Mike Reilley

Email: | Phone: 402-416-5668

Twitter: @journtoolbox | @redlineproject |

LinkedIn Bio and Recommendations


University of Illinois-Chicago
Lecturer, Fall 2016-present
Full-time faculty member teaching multimedia and data journalism courses at UIC in the Communication Department. Students publish to, a site he created from scratch.

Penny Press Digital, LLC
March 2018-present
Digital tools and workflow training company I founded. Clients include Gannett, which ues me as a traveling digital trainer who teaches staff at 27 Gannett properties, including USA Today. Other clients include Mid-America Press Institute, Indiana University, Purdue University, Mobile Me & You Conference and many others.

SPJ/Google News Initiative Digital Trainer
June 2016-present
Conducts three- and four-hour, hands-on trainings in newsrooms, journalism schools and at conferences on how to use Google News Lab tools in daily reporting and production. Tools taught: Data scraping, dataset search, Google Flourish, Fusion Tables, MyMaps, data scraping with Google Sheets and Tabula, Google Earth Pro, Google Flourish, Google Dataset Search, Google Trends, Public Data Explorer, Image Search/verification and Earth Engine Timelapse. Conducted trainings for Gannett, Digital First Media, Hearst, McClatchy, Lee Enterprises  and many others. Conducted 180 trainings in 40 states in the first four years of the program, training more than 6,500 journalists.

The Journalist’s Toolbox
Founder and editor, January 1996-Present
Founded and edit media research site Site features more than 20,000 resources and more than 125 pages, fully searchable and indexed. Started as part of a course syllabus while teaching at Northwestern, sold the site to the American Press Institute in February 2003 and re-sold the site to Society of Professional Journalists in 2008. Still serves as site’s editor. Site was added to the Library of Congress’s 9/11 Terrorism Research section in 2004.


Arizona State University
Director of digital production and professor of practice, Cronkite News at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. News21 instructor, 2015-2016
Faculty member who taught a daily, full-time lab that produced stories, data visualizations and updated the website for Cronkite News, the news division of Arizona PBS. Worked with my students and co-workers to redesign Cronkite News as a responsive website. Also built News21 investigative site, America’s Weed Rush:

DePaul University
Faculty member, online journalism professor, SPJ faculty adviser 2009-2014
Teaching eight online journalism courses at the graduate and undergraduate level. Founded award-winning mobile community news site with undergraduate students. Founded Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) student chapter, which was twice named National and Region 5 Campus Chapter of the Year. Serve on SPJ National Digital Media Committee. Co-authored curriculum for graduate-level sports journalism curriculum. I teach online storytelling techniques, social media tools in courses such as Reporting for Converged Newsrooms, News Now, Online Journalism I and II, Multiplatform News Editing, Introduction to Journalism and Online Sports Reporting at College of Communications Loop campus. Publications: White paper on the future of journalism education and digital-first media, fall 2013 publication.

Account Group Supervisor, May 2007-February 2008
Supervised a team of 10 staff members on the Florida Department of Citrus account. Oversee marketing, PR and online projects for the client. Responsible for planning, client communication and industry trend-watching.

Bailey Lauerman Marketing Communications
Director of Sports Marketing, PR Account Executive Nov. 2002-May 2007
Founded and launched sports marketing group within marketing communications firm of 85 based in Lincoln, Neb. Responsible for recruiting and managing several key clients, including the Bowl Championship Series (marketing, PR and crisis communications), Big 12 Conference (communications research, branding and public relations), Omaha Sports Commission (2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Swimming) and ConAgra Foods NASCAR Racing (interactive, creative advertising). Non-sports clients included GE Transportation Systems, Valmont Industries, Nebraska Public Power District, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Upstream Brewing Company.

Ayres Advertising/Marketing
Director of Public Relations, March 2001-Oct. 2002
Developed media strategy, crisis management plans, develop newsletters, trade publication content and media relations campaigns for TierOne Bank, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, Nebraska Heart Institute, BIOCOR Animal Health, Hogemeyer Hybrids Seed Company

Writing, Editing and Web Consulting
Fall 2000-March 2001
Worked long- and short-term contracts for media- and marketing-based firms as a writing, editing, Internet and general media counsel. Clients included America Online, and Ayres Advertising/Marketing.

Northwestern University
Lecturer, Medill School of Journalism, Fall 1998 – Fall 2000; Adjunct, 1997-1998
As a full-time faculty member, taught two Newswriting and New Media courses per quarter and advised students in Teaching Media program. Developed online journalism curriculum and graduate-level sports specialization curriculum from scratch. Also taught newswriting, ethics, online journalism and sports reporting in Medill’s five-week summer high school “Cherubs” program (1997-2000).
Sports Editor, Internet edition, Dec. 1995 – June 1997
Hired and managed a staff of five reporters and editors that built Tribune’s innovative online  sports section from scratch (launched site March 14, 1996). Worked closely with print edition editors to share and build content. Oversaw online edition coverage of Bulls’ 1996 NBA championship and Summer Olympics.

Los Angeles Times
June 1989-Dec. 1995
As the Los Angeles Rams backup beat writer (1993 and 1994 seasons) handled free agency, game advances, coverage of all home and road games, the team’s move to St. Louis. Also covered sports business and trends, assisted with Anaheim Angels coverage, covered the 1991 U.S. Olympic Festival and worked on the Orange County copy desk during the 1992 Summer Olympics.


