Communication Speaker Series brings expert practitioners to campus

During the Spring 2020 semester, Marymount students have met and learned from national journalists and communication practitioners who are at the top of their fields.

Washington Post Reporter David Fahrenthold, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, visited MU’s Advanced Reporting class on Feb. 27. He said he sees his role as being a “beacon,” so people can figure out that he is the guy to reach out to with tips about potential stories connected to government waste, inefficiency and more. The class is taught by MU’s first Journalist in Residence, Professor Kathleen Murphy.
Andy Medici, Senior Money Reporter at the Washington Business Journal, spoke to the Contemporary Journalism class on Feb. 24. He explained how reporters can be objective and have a voice in their writing at the same time, and how to use SEC filings to find information about businesses.
Polling expert Evans Witt, a veteran journalist who has worked for the AP and NBC News and now works with the American Association for Public Opinion Research, talked to the Advanced Reporting class on Feb. 13 about evaluating survey methodology. He explained how margin of error, sample size and question phrasing matter.

“Good polls make good journalism, good stories, good narratives, good public policy,” Witt told the class.
On Feb. 10, Huffington Post Senior Editor Matt Fuller told students in the Writing for Digital Media class how to build a Twitter following. His tweeting pro tip: “Make it a joke in some way.”
Senior Investigative Reporter Jason Leopold of BuzzFeed talked to the Advanced Reporting class on Jan. 23 about how to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act. Leopold filed the FOIA request that forced the State Department to release 52,000 pages of Hillary Clinton‘s emails. He has been called “perhaps the most prolific Freedom of Information requester.”
During the Fall 2019 semester, another series of experts came to campus to talk with students, including CNN Congressional Correspondent Phil Mattingly, NBC News4 Today Reporter Molette Green, ABC7/WJLA News Anchor Jonathan Elias and former money and influence correspondent for NPR, Peter Overby.

Additionally, students went on class field trips to Voice of America, C-SPAN and CSIS. Marymount’s academic Department of Communication is home to the B.A. degree in Communication, and offers minors in Communication, Public Relations and Journalism.