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Backpack Journalism

SONY at SOC

Welcome from Project Director Bill Gentile

The Backpack Journalism Project at American University's School of Communication is mapping the landscape of emerging techniques and technologies for visual storytellers and educating the next generation of video journalists in the spirit and tradition of photojournalism and documentary filmmaking. By promoting the highest standards and showcasing best practices, this website will be a dynamic forum on how to train, equip and inspire backpack videomakers.  

We invite you to share your work, experiences and insights to help define and advance the field we are shaping together.

SOC Students Land Pulitzer Fellowships

Left to right American University School of Communication dean Jeff Rutenbeck, PhD student Kara Andrade, graduating senior Julia Boccagno, and Eric Hershberg, director of the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies. Photo by Bill Gentile.

Left to right American University School of Communication dean Jeff Rutenbeck, PhD student Kara Andrade, graduating senior Julia Boccagno, and Eric Hershberg, director of the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies. Photo by Bill Gentile.

American University communication Ph.D. student Kara Andrade and graduating journalism major Julia Boccagno have been named 2015 recipients of the Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium International Reporting Student Fellowship. Andrade's reporting project will investigate the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in Mexico for transparency, activism and citizen reporting, as well as the increased risks this presents to citizens. Boccagno's work will explore the marginalization of the transgender community in Thailand. Both students honed their backpack filmmaking skills and techniques through the Backpack Journalism project.

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Gentile in Time Magazine

SOC BPJ photography magazine cuba SOC BPJ photography magazine cuba

Professor Bill Gentile produced a video piece for Time Magazine, while in Cuba with AU Abroad students, using the same "backpack journalism" methodology that he introduced in SOC in 2007 and that is branded and embodied in the Backpack Journalism Project.

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