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Journalism: Awards and Achievements Archive

SOC American Observer A City Divided 12-2

Award-Winning Student Work

A City Divided, a special report by the American Observer, won the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award.

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RTDNF logo

Alumnus To Be Honored for September 11 Coverage 

The Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF) will honor Fox News correspondent Rick Leventhal, SOC/BA '86, in recognition of the upcoming 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. Leventhal will be joined by honorees from other outlets "who covered the attacks with essential and intrepid reporting".

Alum Wins Gracie Award for Documentary

The Board of Directors and Trustees of the Alliance for Women in Media (AWM) Foundation awarded FMA alum Richard Paul the esteemed Gracie Award for his audio documentary Rocketgirls and Astronettes in the Outstanding Documentary category. His submission was described as displaying superior quality in writing, production and programming. Read more

SOC Giuliana Rancic

Alumna Reports from the Red Carpet

Giuliana Rancic, MA '97, E! News anchor, managing editor, author and star of a reality television show covered the red carpet at the 83rd annual Academy Awards. She reported live from awards shows for the E! News channel. Read more

SOC Washington City Paper logo

American Observer receives "Best of" in Washington City Paper

The Washington City Paper listed the American Observer blizzard edition as the staff pick for "best snow day of 2010" in their "Best of DC" picks for 2010. Read more

Alumna Publishes Article for Huffington Post on Journalism Reinvention

Graduating from American University in '73 with a MA in Communication, Janet Janjigian has gone from producing for NBC News, to Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications at MGM Studios to her own consulting business. Recently, in an article in the Huffington Post, Janjigian wrote about the ever-changing medium of journalism and how journalists are reinventing themselves in order to accommodate these changes. Read more

Alumni to Make Jump From "Good Morning America" to "World News"

Polson Kanneth graduated in 2005 with a BA in Journalism. Kanneth later went on to work for ABC's "Good Morning America" in DC, and now, he's making the move from "GMA" to "World News" in New York City. Recently, a party was thrown to send Kanneth off where ABC's Rick Klein and Amy Walter were spotted, in addition to other news network notables. Read more

SOC Alum Presents Research on Hair Braiding

PC alumna Arliene T. Penn presented her research at the 95th Annual Association of African American Life and History (ASALH) in October in Raleigh, N.C. Penn’s research focuses on the connection between West Africans and African Americans through hair braiding and how the art form intersects commerce and culture. She conducted her research in Columbia Heights, D.C. and Harlem, N.Y. in 2009 for an assignment in one of her AU Print Journalism classes. Penn also presented her work at the Annual Virginia Social Science Association Conference that was held at Virginia State University in March this past year.
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SOC graduate Shaheryar Mirza covering news in Pakistan for Express 24/7.

Student's Coverage in Pakistan Shows Up In New York Times blog

Shaheryar Mirza, a former SOC student, works in Pakistan for Express 24/7, a nation-wide, 24-hour, English-language television news outlet. Recently, Mirza did a piece on the Pakistani reaction to the murder of a Pakistani politician in London, which later on, appeared on The New York Times blog, The Lede. Professor Bill Gentile, a former professor of Mirza’s corresponded with Mirza to ask him a series of questions about his work in Pakistan. Read The Lede and Gentile’s interview on the Foreign Correspondence Network.

Alumna Leaves USA Today to Join Ranks of National Journal

In 2008, Kathy Kiely graduated from American University with a Master’s degree in Interactive Journalism, and now, after over ten years of being with USA Today, Kiely has decided to join National Journal as their new Managing Editor for Politics. Read more

Investigative Reporting Workshop American University School of Communication logo

Columbia Journalism Review Profiles SOC Academic Centers

Columbia Journalism Review about nonprofit investigative news startups and whether or not they can sustain themselves, Professor Chuck Lewis, the Investigative Reporting Workshop and the J-Lab at American University are all mentioned.  Read more

Backpack Journalism Theatre

News Photographer Magazine Features American University’s Backpack Journalism Project

In an article published in News Photographer Magazine, the author writes about the future of backpack journalism, focusing on American University's Backpack Journalism Project and Tom Kennedy's "White Paper", mentioning Professor Bill Gentile, a pioneer of the project.  Read more

SOC Tara Palmeri

Alumna Moves to Page 6

Alumna Tara Palmeri, BA '08, recently began working as a columnist for the New York Post’s splashy Page 6, leaving her previous job with the Washington Examiner’s gossip column, Yeas and Nays. Read more

