By Mike Schutz, Managing EditorCitizenCitizen.com/Citizen is Vox Media Inc.’s new media literacy initiative.
Citizen was launched last fall, after the news site was accused of using misleading language to promote a series of misleading stories.
The program was criticized by Vox’s former Chief Content Officer, Dan Koehn, and other former employees.
The site was then taken offline in March 2018, and in the intervening months, Vox Media acquired Vox Media, which ceased publication in September 2018.
The company announced today that it has been working with Vox News Editor-in-Chief John Beddington and Vox News Managing Editor, Dan Rosenberg to develop a program that will enable Vox Media employees to engage with the newsroom to develop, share and learn about the digital media landscape, and share their experiences in the process.
In addition, the program will include a series designed to help Vox employees improve their skills in using social media, the social-media platform that is the main source of news for Vox employees.
Beddington will lead the Citizen team, while Rosenberg will be the team’s technical lead.
Schulz, who joined the company in 2017, will be a member of the program team.
“We are excited to partner with Vox and the team to make a real difference in our newsroom,” said Schulz.
“Citizen will bring an unparalleled opportunity to our readers, as well as help Vox journalists and their communities become more digitally savvy and engaged.”
Schulz said the program was a natural fit for Vox, as the company has always had a focus on content literacy and news literacy.
“As the leader of a company that is constantly changing, and constantly striving to be better, we felt that a community focused program would complement our company’s existing digital literacy initiatives, and allow our employees to have more of an opportunity to learn from the news they consume, read, and create for the company,” Schulz said.
Schulz added that Vox News would also have a strong emphasis on diversity, which is critical to Vox’s mission to empower its readers and communities.
“I am a passionate advocate for social media and digital news literacy, and as a result, I want Vox to be more inclusive,” Schultz said.
“Our team will be led by women and people of color, and we will strive to make our newsrooms a better place to work, and a better learning environment for our readers.”
Schultz said that he and Rosenberg will work closely with other Vox Media newsroom leaders and employees to make the program a success, and that they would work to improve the program as it develops.
“The idea of building a community of digital and social media veterans to teach each other the skills that we need to become better reporters and editors is a huge part of the Vox mission,” Rosenberg said.
“Citizen fits seamlessly into our mission to enable and support our team members to become more effective in the digital and newsrooms.”
Schutz and Rosenberg, who have previously worked together at Vox Media and other media companies, have worked together on the project.
Schutz joined Vox in 2017 after spending five years at AOL News, where he helped launch the Vox Media website, which now has more than 1.4 million monthly readers and is widely recognized for its digital coverage.
He previously worked at Buzzfeed, where Rosenberg led a team that built Buzzfeed’s news product.
Schutz joined Buzzfeed as a senior editorial assistant in 2013, after graduating from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism and communication studies.
Schultz also holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and has a master’s degree from the John Marshall College of Business.
Schulzes’ experience as a reporter and editor at BuzzFeed News has given him the knowledge and skills to help shape the Vox News newsroom.
In 2017, Schulz was named to the BuzzFeed News Diversity Committee, which was responsible for overseeing BuzzFeed’s diversity initiatives.
Scholarships from the National Center for Women and Information Technology to develop the Citizen initiative will be awarded to the top 100 most effective people in the news industry, according to the project’s mission statement.
Schulk said the project will not be funded through a Kickstarter campaign, and the Vox team will instead partner with the Media Literacy Foundation to develop and distribute the program.
The program will begin in September, and Schulz will continue to work with Vox to ensure that the program is implemented and that Vox employees have access to it.