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Media Relations

AU in the Media: 12/18/09

Top story

Troubled Banks Increase

According to the Investigative Reporting Workshop’s latest BankTracker project, the number of troubled banks has increased—particularly in the South and the West—from 297 in June to 369 in September. A joint project of the Workshop and, BankTracker analyzes data on every bank in the United States released each quarter by the FDIC. (12/15/09)

Other Features

Unemployment Rate Projections

A virtual map illustrating unemployment across the United States, a project by AU grad student Latoya Egwuekwe, was featured on CNN’s In the Money. “There's obviously a jobs crises going on right now in this country, and the premise behind the map and the reason why I put it together is because I wanted people to see what was actually going on,” Egwuekwe said of the interactive map which displays unemployment rates from January 2007 to October of this year. “I don't think it really hits home for most of us until we actually get to visualize it and see what's actually taking place in this country around the United States.” (12/15/09)

U.S. Citizen a Prisoner in Cuba

Philip Brenner, professor of foreign policy, appeared on CNN to discuss the future of relations between the United States and Cuba after the arrest of a U.S. contract worker in Cuba. “The problem is, we have privatized our foreign policy,” he explained. “We make our foreign policy subject to private companies that make money for this and it's really out of our hands. He's not a State Department employee, he's an employee of a private company. ” (12/12/09)

Expert Quotes

Anthropolgists in the War Zone

David Vine, professor of anthropology, spoke to Time Magazine about the necessity and historical aspect of anthropologists in war zones to better examine the terrains. "Anthropology was used in much the same way to help colonial militaries and colonial occupation," he said. (12/13/09)

Help for Small Businesses

James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, talked to the Associated Press about President Obama urging top banks to increase lending to small businesses. “Maybe it will have some effect on the American public that will have an effect on members of Congress when they're trying to pass these reforms on the Hill,” said Thurber of Obama’s effort. The story was re-published in more than 120 news outlets, including the New York Times,, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (12/13/09)

Financial Crisis Still an Issue

Finance professor Robin Lumsdaine discussed Congress’s handling of the financial crisis with Bank Investment Consultant. "If you think about how much weighty stuff they have to deal with and the limited amount of time to gather information to make very important decisions, it seems the time could have been better spent," she said. (12/17/09)

Guantanamo Bay Lawsuit Dismissed

Law professor Steve Vladeck spoke to the Washington Independent about the Supreme Court’s dismissal of a lawsuit by four British citizens claiming wrongful arrest and mistreatment by American officials at Guantanamo Bay. “When the court decides not to hear a case, it doesn’t say anything about the merits,” he said. “But it leaves intact a fairly sweeping opinion by the D.C. Circuit — one that I think will be hard to overcome for any future plaintiffs suing based on abuse that allegedly occurred at Guantanamo.”