SOC alum '89 Jim Brady

Alum Launches New Form of Local Journalism

Jim Brady, BA '89, launched, a new model for online journalism, in August. Brady is the editor of the new site that merges the coverage of more than 120 local bloggers with original reporting to provide ultra-local coverage of the Washington D.C. area.  The project had already been generating buzz before its release from Nieman Journalism Lab and Poynter. Read more

Jan Schaffer is the Director of J-Lab, the Institute for Interactive Journalism at the American University School of Communication
Schaffer Awarded 2010 Manship Prize

Jan Schaffer, executive director of J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism at SOC, has been selected for the 2010 Manship Prize. The prize, sponsored by the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication and the school's Board of Visitors, is awarded to professionals ­ journalists or others ­ whose innovative work in or through media has advanced citizens' better understanding of and response to challenges in the public arena. Schaffer will accept the $1,000 stipend at a public event at LSU in the fall.

Photo of Truman Scholar Kelsey Stefanik-Sidener

Student Named 2010 Harry S. Truman Scholar

Kelsey Stefanik-Sidener, a junior political science major with a minor in communication, has been named a 2010 Harry S. Truman Scholar. The Truman Scholarship provides up to $30,000 toward a graduate education leading to a career in public service. Kelsey is one of 60 Truman Scholars selected from a nationwide pool of 576 candidates. Kelsey intends to pursue graduate training in law and public health in preparation for a career in health law, communications, and advocacy. Read more

Angie Chuang
Prof Awarded One-Month Residency in Prestigious Program

Professor Angie Chuang has been awarded a one-month residency by Jentel Artist Residency in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming for summer 2010.  Chuang was chosen for the the selective program on the strength of a literary-journalism book manuscript centered on her 2004 reporting trip to Afghanistan.  Read more

Professor Bill Gentile talks about backpack journalism.
Professor Interviewed for Pulitzer Center's Project: Report

Recently, YouTube has teamed up with the Pulitzer Center to sponsor a series of videos, made possible by Sony and Intel, called Project: Report, which provides tips for those interested in journalism. For the first installment of the series, SOC's Professor William Gentile gave an interview where he discussed backpack journalism and what people who take part in it should bring to the field. Professor Gentile will be holding a Backpack Journalism workshop from Thursday, March 11 to Sunday, March 14, 2010 at the NBC News bureau in Washington, D.C. For details, contact Bill Gentile

Investigative Reporting Workshop American University School of Communication logo
Investigative Reporting Workshop Nets Web Award

SOC's Investigative Reporting Workshop won the Creative Use of Online award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers for its project Banktracker. The annual awards recognize the top publications, web sites and news reporting of that year. Wendell Cochran, SOC professor and IRW senior editor will be accepting the award.

Photo taken courtesy of the American Observer.

Graduate Student Magazine Takes Prize

The American Observer project took second place regionally for Online Feature Reporting at Society for Professional Journalists awards for the piece "Neon Lights and Jumbo Slice: The District after Dark" written by Arrien Davison. Read article

Jill Olmsted, professor of broadcast journalism

Olmsted Judges Bliss Award Competition

Jill Olmsted, School of Communication journalism division director and professor was one of the judges for this year's 2010 Edward L. Bliss Award for Distinguished Broadcast Journalism Education, which went to Dr. Phillip Jeter of Winston-Salem State University. Bliss, a long-time writer, producer and editor for CBS News, was known for his work with Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite and ended his career as an educator at American University which now houses the plaques bearing the award winners’ names. The award is given annually by the Radio-Television Journalism division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Detail from the cover of Getting It Wrong.

Prof's New Book Praised on

The praised communication professor W. Joseph Campbell’s book about media myths, Getting It Wrong. "Campbell's literate take on the media and their gazing at themselves in the mirror is an exquisitely researched and lively look at an industry that too often shines the light on itself more than it does on events and public figures,” wrote the reviewer. Read more

Alum Joins Politico as New Technology Reporter

Alum Tony Romm joined Politico as their new technology reporter, after working for The Hill. Follow Romm on Twitter

Merriman Award winner Philippa Levenberg
2010 Merriman Award Winner Selected

MA Broadcast major Philippa Levenberg was selected as the winner for the 2010 Merriman Award, which brings a $1,000 prize from the Writers Guild, East and a trip to NYC for the 62nd Annual Writers Guild Awards at the Hudson Theatre on Feb. 20th. Journalism Division Director Jill Olmsted said "Philippa exemplifies a committment to excellence in writing and journalism values and I expect she will have a long and inspired career." Philippa serves as a graduate assistant to Professor Chuck Lewis in the Investigative Reporting Workshop. She is also presently interning at Voice of America in the Afghan Service. This award is given annually by the Writers Guild of America, East to anSOC graduate student. Read more