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A screenshot from CNN's "The Undecided" page during the 2012 election
I always love guest speakers, especially when they are someone who has proven successful in their field. While travel and entertainment and health are usually sections I avoid, there is no denying that the woman who runs them for CNN, our guest speaker last Wednesday Mrs. Mira Lowe, is an incredibly successful journalist.

Lowe is the editor of the Entertainment, Technology, Health, Living, and Travel sections of CNN.com. She has served as a faculty member At Columbia University and Medill school of Journalism at Northwestern. She was Editor in Chief of JET magazine, and assistant editor at Ebony magazine, and editor for recruitment at Newsday. She came to our class to talk about her website's design and the way they produce content to be more interactive for a growing online audience.

Lowe focused, primarily, on two stories during her guest lecture. The first was a profile piece on a family from California who's 13 year old son was dying of cancer called "The Gift of Charles." Though the namesake of the piece, the story was less about Charles, a teenager who was dying of cancer, and more about how his family was dealing with the death of of their loved one.

The piece, beyond bringing heartbreaking emotion to the reader, incorporated two videos and multiple other supplemental elements to support the text piece. It keeps the reader interested and the design on the page was genius.

The second story Lowe focused on was a brilliant piece that CNN did in November about the Presidential election called "The Undecided," which was an interactive piece designed to give a general outline of what kind of people made up the coveted "undecided" voters during the election. Featuring people from key demographics in key swing states, the article wrote a profile on each of the six selected people, trying to give an indication of what makes each tick, and thus give an idea of how they would vote. There was much discussion in class about the fact that "no one would go and read every part of this article and click on every picture." I'm not ashamed to say I did just that on Wednesday after class.

Overall I loved Lowe's turn at the helm of #loweclass. I hope Lowe's influence on CNN remains prevalent, because I have enjoyed her work thus far.  It was interesting to have someone from the design/editorial side of the journalism world lecturing rather than keeping with the norm. Not that the norm is bad, but it's always good to have a change of pace every now and then.
 





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