Multimedia expert joins journalism department

by Delaney LePage

The Harrington School has a new face in the journalism department: Jason Jaacks, assistant professor of multimedia journalism. Jaacks received his master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley and his bachelor’s degree in documentary studies from the College of Santa Fe.

Jaacks comes to the Harrington School with an extensive background in filmmaking, photography, and multimedia journalism. He has produced numerous independent films and digital shorts, photographed for a number of magazines such as Saveur, and Fly Fish Journal, and most recently, directed a one-hour television special for National Geographic WILD about the world’s largest carnivorous bat species.

“I am really passionate about the work I do,” Jaacks said. “The opportunity to work with students to develop their own passions in both the topics and methods they tell stories in is an exciting thing to be able to do and allows me to form future collaborators.”

Jaacks’ work focuses heavily on storytelling, particularly on social and environmental issues.

“Good stories are good stories,” Jaacks said. “I have focused a lot on environmental stories because I grew up in the Intermountain West, and that’s what felt natural. I’ve always been fascinated with the natural world and the ecosystems where we all function and work.”

Jaacks hopes that fascination will carry over to students in his upcoming advanced reporting and writing class. In this class, he will work with a small group of students to develop a documentary about coastal resiliency in Rhode Island.

“This institution, the Harrington School, and this state are a great background to tell this story,” he said. “There is a lot of opportunity to get students to think about those bigger topics and bigger opportunities when framing this story, and that is really exciting for me.”