We are Western iMedia

We’re changing the face of journalism.

For many past generations, the implementations and practitioners of journalism have been consolidated within print and broadcast companies, the traditional mainstream media. The Internet and mobile have thoroughly disrupted those traditions, of course.

We are the new, adaptive storytellers — fusion journalists.

Fusion journalists combine the ethics, mission, production values and professionalism of quality editorial work with an atypical range of expertise in making that work more visual, more tangible, more accessible to a contemporary audience. We are digital natives. We are entrepreneurial journalists primed to work in the start-ups, spinoffs, NGOs, non-profits, social networks, digital divisions and corporate activities that are becoming society’s new mainstream media. We don’t just tell stories but produce the environments in which people engage with those stories across multiple technologies and platforms. Traditional journalists define themselves by a format specialty and are trained to work as lone wolves; fusion journalists contribute expertise across several formats but our real specialty is in innovation and collaboration. We are audience experts as well as story experts. Our job is to connect and inform. Our goal is journalism that gets noticed, because if it doesn’t, what’s the point?

And just as we work differently, we organize ourselves differently to get the job done.

Western iMedia implements an optimal workflow for new mainstream media organizations that has emerged from the experiences of leading media innovators in Asia, Europe and the United States. This model identifies four highly interrelated areas of journalistic activity comprising the virtual or physical newsrooms of such initiatives.  These areas are called the four journalism desks, or J Desks. In shorthand, we refer to them as J1, J2, J3 and J4

  • J1 is the audience desk, staffed with specially trained social journalists. They handle and oversee audience generation, social media, interactivity and engagement, community building, metrics and analytics, user-generated content, and intelligence gathering in support of story development.
  • J2 is the content desk, staff with specially trained media producers and storybuilders. They handle and oversee research, reporting and content production/revision for stories across all formats including text, images, video, audio, lists, data and interactives.
  • J3 is the presentation desk, staffed with specially trained UX journalists. They handle and oversee the user experience through design, interface, visualization, access, channel responsiveness, content and audience integration, digital environment management and general story operations.
  • J4 is the special technologies desk, staffed with a breed of specially equipped journalists who identify and develop expertise with new technologies and tools that provide advanced functionality or capabilities for the team’s story environments.

Each member of the iMedia staff is trained to function as a member of or to lead one or more J Desk.

Western iMedia operates as an entrepreneurial editorial startup from within the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY. We are regularly commissioned to design and execute editorial coverage around major news events or topics. For us, each of those events or topics is a story, to be told in multifaceted ways, for wide-ranging audiences, using the most innovative techniques and technologies. Our clients to date have included the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), the Global Editors Network, the international media best-practices organization INMA, the Kentucky Institute for International Studies and the Kelly Autism Program.

This site showcases some of what we’ve done. If we can do something for you, please contact us.

iMedia@wku.edu