Storytelling in the Digital Age

Storytelling in the Digital Age sticker

Credit: 3.0 units of USC credit

Prerequisites: None

Course Materials: A list of student materials required for each course,
as well as purchase options, will be provided by May 1st

Daily Schedule, Monday through Friday

AM Session(s) PM Session(s)
9:00 – 11:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) 3:00 – 4:00 pm Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)

Please note: In addition to assignments and independent work, all courses have a morning and afternoon live class session. For students
joining from overseas, faculty will provide recordings of certain classes that can be watched a-synchronously at a more convenient time.
Participation, attendance and expectations for the course will be provided by your instructor.

Report and write stories about the top issues in your community as we face challenges to American democracy.


American democracy is in crisis, with the upheaval and challenges felt in communities and institutions. From the videotaped police killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day 2020, to a devastating pandemic, to Donald Trump and his congressional allies denouncing the outcome of a fair election won by President Joe Biden, the foundation of our country is shaken.

Our communities' responses to these challenges will provide the context for our month-long journey in journalism this summer. Individual and team-reported projects will highlight what’s working and what's not. You'll have the flexibility to produce stories about sports, schools, politics, religions, the arts, and culture. You’ll report on the work of unsung heroes of our democracy.

You'll write journal entries in the first person. You'll profile people who live in your community. You'll learn storytelling techniques for text, video and audio platforms. You will gain an understanding of the challenges and opportunities for journalists in the digital world. Your critical thinking and analytical skills will expand.

We'll also celebrate one of the key advantages of a Zoom classroom: You'll be reporting from communities around the country—and world—and provide us a window into places we might not otherwise know.

Along the way to mastering the basic tools of journalism, you will gain an understanding of our world and embrace ways of thinking that will stay with you a lifetime.


  • Enjoy the freedom to produce stories about politics, sports, culture, among other topics
  • Explore and embrace the principles of media literacy and discerning truth
  • Engage people near and far as the pandemic levels the playing field for journalists reporting remotely
  • Practice what you learn and build your own portfolio focused on one of the biggest stories of our lifetime
  • Publish stories on Instagram, Medium and USC Annenberg's news website
  • Learn reporting and writing skills, interviewing techniques, and new ways of presenting stories
  • Produce journalism that highlights human triumphs in these challenging times

USC Summer Programs Storytelling in the Digital Age Photo AlbumTake a look at our photo album!

Topic of Study

  • Interviewing, reporting and writing techniques
  • Basic and advanced photography and video skills
  • How to engage with your audience on social media
  • Changing rules of journalism; Old and new story structures
  • Media law and accountability journalism

You will learn more than you would expect and remember it for the rest of your life. You will get inside experiences by your instructor, assistants, and amazing alumni that you could never get from your teachers. You will meet people from around the world and see how passionate they are, just like you.

Angelica H., Kansas (Summer Programs 2020)