Expand AU Menu

Strategic Partners

SOC Reel Journalism Diane Sawyer

Reel Journalism

Nick Clooney, host of the Reel Journalism® series by SOC and the Newseum, invited ABC anchor Diane Sawyer to discuss the movie The China Syndrome.


SOC NBC logo

Building on an agreement with Steve Capus, President of NBC News, SOC has established an extensive partnership with WRC-TV, including student projects, internships and NBC News Anchor Brian Williams as a featured guest for SOC & Newseum’s Reel Journalism series.

  • Broadcast production students pitch story ideas to NBC4 management each semester. Winning selections are produced as weekly series by students and air for 14 weeks during the semester on DC Connections, NBC4.com, or DC Nonstop, the new digital channel.
  • Series include: “Flavortones” - singing restaurant reviews (40k hits on YouTube); “DC Free” - free activities in region; “Adept or Inept” - viewers vote online on contestant abilities in bellydancing, cooking, ROTC training, etc.
  • Public Communication portfolio classes developed PR and marketing campaigns for NBC4 to attract younger demographic (20-35 yr old viewers).


The logo for Ketchum.

A new partnership with Ketchum, Inc., a global communication firm, began with SOC’s participation in Mindfire, a crowd sourcing tool for students to share ideas in response to the agency’s campaigns.  Each month three to four challenges are posted for students to propose marketing or outreach campaigns. In exchange for their contributions, SOC students are offered career coaching, personalized training, job alerts and prizes.


SOC Newseum logo

SOC’s seven-year partnership with the Newseum is showcased through the highly successful Reel JournalismTM, a film series hosted by the Newseum in its state-of-the-art Annenberg Theater and moderated by our jointly appointed distinguished journalist-in-residence, Nick Clooney.

  • Major celebrity and newsmaker guests have included Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams, Dan Rather, George Clooney, Bob Schieffer, David Gregory, George Stephanopoulos, Juan Williams, Paul Begala, Dee Dee Myers, Susan Zirinsky, and Connie Chung.
  • The Ford Foundation funded “Advocacy Journalism in the Digital Age” conference, co-produced by SOC and the Newseum in March. The symposium helped to define opportunities and challenges created by new digital technologies.
  • Thought leaders in social activism, public policy and journalism led discussions with 280 participants from activist organizations, NGO’s and mainstream and social media.
  • Opening speech by Dean Kirkman, moderators & panelists included SOC’s Caty Borum Chattoo, Chuck Lewis, Nick Clooney and Jessica Clark; keynoter Ted Leonsis.


Gannett Logo

Dean’s internships with Gannett Washington bureau have resulted in front page bylines in many of the media giant’s 86 newspapers (i.e. Cincinnati Enquirer and Tallahassee Democrat). Students in Writing for Convergent Media classes have created large content packages that are featured on Gannett’s regional websites across the country:

  • “Growing Up in the Shadow of 9/11,” a student-produced, multi-platform content package was applauded by Gannett executives who posted it on all of Gannett’s regional websites. Interviews with Muslim Americans, students from every state, Naval Academy Grads and a survey to which more than 1,000 young people responded, explore the event through the prism of youth. www.growingup9-11.com
  • “The New Civil Rights” For this multi-media package, students created stories, polls, graphics and videos. Their findings: The top civil rights issue of today is education. Gannett linked to the content as part of a series on race that was featured on each of its more than 80 web sites.
  • Other class projects include studies of the use of video online and of online comments on articles.

The Washington Post

SOC Washington Post logo

Expanding a long-time relationship, Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli and Metro Editor Vernon Loeb have agreed to a formal partnership, including a $30,000 annual SOC graduate fellowship and five Dean’s Interns each semester and the summer to cover education, government & politics; police & courts, social issues, and transportation & development for print and online.


SOC Smithsonian logo

A new partnership with this landmark institution has resulted in two video internships for the summer at the National Museum of American History. They write, shoot and edit projects on a deaf archivist and on collections of Civil War photographs including some by Matthew Brady.

Associated Press

SOC Associated Press logo

Dean’s Council member and alumna Lorraine Chichowski, senior VP and CIO at AP, has created an annual summer paid fellowship for SOC graduate students. In its 3rd year, this summer two SOC will graduate students will assist in AP’s transition to HD video.

The Anacostia Community Museum 

Logo for Anacostia Community Museum.

Students in Unseen and Unheard: Documentary Storytelling in the Other Washington, a course developed as part of our Community Voice Project, have produced videos for the Anacostia Museum. Their work includes an oral history of the Frederick Douglass Dwellings and profiles of community artists, high-school marching band and a seniors’ roller-skating dance club. In the fall, students will produce videos for a new exhibition on the community’s relationship to the Anacostia River.


SOC USA Today Logo

Students, faculty and staff benefit from this strong alliance which began with SOC hosting USA TODAY’s week-long 25th birthday celebration at Katzen in 2007.

  • USAT contracted with SOC to provide quarterly training sessions for editors & reporters transitioning from print to digital media. SOC’s instruction for groups of 20 staffers has evolved. At first resistant, reporters and editors now embrace learning about new multi-platform ways of distributing stories and engaging readers with social media.
  • USAT sponsors paid graduate fellowships and provides excellent professional experiences for students to work as reporters and videographers as part of the highly competitive “Dean’s Internship Program.”
SOC Maryland Public Television MPT logo

Maryland Public Television and SOC’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking, directed by Chris Palmer, have been working together for five years. The partnership offers AU students the opportunity to produce a professional documentary that airs on MPT during Chesapeake Bay Week each Spring. The course, Environmental and Wildlife Production, is taught by Sandy Cannon-Brown, an award-winning filmmaker and CEF associate director. Mike English, MPT's Emmy Award-winning Executive Producer, meets with his AU team and critiques the proposed treatment, script and rough cuts. The films produced in the class have received numerous honors, including five Student Emmys and several CINE Golden Eagles.

New America Media

SOC New America Media

SOC is the regional partner for this national association of more than 2000 ethnic media organizations. Prof. Angie Chuang’s course, Race, Ethnic and Community Reporting worksclosely with NAM to produce the DC Intersections website with feature stories on communities across the region. SOC and NAM co-sponsor the bi-annual D.C. Metro Area Ethnic Media Awards competition and event.


SOC Sony logo

Sony selected SOC as a partner because it sees SOC's programs leading the way in converged journalism and location documentary production. Sony provides support for two special courses using backpack video and uses SOC as a laboratory and demonstration center for new approaches to location HD production.

DC Film Office

Logo for the DC Film Office.

This summer SOC joined with the D.C. Film and TV Commission to host training that certified more than 10 AU students to work on film crews as Production Assistants (PA). Al ready Graduate Student Peter Kimball has been hired to work on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show when it films in D.C. before the mid-term elections. The D.C. film office, which is headed by AU alumna Kathy Hollinger, is using SOC students as interns and is showcasing the winners of SOC’s “Me in DC” photo contest. Another round of PA training is being planned.


American Forum is a co-production of WAMU 88.5 FM and American University's School of Communication

In partnership with WAMU, the University’s NPR affiliate, AUSOC provides a long-standing and prominent vehicle for public service, American Forum. This series of public affairs programs brings together influential journalists, elected officials, and public policymakers to explore often provocative topics in media and public affairs.