Sarah Schmalbach directs the Lenfest Local Lab @ The Inquirer, a Philadelphia-based news product and UX innovation team she founded in 2018 within the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. The lab tests products that explore how technology, design and research will shape the future of local news and shares its work openly with the industry. Previously she co-led the Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab, a story format innovation team that also worked in the open thanks to the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. A trained journalist, she brings an editorial mindset to the challenges and opportunities presented by technology and advocates for innovation grounded in asking communities what they need next from local news. Sarah received her M.A. in journalism from New York University and after having a handful of digital news and audience development roles, she became the first mobile product manager at The Philadelphia Inquirer and went on to oversee digital product development for USA Today.
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