Journalism, computer science students showcase iPhone and iPad app creations

Students from The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication's Mobile News App Design course will showcase their iPhone and iPad app creations to the public and a panel of judges from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, in the second-floor auditorium of the Belo Center for New Media, 300 W. Dean Keeton St. To RSVP, visit

Co-taught by School of Journalism Senior Lecturer Robert Quigley and local entrepreneur Joshua McClure, the course divided students into five teams, each consisting of journalism and computer science majors.

"Journalists have been traditionally afraid of technology and those in the tech world have traditionally been afraid of liberal arts, and that has to change," Quigley said. "Everyone in this class has learned what it takes to be a well-rounded developer not just a communicator or a programmer. There are very few journalism students in the nation who can say they've taken classes like this."

Journalism students learned code, while computer science students learned more about the journalism industry. Teams pitched, designed, coded and marketed their apps through blog posts and social media. By the end of the semester, Quigley said he expects all five teams to submit their apps to Apple iTunes' app store.

Apps include:

  • Glos Guide, a reference tool for journalists
  • Nerv, an app that provides local, social news for urban travelers
  • PicBook, an iPad app that aggregates Facebook photos and allows users to create scrapbooks
  • Prix-Party, a Formula 1 Austin event guide
  • Pxljam, a photo-sharing app that bridges fans and music artists

For more information, visit

Students will present their apps to a panel of judges, including Gerald Bailey, founder of SnakeHead Software; Carmen Cano, general manager, digital and innovation, at The Dallas Morning News; Wanda Garner Cash, associate director of the School of Journalism; Rodney Gibbs, chief innovation officer for The Texas Tribune; Debbie Hiott, editor of The Austin American-Statesman; and Christopher Visit, founding principal of Frank+Victor Design.

In the fall of 2013, the School of Journalism will offer a similar class Introduction to Mobile Programming for Journalists. The course will prepare journalism students for Mobile News App Design, which will be offered in the spring of 2014.