Director of digital, mobile and new product design, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.
Project: Create models to redesign the internal relationships of news companies to foster creation and promotion of human-centered digital journalism products.
As a teenager, Justin Ferrell visited China with his dad and brothers in the summer of 1990. When they asked a guide showing them Tiananmen Square about the massive demonstrations there the previous year, he quietly showed them where authorities had repainted bloodstained steps – after warning them that the square’s lamps held cameras. It was the day 15-year-old Justin decided to become a journalist. He got a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He began his career as a sportswriter for The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, Fla. and The St. Augustine (Fla.) Record sports section before finding his true journalism love – design. He worked as a designer at the Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record, then as deputy news design director at the (Raleigh) News & Observer. In 2004, he joined The Washington Post, where he now leads the team responsible for the site, editorial and product design of washingtonpost.com, as well as design of the company’s mobile site. He has won several Society for News Design awards and designed the investigative project “Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency,” which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.
Ferrell describes an intriguing social platform solution he and two other Knight Fellows are developing to improve trust and transparency in online commenting.
Information on this page is from the fellowship year.