SOC Journo Update

Journalism Division congratulates SOC alumna Susan Zirinsky, now new president of CBS News

The Journalism Division is thrilled that one of our alums, Susan Zirinsky officially takes over in March as President of CBS News! In the video tribute to Zirinsky at SOC's 25th Anniversary event, hear her talk about being an SOC student running around metro area garages during the Watergate years, looking for Deep Throat, Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein. (Hear the sound bite at 1:10 in video.) Congratulations to the first female president of CBS.

Watch the video.

IRW partners again with The Washington Post to report on police shootings

Fatal shootings by police are the rare outcomes of the millions of encounters between police officers and the public. Despite the unpredictable events that lead to the shootings, in each of the past four years police nationwide have shot and killed almost the same number of people — nearly 1,000.

Years of controversial police shootings, protests, heightened public awareness, local police reforms and increased officer training have had little effect on the annual total. Everyone agrees — criminal justice researchers, academics and statisticians — that all of the attention has not been enough to move the number.

This article was produced by The Washington Post in partnership with the Investigative Reporting Workshop. John Sullivan is on the Post’s investigative team in addition to being a senior editor at IRW and a faculty member at SOC, where co-author Liz Weber and Orion Donovan-Smith, a contributor, are students in the graduate program.

Read the full article.

The New Playbook for Navigating the Newsroom in the #MeToo era

Join us for a conversation on March 5, led by Gloria Riviera of ABC News and co-founder of Press Forward. Additional panelists include Maya Raghu, Director of Workplace Equality and Senior Counsel at the National Women’s Law Center, and Prof. Sherri Williams.

Keep reading and RSVP for free.

Grad student reports on Liberians in US who may lose protected status

Graduate journalism student Orion Donovan-Smith wrote for IRW in partnership with The Washington Post about the end of an immigration program, forcing Liberians in the U.S. to make a choice: leave their American children or become undocumented.

Read the full article.

Two pubs, one campus, one project

Congratulations to The Eagle and The Blackprint for their first-time collaboration. The two publications came together to report on opportunities and challenges faced by black student-athletes on campus.

Read the piece.

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Journalism Division Director Amy Eisman features work by SOC alumni and current journalism students on a Brag Board outside her office.

Shout Outs

  • Moriah Balingit (SOC, MA '15) recently became head of the AAJA D.C. chapter.
  • Lynh Bui (SOC, MA '13) led The Washington Post's coverage of a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant who prosecutors say was planning a widespread domestic terror attack that included assassinations of progressive politicians and journalists. The Post, with Bui's reporting, was one of the first to publish a comprehensive story of the case last week.
  • Current student Alexis Foster wrote a passionate op-ed about Meek Mill and our broken criminal justice system, as part of Prof. Sherri Williams' Opinion Writing class last semester. The Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News published it in January.
  • Prof. Margot Susca was recently on a Wisconsin Public Radio show called Central Time to discuss Digital First's hostile takeover bid of Gannett and the implications for democracy in small towns covered by those papers. She also appeared on RT America for the same topic.

Covering 2020?

Please let us know if your internship or job is involved with 2020 election coverage. We'll list you in a future newsletter.

Email Jeremiah Patterson at

Upcoming Events

  • The New Playbook for Navigating the Newsroom in the #MeToo era, Tuesday, March 5, 7 p.m. More info.
  • A Conversation with Jerry Mitchell, Wednesday, March 6, 6 p.m. More info.
  • "Before Stonewall" Screening & Discussion, Friday, March 22, 6:30 p.m. More info.
  • "Reporter," a Conversation with Seymour Hersh, Wednesday, March 27, 6:30 p.m. More info.
  • The Investigative Reporting Workshop's 10th Anniversary Celebration, Wednesday, April 18, details TBD

Read, Watch, Listen

SOC Journo Update is a publication of the Journalism Division, from American University's School of Communication. Read more about storytelling in the digital age and see our faculty.
Copyright © 2019 AU School of Communication, Journalism Div, All rights reserved.

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