Len De Groot is the Interactive Design & Data Instructor at the Knight Digital Media Center
at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism
, teaching mid-career journalists and graduate students skills to tell stories on the Web. He has nearly 20 years of newsroom experience and was graphics director for WSFL-TV and the SunSentinel newspaper in South Florida. While there he created and directed news graphics for print, interactive graphics for the paper’s Web site and animated news graphics and packages for a morning television news show and television station promotions.
- Course design, instruction in person and online
- Interactive data visualization and visual storytelling
- Art direction and design
- GIS (ESRI, QGIS, MAPublisher), LightWave 3D, Adobe Creative Suite (all), VizRT
- Hiring, managing and developing employees
- Project management
Interactive Design & Data Instructor
kdmcBerkeley, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism (2010 - Present)
- Develop and present courses in the Graduate School of Journalism, including Web Design & Development and Introduction to Data Visualization
- Develop and present customized training to media organizations
- Designed and developed freeDive, a tool for making embeddable, user-searchable databases
- Rebranded KDMC
- Redesigned KDMC web site
- Contributed chapter on informational graphics to The Multimedia Journalist
Lecturer, Data Visualization
UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism (Fall 2012 - present)
- Political Reporting: Election Listening Posts and Interactive Data: Our goal, beyond producing smart, compelling stories, is to equip students with the skills to understand, select, and help construct political data packages to enhance their election coverage. Even the most data-phobic students should leave this class with the know-how to communicate their project ideas to graphics and data specialists.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel, WSFL-TV (2006-2010)
Managed a 10-person department that produced and coordinated and produced content
for WSFL-TV morning news show, WSFL on-air promotions, SunSentinel.com, SouthFlorida.com and the SunSentinel newspaper. In doing so, De Groot developed the nation’s first graphics department to produce content for a daily newspaper, news websites and a network-affiliated television station.
WSFL RESPONSIBILITIES (CW affiliate)
Help design and implement program graphics that depart from local television clichés, including physical and virtual sets and computer-generated graphics. Direct and produce still and animated explanatory graphics
for the daily news show. Direct purchases of video editing software and computers.
Execute morning show design in promotions for station lineup, including morning show and programming for day side, prime and late night to strengthen brand. Brainstorm with and art direct artist and producers.
Lead daily and enterprise graphics coverage in SunSentinel, including a weekly full-page graphic that is conceived, reported and produced completely within the department.
Manage and produce interactive graphics for SunSentinel.com, including TheEdge
, an award-winning multimedia site.
Editorial liaison to Technology Division, Editorial Project Manager for implementation of new publishing system. Coordinated capital purchases and support for company-wide projects and ongoing issues. Co-managed Editorial Business Continuity Plan with Deputy Managing Editor and other divisions, coordinate emergency publication during natural disasters.
- Television: Successfully integrated new technology and design skills in three months to launch morning news show. Overcame cultural differences by creating partnerships with television management. Created 3D fly-through for morning show open. Co-designed new, contemporary look for graphics package that has since been imitated by other morning news shows.
- Online: Developed precinct-level election results maps that updated live on election nights. Created SunSentinel.com’s first social networking tool — a scrolling ticker that updated live breaking news Twitter feeds from reporters. Developed tools to allow reporters and producers create Flash multimedia presentations in less than an hour. Developed GIS-based interactive maps for rapid deployment. Upheld a tradition of award-winning multimedia journalism and relaunched the Sun-Sentinel’s pioneering multimedia gallery, The Edge, which was awarded the Best News Site by the Florida chapter of the Associated Press. Directed online multimedia coverage of Orphans of AIDS, which won a Sigma Delta Chi award for online journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists.
- Print: Graphics team produced award-winning front-page centerpiece graphics and full-page enterprise graphics. Quality of design and information led to 18 Society of News Design Awards of Excellence.
- Staff development: Extensively cross-trained staff to be leading multiplatorm journalists and use a wide range of industry tools, including LightWave 3D, Flash, and VizRT. Six months after beginning television production, the entire staff produced graphics for TV, Web and print. Developed graphic, video and interactive storytelling skills in reporting and page design teams.
Assistant Graphics Director
South Florida Sun-Sentinel 2002 – 2006
Advocated, coordinated and directed production of daily and project graphics; Supervised and develop staff of seven artists/reporters. Art director and news budget advocate for daily and project graphics. Supervised staff and provided professional development.
Personally produced award winning graphics and coordinated, art directed and edited team projects that produced award-winning breaking news graphics.
Senior Graphics Reporter
South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 2000 – 2002
Research, report and illustrate breaking news and enterprise graphics, including a full-page graphic every 6 weeks; Delivered 3D graphics production training for Tribune newspapers.
Society of News Design Award of Excellence for two-page graphic utilizing a database to track locations of suspected hijackers in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks; Shared in numerous staff multimedia awards; Implemented use of Lightwave 3D and GIS mapping.
Graphic Artist, Marin Independent Journal (Novato, Calif.) 1997 –2000
Graphic Artist, Los Angeles Daily News 1996 –1997
Graphic Artist, The Record (Stockton, Calif.) 1993 –1994
Graphic Artist, Tracy Press (Tracy, Calif.) 1992 – 1993
- 2012: Adobe Education Leader Program: Community that tests and advises Adobe products for education.
- 2011-2012: Oregon Public Broadcasting: Part of kdmcBerkeley team that helped develop digital media training plan.
- 2011: AOL/Patch: Part of kdmcBerkeley team that helped develop audience engagement and train-the-trainer program.
- 2009: Advised El Tiempo, Colombia’s largest newspaper, on migration from traditional print publishing to Web publication. Focused on implementation of multimedia production across the newsroom, including strategies for photographers, graphic artists, reporters and videographers.
- "Social media as a reporting tool" Bay Area Writers Guild 2011
- "Practical Interactive maps" Society of News Design annual convention
- "HTML5 & Visualization" NICAR annual convention
- Hands-on digital media training (half day) National Association of Hispanic Journalists annual convention 2010
- "Mapping data" Society for Professional Journalists
- "LightWave 3D" Society of News Design annual convention 2008
- "LightWave 3D" SND Quick Course
- "Integrating Multimedia in Storytelling" Panelist, Online News Association annual convention 2007
- "From Print to Interactive Graphics" Society of News Design annual convention 2007
- "Multimedia design" SND Quick Course 2006
- "Intermediate LightWave 3D" SND Quick Course 2005
Awards (International competition)
- Finalist, Information is Beautiful awards (tools) 2012
- Two SND Awards of Excellence (charting, infographics) 2006
- SND Award of Excellence (charting) 2005
- SND Award of Excellence (infographics – 9/11 coverage) 2001
- Best of Gannett (infographics) 1999
- SND Award of excellence 2010
- Two SND Awards of excellence 2009
- Three SND Awards of excellence 2008
- Seven SND Awards of excellence 2007
- Seven SND Awards of excellence 2006
- Sigma Delta Chi for Multimedia Storytelling (interactive presentation) 2006
- Two SND Awards of Excellence (breaking news, extended coverage) 2005
- SND Award of Excellence (infographics – extended hurricane coverage) 2004