design and develop engaging media experiences across multiple devices and reach the widest possible audience.”

As of August 2010, Google estimated that it was activating 200,000 Android phones every day.

“Google’s Android platform offers creative designers and developers a platform to create exciting new opportunities for the journalism industry,” said Jake Parrillo, Google’s Midwest manager of global communications and public affairs. “We at Google in the Midwest look forward to seeing what students participating in RJI’s Student Android Competition can produce for Hearst Innovation.”

“We’re confident Mizzou students will once again execute great ideas with help from their Hearst project managers,” said Mike McKean, Futures Lab director at the Reynolds Journalism Institute. “Our partnerships with Adobe, Google and Sprint ensure we’ll have the best minds available to develop Android apps that move the ball forward for journalism and advertising. We can’t wait to tackle the challenges coming our way from Hearst Innovation.”

In September, Hearst Corporation officially began the company-wide rollout of Hearst Innovation, a program designed to be a catalyst for business growth, creativity and communication throughout the Corporation. The Hearst Innovation program, which has been in operation as a beta since mid 2009, has three primary goals: to create new businesses based on ideas generated by Hearst employees, to increase collaboration, and to foster a culture of innovation and knowledge-sharing across all Hearst businesses.

About Hearst Corporation

Hearst Corporation ( is one of the nation’s largest diversified media companies. Its major interests include ownership of 15 daily and 38 weekly newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News and Albany Times Union; nearly 200 magazines around the world, including Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan and O, The Oprah Magazine; 29 television stations, which reach a combined 18% of U.S. viewers; ownership in leading cable networks, including Lifetime, A&E, History and ESPN; as well as business publishing, including a minority joint venture interest in Fitch Ratings; Internet and marketing services businesses, television production, newspaper features distribution and real estate.

About Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute

The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute ( engages media professionals, scholars and citizens in programs aimed at improving the practice and understanding of journalism. Part of the Missouri School of Journalism, RJI collaborates with news and technology companies, professional associations, foundations and individuals to generate and test innovative models and technologies for journalism and advertising. Six Donald W. Reynolds Fellows spend an academic year at RJI, working with Missouri faculty and students and RJI staff to develop new ways to gather, process and deliver news, information and advertising. RJI was launched in 2004 with an initial $31 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. In 2009, the Foundation awarded the Institute an additional $15 million for operating support.


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