Bonnie Layton

Senior lecturer

Contact Information

  • Office:
    030E Franklin Hall
  • Office Hours:
    Thursdays 2:15-3:15
  • Email:
    bllayton@indiana.edu
  • Phone:
    812 855-1699
  • Website:
    Syllabi, portfolio


  • Biography

    Bonnie has more than 25 years’ experience in journalism and currently teaches a wide variety of skills and critical-thinking media courses. Her skills courses instruct students on video and audio editing, ipad and responsive web design, data visualizations, reporting and editing. This year her immersive journalism course was one of 11 university projects across the country chosen for an Online News Association Challenge grant seeking to "hack journalism curriculums."  Students in her J460/560 Grid course film innovative Science Forecast programs featuring IU researchers.

    When she is not teaching, Bonnie collaborates with other media-minded faculty across campus and beyond. Currently she is part of a Center of Excellence for Women in Technology circle on data analysis and data driven change that seeks to understand gender issues within technology-related fields in higher education. She is founder and advisor of the journalism school’s Online News Association chapter and is in charge of membership for the AEJMC’s Visual Communication division. The "Mapping the Diffusion of 311 Call Systems" paper she co-authored with Steve Layton and IU Informatics graduate student James True was published in "Visual Insights" (MIT Press, 2014). 

    In the summer of 2014, Bonnie participated in the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning Course Development Institute at IU, and in 2012-13 was chosen to be part of the IU Engaging Differences Faculty Learning Community. She has helped chaperone journalism trips to Vancouver, Japan and Hawaii and will bring students to France, London and Normandy as part of the travel course "In the Footsteps of Ernie Pyle."

    She directed the Digital Journalism graduate sequence, a collaborative program between the School of Journalism and WFIU/TIU, IU's NPR and PBS affiliate. While working in the WTIU/FIU newsroom, Bonnie created the ipad project and graphics for WTIU/FIU reporter Julie Rawe's award-winning prison series "A Walk Behind the Wire."

    She has guest lectured and conducted workshops on numerous technology topics for ONA, AEJMC, the New York Press Association and Illinois, Florida and Indiana high school press associations.

    Before coming to Indiana University in 2010, Bonnie worked as a designer, videographer, copy editor and graphic artist at various media companies, including most recently the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune. In addition to her journalism work, she created Video Mosaics, a startup that produced public relations-oriented web videos and DVDs. Before her career in Chicago, she was an assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Media in Champaign-Urbana.

    Bonnie's IU courses include: J460 The Grid, J110 Foundations of Journalism and Mass Communication, J460 Immersive Journalism, J261 The New Privacy, J200 Reporting, Writing and Editing, C226 Visual Journalism, J261 Online Reporting, J360 Web Design, J362 Multimedia Storytelling, J460 Depth Multimedia, J516 and J517 Digital Journalism Practicums, C418 Footsteps of Ernie Pyle travel course and J520 Seminar in Visual Communication.