Smith to head INN Labs

LOS ANGELES — May 22, 2017 — News technologist Julia Smith will lead product development and technology services for the Institute for Nonprofit News as director of INN Labs.

Smith’s appointment was announced Monday. Smith has been acting director since February, leading completion of a three-year roadmap for the technology operation – now called INN Labs – encompassing the nonprofit’s web development, analytics and news technology services.

INN Labs provides custom technology solutions for journalism organizations including National Public Media, public broadcast stations and dozens of independent public service news organizations. It is also responsible for the development and maintenance of Largo, an open-source WordPress theme that currently enables more than 150 media organizations to reach their digital audiences.

Smith is a data journalist and technologist who brings news design, software development and agency experience to the leadership of INN Labs. She joined INN in 2016 from the Center for Investigative Reporting, where she was a Knight-Mozilla Fellow and news application developer.

Smith’s data reporting projects have been recognized with an IRE Philip Meyer Award and a NATAS Emmy Award for New Approaches in Current News Coverage. Her editorial work has appeared in National Geographic, Reveal, The Chicago Reporter, and The Omaha World-Herald.

Smith frequently speaks at journalism-tech conferences across the globe, sharing insights on newsroom product management, news application design and interactive storytelling techniques.

Smith is currently earning her M.S. in Information Design & Strategy from Northwestern University with a specialization in Data Science & Analytics. She holds a B.A. in journalism from Creighton University.

INN’s technology team previously was led by Adam Schweigert, now at Mother Jones.

About INN:

The Institute for Nonprofit News is a growing national network of more than 120 nonprofit news organizations dedicated to providing investigative and public service reporting. INN was founded in 2009 to foster a new collective of newsrooms serving the public interest. Today it functions as an innovation network, helping members develop new ways to support journalism and engage communities, providing  business, technology and leadership support and a framework for collaboration. INN’s work helps newsrooms bring investigative and civic news to more people, hold the powerful accountable and strengthen democracy. More information can be found at

For further information, please contact INN Labs Director Julia Smith at, or INN  CEO Sue Cross at or 818.582.3560.