Northwestern University (MSJ)
Graduated Kappa Tau Alpha and with distinction with master’s degree in media management from the Medill School of Journalism, September 1995. Conducted market research of online services for The Times newspapers of Northwest Indiana. Also had business strategy classes at Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Business Management. Received the Harrington Award, the school’s highest academic honor.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln (BJ)
Bachelor’s degree in news-editorial journalism with minors in English, history, political science and geography.  Editor of The Daily Nebraskan (1987-88) Graduated May 1989 with five internships and several student media awards, including three placings in the Hearst competition.

Computer Software – Strong social media and web research expertise, HTML, XML, Photoshop, several data visualization tools, including the Google News Lab suite, Movable Type, WordPress,  Garage Band, data scraping with Google Sheets, Datawrapper, Venngage, fact-checking and digital forensics tools, SoundCloud, Twitter and other browser-based software. Extensive Web site structure and page design, basic knowledge of Bootstrap, jQuery, javascript. Experience with digital still and video cameras. Certified in Adobe Photoshop CS6, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere.

Management Skills  – Oversee student and professional web development teams and manage organizational change and startup atmosphere. Work directly with clients to develop strategy, tactics and measurement. Manage large web projects (production, planning and budget). Also oversee creative and PR teams on integrated marketing communications projects. 

Writing, Editing and Public Relations  –  Write and edit news and feature stories for print, web and broadcast media. Develop crisis communications plans for clients in several industries. Skilled in writing with statistical data, quantitative and qualitative research data. Seasoned media consultant who has worked with corporate executives, athletic department officials, university presidents and coaches.

Personal Communications/Presentation Skills – Sixteen-plus years of teaching experience with polished public-speaking skills. Eight years of client presentations. Also co-hosted local ESPN1480 sports radio talk show in Lincoln, Neb. Guest speaker at several Inland Press Association and SPJ seminars, as well as public relations courses at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Doane College in Nebraska.


Online News Association Online Journalism Award 2012
The Red Line Project won first-place in Online News for its coverage of the NATO summit in Chicago.

Editor & Publisher EPPY Awards
The Red Line Project’s Chicago Sidelines won for Best College/University Sports site.

Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism (2012-14)
Founded student website that won four Lisagors, awarded to professional journalists in Chicago for outstanding work: Best start-up, best community news site, best online business story and best online feature.

SPJ David Eshelman National Campus Adviser of the Year Award (2013)

DePaul University Campus Adviser of the Year (2012)
Nominated by SPJ DePaul students and awarded by DePaul’s Office of Student Affairs.

SPJ National and Region 5 Student Chapter of the Year ( 2011 and 2013)
Advise student chapter with 73 members that was honored for its programming and membership drives in 2011 and 2013.

SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards (2011-20)
The Red Line Project won the National Mark of Excellence Award in 2013 for Online News Reporting with its coverage of the 2012 elections. Student work was honored dozens of times at UIC and DePaul.

Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Awards
Red Line Project was a winner four years in a row for Best Online-Only News Site

Horizon Interactive Awards
2012 silver winner for Best College News Site, The Red Line Project; 2013 bronze winner

Web Marketing Association
National awards for the Omaha Sports Commission and ConAgra Foods NASCAR websites.

PRSA and AMA Regional Awards (2002-2007) PR and marketing teams won more than 40 first-place awards, including 15 best campaign awards, at PRSA Nebraska, Omaha AMA and Lincoln AMA awards shows. Winning clients included the Bowl Championship Series, U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championships, Banquet 400 NASCAR race, ConAgra Foods (NASCAR) Racing, FedEx Orange Bowl and the Omaha Sports Commission.

Midlands Business Journal “40 under 40” honor (2005)

Lincoln (Neb.) Northeast High School Distinguished Alumni (2001 entry, Class of 1984)

Harrington Memorial Award (1995)  Highest academic honor from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.


Memberships: Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Online News Association,. Past: Associated Press Media Editors, American Copy Editors Society, Association of Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), Associated Collegiate Press.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communication Strategic Planning Committee
Serving on dean’s planning committee focusing on new directions the college should take.

Daily Nebraskan Alumni Board Training Subcommittee Chairperson
Plan, oversee and conduct training for student journalists. Oversee a committee of five.

Society of Professional Journalists National Board of Directors

2014-2015 and 2018-2020
Served two terms on national board. Member of the organization’s Strategic Planning Committee and SPJ 2020 Convention Planning Committee. Also assisted with education and tech issues. Won President’s Award for board service and Journalist’s Toolbox/Google training work. consumer advisory board
Advised social media curation company on user experience and university implementation programs.

SPJ DePaul Student Chapter
Winter 2010-2014
Founded and oversaw student chapter that was named DePaul’s top student organization by the Office of Student Affairs in 2010-11. Grew membership to 73 students, making it the largest SPJ student chapter in Region 5.

The Poynter Institute
Summer 2009 and 2010
Studied mobile media and multimedia video editing and reporting at journalism research and teaching organization in St. Petersburg, Fla.

API Institute for Journalism Excellence
Summer 2000
One of 25 journalism instructors nationwide to participate in weeklong seminar with the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the American Press Institute. Continued with five-week fellowship at and was later hired by the Post.

Special Olympics Nebraska
Board member, 2005-2007
Selected as member of state board of directors and chairperson of Public Relations/Marketing committee.

Rimington Trophy Presentation Committee
Board member and marketing chairperson, 2007
Handled marketing and PR for national college football award for centers.


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