Spring 2013

AU SOC Interactive Journalist Cohort 14

Cohort 14: The Final Day of the American Observer
Back row, from left: Johnette Reed, Trish Cole, Lauren Williams, Idit Knaan, Shiva Sharif, Nima Tamaddon, Maria Young, Jody Brannon (instructor).
Seated: Amy Eisman (director of the IJ program), Pat Anastasi, Chris Holt, Laura D’Alessadro, Ben Penserga, Seth Liss, TJ Giocoda.
For most, this is their last day of grad school, May 3, 2013, on the AU Quad. Cohort member not pictured: Ellen Shearer.

Most of the students from the American University interactive journalism master’s cohort of 2013 enrolled in the capstone production class, their work refreshing American Observer, a website that has featured student work in print or online since 1995.

Between March and May, 13 students from AU’s School of Communication IJ Cohort 14 updated the Observer website, implementing a responsive design. They also engaged in advanced criticism in researching media trends and examples of digital storytelling, refined social media skills and, most significantly, reported and refined two major projects that are featured here.

Their two stories included a look at a migrant community in the greater Washington area, followed by a story of their choice having to do with media or digital enhancements to their story from their narrative journalism course taught by Assistant Professor Angie Chuang.

This work, in most cases, culminates their graduate education at American University, a 20-month journey of Saturday courses  in which they developed their multimedia skills, refined their knowledge of journalism in its many forms and focused on skills and approaches that will ensure a bright post-gradate future.  For most students, it is their final class before commencement on May 11, 2013.

In addition to their reporting, each student had an assigned role in the newsroom:

The instructor was Adjunct Associate Professor Jody Brannon, Ph.D.