Robert Hernandez

Journalist / Professor

Los Angeles

Robert Hernandez

Robert Hernandez, aka @webbournalist, has made a name for himself as a journalist of the Web, not just on the Web. His primary focus is exploring and developing the intersection of technology and journalism – to empower people, inform reporting and storytelling, engage community, improve distribution and, whenever possible, enhance revenue.


What journalists need to know about the power of code | Poynter

by Robert Hernandez Published Sep. 25, 2013 8:50 am Updated Sep. 26, 2013 10:12 am. This summer I found myself in the middle of a discussion that has been on the mind of many modern journalists: Code. I joined some fantastic people for a panel during the AEJMC conference in Washington, D.C. The session, organized by Medill’s Jeremy Gilbert , was titled: “Why all your students must be programmers.”.
Poynter Link to Story

Mediatwits #89: Google Glass: Revolutionizing News or Public Annoyance? | Mediashift | PBS

Google Glass could have a transformative effect on journalism, especially as we watch Tim Pool from VICE use Google Glass to report on Turkish protests . But it’s important to examine the shortfalls as well as all the great new advancements, both real and prophesied. MediaShift’s Mark Glaser hosts, along with Ana Marie Cox from the Guardian and Andrew Lih from American University.

A plea: Why you should not leave journalism

This isn’t a post defending why I love journalism. Nor is it one condemning those that have left it. A new study finds that, in 42% of companies, low performers actually report being more engaged – more motivated and more likely to enjoy working at their organization, for example – than middle and high performers do.”.
Web Journalist Blog Link to Story

My Google Glass app ideas for different news orgs

Google Glass is clearly in its early stages, but it is emerging as a platform that merits our attention as news and information distributors. The NYTimes has an app, but I think it really falls short of understanding and using this new platform. Inspired by Thomas Baekdal‘s Google Glass for news post, here are my Glass app ideas for other news orgs… to help spark ideas and conversation.
Web Journalist Blog Link to Story

Google Glass in context

I want you to take a moment and recognize something: Google Glass looks as technologically cutting-edge as the first Motorola Razr did in 2004. This incredibly thin phone, which was a leap from its predecessor Motorola StarTAC, was fashionable and functional, making it the best-selling clamshell phone in the world to date and causing a dent into Nokia’s indestructible brick phones.
Web Journalist Blog Link to Story

How to upload a custom video to Vine

Recently, a 6-second preview of The Wolverine was posted on Vine: Clearly, this wasn’t made through the Vine app… which got me thinking, how could I post my own edited content onto Vine too?
Web Journalist Blog Link to Story

Learn Code Project: A year ago…

It was about a year that I was boarding my plane headed back to the West Coast, recharged and inspired by SXSW12. By the time I landed, I had coded and launched this new project. Man, what a difference a year makes. Frustrated (and starting to get desperate) with finding partners to collaborate/experiment with, I….
Web Journalist Blog Link to Story

The Pope, the Invisible Gorilla and journalism

Those who know me know that newsroom leadership, across the country and regardless of medium or market size, has frustrated me.
Web Journalist Blog Link to Story

USC Annenberg’s Ruben Salazar Project launches

After a lot of work by the university, journalism school, faculty, but, most importantly, students, I am proud to announce the launch of the Ruben Salazar Project site.
Web Journalist Blog Link to Story

Ode to the printing press operator (and many others)

This thought just occurred to me... so let’s see if I can express it here. Our industry has experienced many, MANY changes. Obviously. But one the things I think we tend to forget are the people outside of the newsroom and even the business side. When was the last time you thought about the printing….
Web Journalist Blog Link to Story

Reboot journalism school? Take control of your education instead

USC's Hernandez says students should bypass the normal route and "hijack your school's assets to selfishly improve your skills."
Nieman Journalism Lab Link to Story

My work featured in CJR – twice!

I'm really proud to share that two of my projects were featured in the Columbia Journalism Review - in both print and online. While you can read the article online, I strongly recommend you check out the latest issue of the print magazine, which focuses on The Future of Media (this minute, at least).
Columbia Journalism Review Link to Story


Robert Hernandez

Robert Hernandez, one of the few true veterans of Web journalism, has made a name for himself as a journalist of the Web, not just on the Web. His primary focus is exploring and developing the intersection of technology and journalism – to empower people, inform reporting and storytelling, engage community, improve distribution and, whenever possible, enhance revenue.

Hernandez is an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, aka a Web journalism professor, at USC Annenberg. He’s not an academic… he’s more of a hackademic. He describes himself as a mad scientist for journalism, and likes to “MacGyver” Web journalism solutions.

He believes in “open source,” sharing knowledge and experiences among journalists. To that end, he has taken the leading role in uniting and building a community of digital journalists and technologists, as a national board member of the Online News Association, the leading organization focused on developing digital journalism. He’s also a co-organizer of the Los Angeles chapter of Hacks/Hackers, an international network of journalists and technologists that is rethinking the future of news and information.

Many journalists know him as the co-founder of #wjchat, a weekly forum on Twitter that engages participants from around the world. Or the curator of his Tech & Tool page, a collection of tools aimed at inspiring innovation in Web journalism, recently featured in CJR’s Future of Media issue. His latest project is called Learn Code for Journalism with Me, mashing up Google+ Hangouts with Code Year lessons. These virtual gatherings are perhaps the best examples of his commitment to collaboration and crowdsourcing. Others may know him as the intrepid questioner who asked AOL’s chairman and CEO if is “evil.”

Hernandez also is passionate about diversity in journalism. He is co-chair of programming for the UNITY conference (Las Vegas, August 2012) and is a lifetime member and former board member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

He has presented and spoken at numerous conferences and workshops across the country and internationally. Hernandez was most recently named CU’s Hearst Professional-in-Residence for Fall of 2012.

As director of development for The Seattle Times, where he worked from 2002 until 2009, he helped shape and execute the vision for the Web site and company, leading a team of engineers and designers in creating innovative tools and applications for readers as well as staff. He also worked as a Web designer and consultant for El Salvador’s largest daily newspaper site, La Prensa Gráfica, Web producer for The San Francisco Chronicle and online editor of The San Francisco Examiner.

He lives in Los Angeles with his wife of more than 10 years, young son and Boston Terrier. He hopes to restore his 1960 Volvo 122 that the freeways of Los Angeles killed one extremely hot summer day.



  • Design
  • Writing
  • Teaching
  • Trainer
  • Preacher
  • Community builder
  • Facilitator
  • Creative
  • Mad Scientist
  • Goonie
  • Web Journalist