Friday, June 19, 2009

American University-The Center for New Journalism

I graduated from American University in Washington, D.C., back in 1985. My degree was in broadcast journalism, but an internship at a local TV station was enough to permanently drive me over to the print side of the business.

At the time, I had my choice of universities with good journalism programs and got into all of them. I chose AU for several reasons: one, it was in D.C., which I felt provided plenty of opportunities for internships and even post-graduation jobs; and two, the program was small enough to have personal interaction with professors but also have the advantages of a larger school.

I go back to AU regularly to guest lecture on my 2 favorite topics: trade/B2B publications as a career option; and preparing yourself for the new world order of digital media.

Which it was with great pride that I read this article on PBS's Media Shift blog on why my alma mater has become "such a hotbed for new forms of journalism." Writer Mark Glaser cited the following factors:

  • Dean Larry Kirkman was an alchemist, a producer who brought people in from across disciplines;
  • The student body is interested in social justice and change; and
  • Washington, DC, is a great place for academics to be part of the political action.
Glaser also includes a series of video interviews with key players that have made American University the center for new journalism.

Although NABJ is headquartered at the University of Maryland-College Park, there is nothing stopping the organization from partnering with American University and other universities on the cutting edge of new media. As Region II director, I pledge to work with the board to make collaboration like this --which only benefits members-- happen more.

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