The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications announced that journalism stalwart and veteran educator Mira Lowe has been named the new director of the Innovation News Center (INC), the College’s award-winning multimedia newsroom.
Lowe, a senior editor at CNN Digital in Atlanta, will lead a team of seven news professionals and more than 500 student journalists each year to provide local news coverage for 19 North Central Florida counties. The 100-seat INC is one of the largest student newsrooms in the country – developing and distributing news, weather and sports content across the College’s owned-and-operated television, radio and digital properties, including the local PBS, NPR and ESPN affiliates. The INC director serves as both executive editor and news director.
“We are very excited that a journalist and teacher of Mira’s caliber will be leading our news operation,” said Dean Diane McFarlin. “We have built the INC into one of the country’s premier ‘teaching hospitals’ providing extraordinary opportunities for students to work in a real-world, breaking news environment. Mira was the ideal candidate to provide a vision going forward and help take the INC to the next level.”
For most of her time at CNN, Lowe oversaw the entertainment, lifestyle and travel sections on CNN.com and CNN mobile, focusing on multiplatform storytelling using text, photos, video, interactive tools and social media. Prior to joining the global network in 2012, she was the editor-in-chief of JET magazine in Chicago, where she became the first woman to lead the number one African-American newsweekly. She was also an assistant managing editor for EBONY magazine and before that worked for 18 years at Newsday in New York, rising to associate editor for recruiting and staff development.
Lowe has previously taught journalism at Columbia University, her alma mater, as well as Northwestern University, Loyola University (Chicago) and York College (New York). She is also active in the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and Online News Association (ONA), and has lectured on journalism, student opportunities, leadership and diversity at various colleges and conferences.
“Mira is joining us at a critical time in the news business,” McFarlin said. “Her vision and experience will help us navigate a constantly shifting landscape, in terms of the role of journalism, the creation and distribution of content and the financial stability of news organizations. Our goal is to ensure that our students are acquiring the knowledge, inquisitiveness and skills to be future journalism leaders, while we provide the North Central Florida community with content that is both relevant and accessible.”
Lowe will start in her new position in late January.
“I am honored and thrilled to join the College of Journalism and Communications,” Lowe said. “The chance to take on this role at such an extraordinary training ground and innovation hub for the industry promises to be an exciting next chapter in my professional and personal journey.”