Summit to Provide Hands-On Mobile Journalism Experience

CHICAGO – UNITY: Journalists for Diversity in partnership with mobile publishing startup Evrybit will create a Student Newsroom at the UNITY Chicago Media Summit at Loyola University, Thursday, Oct. 20, and Friday, Oct. 21.

Journalism students from Loyola University in Chicago will participate in the newsroom project to gain hands-on training in mobile journalism.

Pope Francis is covered using mobile phones.

Pope Francis is covered using mobile phones.

Learn more about the Student Newsroom

Journalist and entrepreneur Eric Ortiz, the founder and chief executive officer of Evrybit, and managing editor at Truthdig, will lead the Student Newsroom. Students will also be mentored by other journalism professionals, including UNITY executive director Eloiza Altoro, UNITY president Russell Contreras, public radio freelance journalist Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez, Loyola University School of Communication associate dean John Slania and media management consultant Jill Geisler, Loyola University’s first Bill Plante Chair of Leadership and Media Integrity.

“This is going to be an interesting and exciting project,” said Altoro. “The goal of our Student Newsroom is to give students a comprehensive and immersive learning experience. We want to push the boundaries of mobile journalism and look forward to sharing our UNITY Regional Summit in Chicago with the world.”

Online collaboration and coverage: Rethinking Journalism in the Midwest summit

On Oct. 20, students will take part in a mobile reporting workshop and learn how to use Evrybit, an all-in-one app for live mobile storytelling on iPhones. Each student will put their training into practice and produce an Evrybit story on their smartphones using audio, video, photo, text and drawings. Story topics will correlate to the theme of UNITY’s regional summit, “Rethinking Journalism in the Midwest.” The summit will focus on community issues in Chicago, including violence, city policing, municipal finance, the future of media and diversifying the news.

Each student’s story will be eligible for the UNITY Student Newsroom storytelling competition. The winning story will be determined by an online poll, and the creator of the winning story will be awarded $400 and a free student membership to a professional journalism organization.

On Oct. 21, students will work together to cover the UNITY Chicago summit and make a collaborative story using Evrybit. All of the media will be assembled into one interactive stream in real time and embedded on UNITY’s website— The story also will be shared on social media with the hashtag #ChiLive for the public to view.

“We are honored to work with UNITY and faculty and students from Loyola University,” said Ortiz. “Students are the future of media, but in an era of shrinking newsrooms and slashed news budgets, media jobs are becoming more scarce, and traditional journalism careers are becoming harder to pursue. We want to provide students with a crash course in mobile journalism and show them how they can become their own media company. This project presents a great opportunity to do that by building a pop-up community newsroom.”


UNITY Journalists for Diversity, Inc. was founded in 1994 and incorporated in 1998 as a nonprofit 501(c)3 strategic alliance. The journalism organization advocates fair and accurate coverage about diversity, especially race, nationality, ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation. It aggressively challenges the industry to staff its organizations at all levels to reflect the country’s diversity. For more information on UNITY, send an email to or call 414-335-1478.


Evrybit is a Los Angeles-based media startup. Founded in 2015, the company provides an all-in-one app for mobile story production, distribution, consumption and monetization. The organization’s mission is to make marginalized voices heard. To learn more about Evrybit, visit, or contact Eric Ortiz at or 860-751-9771.



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