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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.

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SOC NBC logo

Building on a long time established partnership with our campus neighbors, NBC Washington, SOC has joined forces with the station to produce a local TV series, host network luminaries, and learn the business from insiders. Broadcast journalism students learn the nuts and bolts of operating a major network-affiliated TV station and digital news operation from NBC executives who teach the consortium course at the station and in the newsroom, sales, digital media, promotion, advertising and community relations departments. SOC hosts NBC luminaries –such as Brian Williams, Tom Brokaw, Andrea Mitchell and Chris Mathews—as featured guests on Reel Journalism and JFK commemoration events.

Broadcast production students pitch story ideas to NBC Washington management each spring. The winning selection is produced as weekly series by students and airs for 12 weeks during the semester on, Daily Connection, or DC Nonstop, NBC's digital channel. Series have included "DC Free" on free activities in region, and "Favortones," a series of singing restaurant reviews that garnered 40k hits on YouTube.

NBC Anchor Brian Williams Charms Audience at Reel Journalism



The logo for Ketchum.

An ongoing 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

The Newseum provides a stimulating and enjoyable intern experience that highlights news history with high tech/hands on exhibits. The museum is funded by the Freedom Forum, a non-partisan foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people. Dean's Interns work in the Newseum Broadcast Department assisting with research and video editing. They are trained under the supervision of professionals assisting in the production of video and electronic content for various exhibits and interactive applications.

SOC's ten-year partnership with the Newseum is rooted in the highly successful Reel Journalism series, a film series hosted by the Newseum in their 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, Tom Brokaw, Bob Schieffer, David Gregory, George Stephanopoulos, Cokie Roberts, 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. Thought leaders such as Ted Leonsis, Chuck Lewis, Caty Borum Chatoo and Nick Clooney moderated panels on social activism, public policy and journalism with over 300 representatives of activist organizations and NGO's.

George Clooney Packs House for SOC-Newseum Reel Journalism Event


Gannett Logo

Dean's internships with Gannett Washington bureau have resulted in front page bylines inmany 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.
  • "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

The Washington Post and SOC have leveraged the strength of each institution through the joint hire of John Sullivan, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and ongoing reporting roles for SOC students. Sullivan, an investigative reporter for The Post and an SOC professor and Journalist-in-Residence, teaches his practicum students in the newsroom as they research and write about real-life investigative projects. Over the past few years, 27 paid student fellows and dean's interns have earned more than 400 bylines covering local stories for Post Metro and Having proven their value covering news and features, over half of the students continued reporting for The Post as paid professionals after graduation.

  • The Post awards an annual $30,000 SOC graduate fellowship to a selected Journalism student
  • Each semester SOC Dean's Interns are selected for newsroom assignments to cover stories on education, crime, local politics and community affairs for bylines in print and online.


SOC Smithsonian logo

As part of a university-wide partnership with this landmark institution, the Smithsonian invited SOC to collaborate on projects that would bring more exposure to exhibits and archivists on the web and through video. Film &Media Arts students and University College classes have worked with the National Museum of American History to write, shoot and edit videos that explore inventions and innovations in history, highlight collections on Civil War photography, and help freedom scholars use digital storytelling to document the narratives of civil rights freedom fighters.

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 benefit from SOC's strong alliance with USA TODAY. Know your way around a digital camera? Interested in using social media as a marketing tool? Or, do you like to dig into data for investigative stories? Dean's Internships at USA TODAY may be the perfect fit for you. As a video journalism intern, you might be part of the team that shoots, edits and posts breaking news, trend and feature stories for one of the top news sites in the country. Or, you can help with USA Today's strategic social media efforts. Or be a part of their award-winning investigative team. All options allow SOC's Dean's Interns to play an important role at USA Today while learning from industry professionals. 


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's next-gen technologies are key components of the School of Communication's recent upgrade into the newly restored McKinley Building. With the renovation complete and the products installed, SOC is now even more fully equipped to carry out its mission of preparing students for careers in the communications and digital media industries. Sony selected SOC as a partner because it sees SOC's programs leading the way in converged journalism and location documentary 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.

National Geographic

SOC National Geographic logo

Dean's Interns from Public Communication and Film & Media Arts divisions work with National Geographic teams in Communications, Creative Marketing, and Ad Sales. Students have earned production credits for creating short web videos from footage shot in the field by Nat Geo's scientists and explorers and combined this with their own footage and graphics for distribution on Nat Geo's website and YouTube channel. Others use skills they have learned in SOC marketing and public relations courses to promote Nat Geo programs, books and magazines;craft press releases;or help coordinate activities for National Geographic's 125th Anniversary Celebration.



1776 Logo

AU enjoys a unique partnership between three of its schools and 1776, a startup incubator based in Washington, D.C. Spearheaded by professor Amy Eisman, SOC's Director of MA in Media Entrepreneurship and Interactive Journalism, the cross-campus collaboration provides access to 1776 Campus programming and events as well as discounted memberships to select AU students.

1776 Partnership



SOC NPR logo

On his first day as Dean in July 2012, Jeff Rutenbeck reached out to NPR to establish a partnership and signature Dean's Internship position.

SOC students have since served as production assistants on All Things Considered, Three-Minute Fiction, and Tell Me More helping to turn interviews into lively radio stories by editing audio recordings, writing scripts, selecting music enhancements and recording introductions. NPR requested SOC scholarly expertise to write, conduct, and help design a comprehensive content audit on diversity in news coverage. Faculty analyzed a year's worth of news content to determine the race and gender inclusivity and diversity of sourcing and stories, and present the results to the media organization.


National Gallery of Art

SOC National Gallery of Art Logo

SOC and the National Gallery of Art are partners in a multi-year program to provide cultural and educational programs to the Washington-area community through the art of film. The two institutions jointly host the International Cinema Series, held in SOC's Malsi Doyle and Michael Forman Theater.

The International Cinema Series includes classic and contemporary films and documentaries from Italy, China, the Czech Republic, Greece, Brazil, and other countries. In collaboration with Embassies and cultural programs, screenings include moderated discussion by filmmakers, AU scholars, and content experts. The International Cinema Series program is part of a two-year partnership and venue collaboration until 2016 while the Gallery's East Building is in renovation. 

Full descriptions of film programs



Current, the bi-weekly newspaper and web site for public broadcasters, became a part of American University in Jan. 2011. Editorially independent, Current is the major publication for the public media profession. With more than 5,000 subscribers, Current is read by people involved in public TV and public radio: station employees, independent producers, volunteers, viewers and listeners. SOC Dean's Interns work as researchers and reporters with Current staff to provide thorough and accurate coverage of the industry.




WAMU 88.5 is the leading public radio station for NPR news and information in the greater Washington D.C. area.SOC and WAMU select budding photo/video journalists to shoot still photography and video of breaking and enterprise news to support radio news stories. Dean's Interns often cover independent assignments using their own equipment.


Partnership with AU