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Margot Susca Assistant Professor School of Communication

Send email to Margot Susca
(202) 885-6462 (Office)
SOC - School of Communication
McKinley - 325
Wednesdays 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. via Zoom
Additional Positions at AU
Associate Editor, Investigative Reporting Workshop
Ph.D. (Mass Communication), Florida State University
M.S. (Journalism), Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
B.A. (Journalism and Political Science), University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Favorite Spot on Campus
Woods-Brown Amphitheatre
Book Currently Reading
Victor Pickard's "Democracy Without Journalism?: Confronting the Misinformation Society"
Margot Susca (Ph.D., Florida State University) is an assistant professor in the Journalism division whose work operates at the intersection of investigative reporting and critical communications research. Her experience as an award-winning reporter at two local newspapers informs her work as a scholar, teacher, and mentor.

Dr. Susca’s academic work and research focus on journalism and society, specifically corporate media ownership and democracy, guided by the principles of the political economy of media. Dr. Susca has published articles on these subjects in The New Republic, The Los Angeles Times, and The Chicago Tribune through her work with The Conversation. First Amendment Studies and the ICA journal Communication, Culture & Critique have published her peer-reviewed research. She also has presented work in these subjects at conferences in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Dr. Susca is a frequent guest and expert for radio, TV, and online news outlets around the world, discussing media ownership, journalism and democracy, and journalism ethics for outlets including NBC News Think, WUSA9, Dagbladet (Norway), and ARD, Germany’s public service broadcaster. She has been the sole expert on Wisconsin Public Radio’s 30-minute Central Time program five times in the last three years discussing fake news, social media platform policies on advertising, and news mergers and acquisitions. Dr. Susca has been an assessor with Poynter’s International Fact Check Network since 2017.

She teaches courses in reporting, mass media and society, and journalism ethics. From 2015 to 2020, Dr. Susca served as director of the weekend master's program in Journalism and Digital Storytelling, diversifying the adjunct faculty and leading major curriculum changes. Before starting at American University in 2013, Dr. Susca taught as an adjunct faculty member at Florida A&M University and Florida State University, where she earned a doctorate in mass communications. Students she has taught and supervised have gone on to work at The Washington Post, Politico, CNN, Fox News, The New York Times, USA Today Network, and local newspapers and television outlets around the country.

Before entering academia, Dr. Susca worked as a reporter in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Florida, where the Society of Professional Journalists recognized her investigative reporting on high school graduation rates. Her investigative work in Connecticut and Florida has changed policy, forced resignations, and uncovered local government corruption. Since 2016, Dr. Susca has worked as an associate editor at the Investigative Reporting Workshop, a nonprofit newsroom founded and run by Charles Lewis. In that role, she mentors college students and recent graduates in investigative reporting techniques. In Fall 2019, she was chosen as a Maynard 200 fellowship mentor, guiding a Washington, D.C.-based editor in the use of data-driven storytelling for projects charting Alzheimer’s and Covid-19’s impact on the city’s Black community.

Dr. Susca is a 2002 graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism where she studied the fundamentals of urban reporting, feature writing, and breaking news in the months after the September 11 terrorist attacks, which she covered from Lower Manhattan. Dr. Susca earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2000.


Spring 2020

  • COMM-409 Journalism Ethics

  • CORE-105 Complex Problems Seminar: Fight Club: U.S. War and Peace

Summer 2020

  • COMM-755 Research Design in Comm

Fall 2020

  • COMM-320 Reporting