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Google executive to serve as keynote speaker at School of Journalism Commencement ceremony

The future is media is now. That’s the message graduates from the WVU P.I. Reed School of Journalism can expect to hear at this year’s May commencement ceremony.Richard Gingras

Richard Gingras, Senior Director of News and Social Products at Google, will deliver the keynote address at the School’s 2013 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18 at 9:30 a.m. at the WVU Creative Arts Center.

For 30 years, Gingras has led highly regarded efforts in the development of online services, software and new media – pioneering uses of satellite networking for television and Web-based online services and, more recently, transforming the news business.

He has watched the media landscape undergo complete transformation and has been at the helm of much of that change. And while Gingras claims “the process of change is far from over,” he looks forward to a promising future.

“These are extraordinary times. These are exciting times. In my view, the future of journalism can and will be better than its past,” said Gingras, in a speech at the “TechRaking 2012” conference sponsored by Google and the Center for Investigative Reporting.

In his current role, Gingras oversees Google News, which connects more than a billion unique readers each week to articles from journalists in 72 countries and 45 languages. He also oversees areas of product development relating to Google’s social products (Google+).

“We are extremely fortunate to have Richard Gingras as our commencement speaker,” said School of Journalism Dean Maryanne Reed. “A top-level executive at Google, Gingras is at the forefront of the changing technology and media industries. He is a visionary leader who will inspire our graduates to be active participants in the evolution of journalism and media.”

Last fall, Gingras was recognized with the Manship Prize for contributions to the evolution of digital media, an honor awarded by the Manship School of Mass Communications at Louisiana State University. Until July 2011, Gingras was CEO of Salon Media Group which operates the popular and acclaimed news site Salon.com (the first web-only publication), the blogging community OpenSalon.com, and the pioneering virtual community The Well.

During 2007 and 2008, Gingras also served as a strategic advisor to the executive team at
Google focusing on strategies relating to the evolution of news and television and has long
guided the development of new products, new technologies, and new companies, often as an active board member and strategic advisor with early-stage ventures.

He was founder and CEO of Goodmail Systems, a founding VP of broadband provider @Home Network and Senior Vice President of Excite@Home from 1996 to 2001. He led the product development of Apple’s online service eWorld in the early 1990s and served as CEO of MediaWorks, an early developer of news-agenting technology. In 1979, he was the creator of the first interactive online news magazine done in partnership with CBS, NBC, and PBS and delivered to several hundred test households using interactive TV set-top box technology known as broadcast teletext.

The Commencement ceremony is reserved for graduates and their guests but will be webcast live on the School’s website.