A Northwestern University joint initiative of Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science. Northwestern University joint initiative of Medill & McCormick School of Engineering.

Storytelling tools

We build easy-to-use tools that help journalists tell better stories.

Our technology has been used by more than 300,000 storytellers around the world and has reached more than 160 million readers.


Build things. Get credit. Join us to build new tools and tell new stories.

Knight Lab is offering a course for academic credit. Each quarter, multidisciplinary teams of students, faculty, and professionals come together to collaborate with the Knight Lab to produce cutting-edge digital work, research, thought—innovating across every part of the journalistic process. The Student Lab places journalism and computer science students at the center of an important problem for the future of media, rapidly moving beyond conversation and hypothesis to well-reasoned action. Our process combines research, design thinking, building, user testing, critical and analytical work, storytelling, cutting-edge technology, and experimentation—often within the confines of a single, specific problem. This class is a team-based, cooperative lab experience for students to create and explore new tools, stories, story forms, and physical devices. The class is cross-listed as JOUR 390 and GEN_ENG 395. In Spring 2017, teams will be exploring audience engagement, chat-based user interfaces, data visualization design, sensor journalism, storytelling with 360° video, and 3D photo journalism.

Learn more about class projects for Spring of 2017

Students and community

Knight Lab's community of students and professionals plays a critical role in making the Lab a vibrant place.

Northwestern students from any school who are interested in media and technology are encouraged to get involved with Knight Lab. Interested students should sign up for the community Google Group to keep up with our public activities and other opportunities. We have two weekly events which are a great way to get started:
  • Open Lab Nights (Tuesdays, 6-10 p.m.)
  • Lab Lunch (Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.)
Students who show initiative and commitment to developing their skills may be invited to join the Lab's Student Fellowship program. Fellows make key contributions to the Lab's technology, editorial coverage, and educational efforts. Young journalists who have been Knight Lab fellows regularly go directly from academics to the world's leading newsrooms and technology companies, including NPR, Washington Post, Medium, Amazon, Los Angeles Times, and others.

Learn more about how students get involved with Knight Lab

  • nyt
  • npr
  • vox
  • medium
  • texastrib


Experimental technology for reporters, consumers, and publishers.

Knight Lab's faculty members contribute experimental ideas and technology to the Lab. Sometimes these ideas are developed in undergraduate classes co-taught by computer science and journalism faculty; sometimes they are developed by Ph.D students exploring specific concepts. Research projects have done everything from help readers find new books to tell them which candidate they'd likely support in an election.

About the Lab

Advancing media innovation through exploration and experimentation.

We’ve got a team of six full-time staff members, who design and build technology, manage operations, and develop community. Not every idea grows in to a full-blown product and some are born, built, and die before being released to the public. Others move from a proof-of-concept built by students in a Northwestern classroom to the Lab for professional development and design. We benefit from having the support of two schools at Northwestern — Medill School and the McCormick School of Engineering — and each school’s faculty members, including our four founders. We're grateful to have Knight Foundation as our primary funder and additional support from National Science Foundation, McCormick Foundation, and Google.

Learn more about the Lab & staff