NEWS RELEASE: SPLC names new-media innovators Barry, Costa-Lima to board of directors

The Student Press Law Center has unanimously elected two emerging leaders in digital storytelling to its 15-member board of directors, naming CNN’s Samantha Barry and University of Missouri graduate student Beatriz Costa-Lima to three-year terms.

Samantha Barry is a world-renowned social media expert, with more than a decade of experience as a broadcast journalist. As CNN’s senior director of social news, Barry manages the social teams at all of the CNN bureaus and works closely with the CNN Digital leadership in their editorial strategy.

Barry joined CNN from BBC World News in London, where she served as a social media producer and journalist, focusing on using social media as a tool for both newsgathering and audience building. Her work included extensive coverage of social media trends and developments, in addition to overall social and mobile strategy for the channel. She has trained editors and journalists across the globe on how to make social news content and incorporate social media platforms into the editorial process. An Academy of Achievement 2012 delegate, Barry was recently named one of the top 50 female innovators in digital journalism in the world.

Beatriz Costa-Lima is a visual journalist based in Columbia, Missouri, where she’s pursuing a master’s degree in documentary journalism at the University of Missouri. She also has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, where she is a co-founder and former president of Mizzou Women in Media.

She has worked as a staff photographer for the Columbia Missourian, and as a news intern for The Associated Press. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. Costa-Lima was an SPLC intern during her time as an undergraduate and worked for student publications in high school and college. Costa-Lima will occupy the student seat on SPLC’s board, created in 2013 to make sure that the organization always remains in touch with and responsive to its core constituency. 

“This is an especially crucial time of opportunity at the SPLC, with the launch of our Active Voice fellowship program addressing the school press-freedom issues that disproportionately affect young women. Adding Samantha’s and Beatriz’s skills and contacts to the SPLC board will supercharge that promising new initiative,” said attorney Frank D. LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center. “It’s especially timely for the SPLC to add board members expert in visual storytelling with the adoption of our new five-year strategic plan, which emphasizes capturing and sharing the stories of adversity experienced by student journalists in more compelling ways, to create policy change at the grassroots level.”

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Student Press Law Center is an IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1974 to provide free legal assistance and training tailored to the needs of student journalists and journalism educators at the college and K-12 levels nationwide. Information about the work of the SPLC and an array of free legal research materials can be found at