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Margot Susca Asst Professor School of Communication

Additional Positions at AU
Associate Editor, Investigative Reporting Workshop
Degrees
Ph.D. Mass Communication, Florida State University
M.S. Journalism, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
B.A. Journalism and Political Science, UMass Amherst

Bio
Margot Susca is the inaugural assistant professor of Journalism, Accountability and Democracy in the School of Communication at American University. Guided by the principles of the Political Economy of Media with methods borrowed from watchdog reporting, Dr. Susca researches corporate media ownership and its impacts on democracy. Her first book, which is an investigation of 20 years of private investment fund influence in the U.S. newspaper industry, is under contract with the University of Illinois Press.

Her professional experiences inform her work as a mentor, scholar, and teacher. Dr. Susca won in 2022 the Outstanding Teaching Award given annually to a full-time faculty member in a tenure line position. She teaches courses in reporting, mass media and society, research design, censorship, and journalism ethics. Dr. Susca mentors master's and doctoral students in both the Journalism and Communication Studies divisions of SOC, and as a Complex Problems fellow she works with undergraduate students from across the University.

Dr. Susca has worked as a reporter in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Florida, where the Society of Professional Journalists recognized her investigative reporting on high school graduation rates and the GED. Prior to joining American University, Dr. Susca taught as an adjunct faculty member at Florida A&M University and Florida State University, where she earned a doctorate in mass communications. She is a 2002 graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism where she studied the fundamentals of urban reporting, feature writing, and breaking news in the months after September 11.

In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Susca has been committed to service both inside and outside the University. She ran the weekend Journalism and Digital Storytelling master's program from 2015 to 2020. Since 2016, Dr. Susca has worked as an associate editor at the Investigative Reporting Workshop, a nonprofit newsroom on campus founded by Charles Lewis. In Fall 2019, she was chosen as a Maynard 200 fellowship mentor in the Storytelling/Investigative Reporting track. As a media and communications expert, Dr. Susca in 2016 took a role as an assessor with the International Fact Check Network, examining methodology, ownership, staffing, and sourcing of fact check sites wishing to become verified signatories. She has served numerous times as an expert on media and journalism for news outlets in the United States and overseas.

Teaching

Spring 2022

  • COMM-409 Journalism Ethics

  • COMM-720 Capstone Seminar in Journalism

Fall 2022

  • COMM-100 Understanding Media

  • COMM-320 Reporting

AU Experts

Area of Expertise

Corporate media ownership including private equity and hedge funds in journalism; media economics; newspapers and democracy; media and society including media effects.

Additional Information

Margot Susca (Ph.D., Florida State University) is an assistant professor in the journalism division whose work operates at the intersection of investigative journalism and critical communications research. Dr. Susca's first book, an investigation of private investment funds in the U.S. newspaper industry, is under contract with the University of Illinois Press.

For the Media

To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

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