November 6, 2015 Last Updated 12:07 pm

The Guardian formally launches its Mobile Innovation Lab, announces staff appointments

Sasha Koren, former NYT deputy editor will join the Lab as editor, Sarah Schmalbach, most recently at Gannett, will become senior product manager

The Guardian this week announced the official launch of its Mobile Innovation Lab, a project that received a $2.6 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation this summer. The media company said that Sasha Koren, former Deputy Editor, Interactive News at The New York Times will join the Lab as editor, while Sarah Schmalbach, most recently of Gannett, will become senior product manager.

Koren joined the NYT is 1998, working in various posts including Opinion Editor and Travel and Styles Editor for Schmalbach joined in 2008, and was Mobile Product Manager and Senior Paid Digital Content Manager for Philadelphia Media Network Digital before joining USA Today as Mobile Product Manager in 2012.

The Lab’s first public event is right around the corner: a one-day symposium at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism on Monday, Nov 9.

“The event will bring together leaders from across mobile and digital media to explore the largest quandaries and questions around mobile success, and to set the various hypotheses that the Lab will challenge over the next two years,” the Guardian said in its announcement.

“It’s really exciting to be formally launching the Lab and to have Sasha and Sarah on board to get our experiments off to a great start,” Lee Glendinning, editor of Guardian US, said. “It’s also fantastic to be working with pre-eminent partners such as CUNY, Tow and Nieman to debate, explore and share the work of our Lab as we seek to push the boundaries of news journalism in the mobile age.”

“Through the Guardian innovation lab we hope to develop a deeper understanding of how people use and consume mobile news, while also learning how best to engage audiences as participants in spreading and creating content,” Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism said this summer when the Lab’s launch was first announced.

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