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Q&A With Dan Girma
By Whitney Dangerfield

Dan Girma, who graduated from Cultural Reporting and Criticism in 2020, is an assistant producer for NPR's Enterprise Storytelling Unit. Most recently, he helped report, produce, and host the Embedded podcast's series about the challenges of police reform in the city of Yonkers, New York.

Q: Can you briefly tell us how you landed in your current role? 

A: I was able to get an internship at the NPR show Planet Money, just after graduation in January 2021. After working at that position for 4 months, I applied for an Assistant Producer role with the company, which I was able to get that June. I’ve been a producer ever since.

Q: What is the story you’ve worked on that you’re most proud of? 

A: This latest project I did with the podcast Embedded. We published a 5-part series on police reform in the city of Yonkers, NY, and I was able to report, produce, and host my own work on that show.

Q: Are there particular skills that you lean on over and over in your job? 

A: I constantly lean on being generally well informed. I try to consume as much information as I can—not just news but culture, science, really anything. It helps me find associations easier when I’m working on a project. 

Q: What do you wish you knew, or excelled at, when you were first starting out? 

A: I wish I was better at asking for help at the beginning. Everyone supports each other here, and not tapping into that support system not only hurts you but the whole system.

Q: Getting jobs and moving up is often a mixture of hard work, luck, and timing. How do you think you created opportunities for yourself?

A: I tried really hard as an intern to find a way to fill something that I felt was missing on the team. And with some lucky breaks that I had to make the most out of, I was able to prove my value to the people I was working with, which made them want to help me find a permanent position.

Q: What advice do you have for journalism grad students? 
A: Take something different while you’re at the J-school, it is your best chance to branch out and try new things. I took audio on a whim while I was at NYU and it turned out being what I wanted to do.

Listen to Embedded: Changing the Police
  • You have ideas for The Future is Ms. series in Ms. Magazine. The publication is looking for news reports from or about young feminists. 
  • You have ideas for articles about the disconnect between the portrayal of young people in the media and the reality of your lives. 

Workshop your pitch with Whitney Dangerfield, the publications director, and your fellow students. 

When: Thursdays, 3:30pm-4:30pm
Where: 20 Cooper Square, Rm 600

Come ready to read your pitch and to receive and give advice. 

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Info Session With CNBC

Senior VP Dan Colarusso, Early Career Recruiter Cassie Conlan and NYU alum Executive Editor Jay Yarow will share their experience at CNBC and discuss internships and other opportunities.

Thursday, September 22
3:30pm (In-Person)
20 Cooper Square, 7th Floor

Master Class With John Kelly
Magazine & Digital Storytelling invites you to join us in-person for a conversation with Jon Kelly, a former top editor of Vanity Fair. In 2021, Jon launched Puck, covering Wall Street, Washington, Silicon Valley and Hollywood. He will speak about launching a new media company.
Wednesday, September 28
20 Cooper Sq, 7th Fl

Info Session With Dow Jones News Fund

Meet Executive Director Shirley Carswell and learn more about the Dow Jones News Fund's paid summer internships at various media outlets – including Los Angeles Times, NPR, USA Today and 50+ more. 
Thursday, September 29
20 Cooper Sq, 7th Fl

How to Freelance Successfully

The Publications Director invites you to a panel and Q&A about freelancing. How long do you wait after you’ve sent your pitch to follow-up? How many ideas do you have going at once? How do you find the right editor? Get advice from two experts: Alyson Krueger and Elizabeth Flock. 

Alyson, a graduate of Magazine and Digital Storytelling, regularly writes for The New York Times, as well as Fast Company, Elle, The Pennsylvania Gazette, and other publications.

Elizabeth graduated from Literary Reportage. Her features and films have appeared on the PBS NewsHour, in the New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and other publications.

Thursday, September 29
Info Session With Forbes

Meet Forbes Assistant Managing Editor Ali Jackson-Jolley and her team to learn more about internships and career opportunities at Forbes.

Thursday, October 6
20 Cooper Sq, 7th Fl
GlobalBeat Info Session
Come learn about GlobalBeat, NYU Journalism's international field reporting class. Graduate students prepare for the rigors of overseas reporting while working on news pieces for professional outlets. A spring break trip to an overseas location is embedded in the class. The 2023 destination will be Morocco and we will have a strong focus on religion.
Thursday October 13
20 Cooper Sq, 7th Fl
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In Progress
  • BER students are traveling to Scranton, Pennsylvania, for a reporting trip in October. 
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SHERP graduate Bijal Trivedi (SHERP 1998) wins inaugural Sharon Begley Prize for Science Reporting.

NewsDoc alum Shuhao Tse wins Documentary Prize and Special Jury Prize at the Yugo BAFTA Student Awards for his thesis doc film, “Found.”

Prof. Hilke Schellmann is an inaugural AI Accountability fellow at the Pulitzer Center.
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Thanks for reading! 
-Whitney Dangerfield, Publications Director

If you have ideas for the newsletter, let me know!
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