Katie Hawkins-Gaar, editor of CNN’s iReport, will be the Poynter Institute’s first Digital Innovation faculty member. Poynter announced the appointment on Monday.
At CNN’s iReport, Hawkins-Gaar managed the team and site that works with user-generated content. Some of the work produced in that time, according to the press release, includes projects on Hurricane Katrina and September 11th.
At Poynter, she’d like to work with newsrooms on how they’re adjusting to change, find ways to learn from nimble start-ups and harness the strengths of legacy newsrooms. She’ll use experiences from her time at CNN’s iReport in her new role, Hawkins-Gaar said.
“I think social media and user generated content verification are going to be more important than ever and probably a skill that every journalist needs to have,” she said.
At CNN, where Hawkins-Gaar has worked since 2007, she learned how to get audiences to want to contribute to their network, she said, “and those are lessons that I’d love to share with other news organizations.”
“Katie understands how to use new tools to tell stories that resonate with readers across multiple platforms, and she’s passionate about sharing that knowledge with journalists and educators around the world,” Poynter’s president, Tim Franklin, said in the press release. “Katie will add a new dimension to Poynter’s teaching as we help journalists navigate the digital transformation.”
Hawkins-Gaar, who has lived in Georgia for most of her life, will move to Florida with her husband in January.