Jane Stevens (Director of Media Strategies)

I’ve been a journalist for 35 years. I started my career at the Boston Globe, and, after a couple of years as a copy editor, headed to the San Francisco Examiner. After two years as assistant foreign/national editor, I went back to reporting, and covered marketing and technology for the business section, did a marketing column, then wrote for the Sunday magazine for a couple of years. Technology wooed me back, and I did the organization’s first computer column.

Drawing on my undergraduate science degree, I co-founded the science section. After a couple of years, I left the Examiner to found a syndicated science and technology feature service with 20 newspaper clients worldwide, including the Washington Post, Dallas Morning News and Asahi Shimbun's AERA Magazine. I lived and worked in Kenya and Indonesia for four years. It was a fabulous experience, and to this day, I miss living in Bali.

During that time, I also wrote for magazines, including National Geographic, Nature and Science. A big career shift occurred in 1996, when I joined the nation’s first group of videojournalists -- the original backpack journalists -- at New York Times Television, and worked in the Science Times unit. Most of our work aired on Discovery’s Learning Channel. But we did work for other organizations, too, and changed the belief that TV stories had to be done by a minimum of a three-person crew. The first story that National Geographic Explorer ever aired from one person using a small camera was a shoot I did on a 7-week expedition on research icebreaker into the Antarctic winter sea ice.

But it was a month-long expedition to visit deep-sea volcanic vents in the Atlantic Ocean that pushed me into Webworld. On that trip, the editors at the New York Times’ Web site set up a special section to which I filed text and photos regularly during the voyage. It was the Times’ first venture into multimedia storytelling. After that, I never looked back, and spent the next couple of years doing multimedia reporting for the Discovery Channel’s Web site.

I was invited to set up the first multimedia reporting class at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism, and wanting to have more people playing in this incredible sandbox, I accepted. For the next nine years, I taught there part-time and also helped set up the Knight Digital Media Center’s multimedia reporting workshops. I’ve worked with several news organizations transitioning to Webcentric newsrooms, including the Ventura County Star, National Public Radio, and High Country News.

While teaching, I continued to experiment and push the boundaries of multimedia storytelling and Web-based news and information. With a great team, I developed an ocean science news and information site,, and the Great Turtle Race of 2007.

Last year, I was a 2008-2009 Fellow at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri, a venture that brought me here, to Lawrence.

Here, I'm fortunate to work with an incredible group of journalists, programmers, designers, advertising, marketing and social media experts to develop the next generation of cutting-edge Web sites and networks, while continuing to keep our newspapers and TV news programs serving the news and information needs of Lawrence, Topeka and northeast Kansas.

Our first big project is HealthCommons, a local and regional health news/information/social network. We're planning on launching a beta version of the network in early 2010.

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Recent photos

When the bullying prevention program began, Prairie Park School had about 20 children who bullied other kids; now only about five do. by

In this year's report, 22 states raised their grades, but Kansas remains among the dark colors -- dark green and red, which means "C", "D", or "F".

Firefighter look inside Mass Street Hookah where a fire was reported Wednesday morning. There was no immediate word on a cause or how much damage was caused.

Firefighter stand with someone who was displaced after a fire was reported at the building that is home to Mass Street Hookah in downtown Lawrence.

Firefighters stand outside Mass Street Hookah, 1029 Mass., where a fire was reported early Wednesday morning.

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