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Community Events |  Reporting From Crisis Zones



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CAS Dean's Office
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016-8012
Professor Bill Gentile in Kabul.

Professor Bill Gentile in Kabul, Afghanistan.

To launch our series of events on the concept of crisis, we are delighted to feature the work of Bill Gentile, journalist, filmmaker and professor at American University's School of Communication.

About Bill Gentile:

Bill Gentile is an independent journalist and documentary filmmaker teaching at American University in Washington, D.C. His career spans three decades, five continents and nearly every facet of journalism and mass communication, most especially visual communication, or visual storytelling. He is the founder and director of American University's Backpack Journalism Project. He is a pioneer of "backpack video journalism" and today he is one of the craft's most noted practitioners. He is the author of the highly acclaimed "Essential Video Journalism Field Manual." He engineered the School of Communication's 2015 partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and is the driving force behind that initiative. 

Bill Gentile began his career in 1977 as a reporter for the Mexico City News and correspondent for United Press International (UPI) based in Mexico City. He covered the 1979 Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua. He spent two years as editor on UPI's Foreign Desk in New York, then moved to Nicaragua and became Newsweek Magazine's contract photographer for Latin America and the Caribbean. His book of photographs, "Nicaragua," won the Overseas Press Club Award for Excellence. He covered the U.S.-backed Contra War in Nicaragua and the Salvadoran Civil War in the 1980s; the U.S. invasion of Panama; the 1994 invasion of Haiti, the ongoing conflict with Cuba, the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War and the subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He's also worked in Ivory Coast, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Chad, Angola, Rwanda and Burundi. 

In 1995 Gentile went to work for Video News International (VNI), precursor of The New York Times Television Company. He has completed assignments for The Learning Channel, the Discovery Channel, National Geographic Television, ABC's Nightline With Ted Koppel, NOW with Bill Moyers, NOW hosted by David Brancaccio, Court TV and Lion TV.

He shared the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Human Rights Reporting, Honorable Mention, for a story on rape during the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. He shared two National Emmy awards and was nominated for two others. 


Our renovated workspace and conference room is available to the AU community for special events related to the humanities. The room is modular, with a seating capacity of 25 (conference table arrangement) to 35 (screening/ lecture style arrangement). To reserve the space for an event please contact Mike Burgtorf