Archives for category: The Eagle

The former president of American University’s Student Government, Sarah McBride, was recently profiled in Metro Weekly. In the feature by Justin Snow, Sarah talks about her experience with myself and the rest of The Eagle staff immediately after her coming out.

“Sarah McBride: The Next Generation Awards 2014”

After telling other family and friends, including Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, over a fourth-month period, McBride was contemplating how to come out to the broader American University community. Not wanting the second half of her term as president to be overshadowed by her transitioning, she waited until it was nearly finished. She decided on a Facebook note, and within an hour the editor of the student newspaper [Zach Cohen] walked into her office.

He wanted to know two things. Should the paper be using her new name, Sarah, and female pronouns? “Absolutely.” And would she consider condensing her Facebook post as an op/ed for the next day’s issue?

“I remember walking into the student newspaper office after I’d posted this online, so word had already gotten out. I remember everyone just sort of staring at me. No one knew what to do as I walked back into the editor’s office to condense my Facebook post. But when I came out of there everyone had big smiles on their faces and people gave me hugs,” she recalls. “It really was nothing but love and support.”

In a time that has seen high-profile journalists like Katie Couric and Piers Morgan face criticism for how they’ve conducted interviews with transgender celebrities, McBride says the students at The Eagle acted exactly “how we want the media to be when covering trans issues.”

I’m thrilled to announce that two journalism projects I worked on in the past year have been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists!

The story Heather Mongilio and I wrote after the disappearance of The Eagle‘s last print edition (that featured a cover story on an investigation of TKE hazing) is a finalist for a Mark of Excellence Award for breaking news coverage.

Additionally, “Half the Battle,” a journalism project on millennial veterans by American University School of Communication with cooperation from WAMU, is also a Mark of Excellence Award finalist for online feature reporting!

I’m so thankful to work with such great journalists. We’ll know at the end of the month how each placed in the region and if they’ll be sent on to the national competition.

In the meantime, I’m buying my ticket to the regional conference in D.C. post haste.

I try not to ask much from you, but this is a time where I feel I must.

I got my start in journalism at The Eagle, American University’s student newspaper since 1925. I took every assignment I could get my hands on and eventually from there became a Student Government beat reporter. They liked me enough to give me a section editing position and finally editor-in-chief. The Eagle taught me everything I needed to know in order to be a journalist in Washington, D.C.

Journalism can be a force for good at American University, and The Eagle has worked to that promise. In my four years there, the journalists at The Eagle have uncovered: the history of WWI-era chemical munitions buried in the grounds of AU’s land, the then-unannounced-but-already-decided smoking and tobacco ban, an investigation of fraternity hazing, lobbying efforts by the university on Capitol Hill, how local laws affect students, lawsuits and so, so much more.

At the same time, the staff dutifully dropped papers and homework to cover breaking news, which has included everything from gunmen to rallies. The Eagle has been on the forefront of sports and A&E coverage on campus and gives young journalists the opportunity to cover the events in Washington alongside professional journalists.

It has won more awards from the Society of Professional Journalists than I can remember, and Eagle staffers every year win scholarships through outside journalism organizations. They serve in internships at national and local news organizations and graduate to become major newsmakers and storytellers. Alumni of The Eagle currently work at The Washington Post, USA Today,  NBC, Turner, the White House and more.

The Eagle has tirelessly worked for the American University community. Now it needs your help.

The Eagle’s financial stability, like that of countless other newspapers across the country, is in question. Declining advertising revenue forced The Eagle to lose its weekly print edition last year. The staff has adopted a digital-first approach and is making money with a redesigned website in cooperation with the Student Media Board. The burdens this placed on the staff should have been greater and was only lessened by their untiring dedication to journalism on campus and the generous support of alumni.

But there’s work to be done. To ensure The Eagle has the funds every year to innovate and provide the journalism AU needs, and the training its staff needs to compete in the global workforce, it needs more than just advertising revenue and allocations from AU.

Enter The Eagle Innovation Fund. If we raise $10,000 by April 25, the university will set up a permanent endowment, the interest from which will fund The Eagle in the years to come, allowing its journalists to focus on the business of journalism rather than on the business of making money. 

If you care about journalism on campus and across the country, here is one place where your donation, as big or as small as it needs to be, will make a difference. Help The Eagle do what it has proven it can do: Shine a light on AU and train journalists to report on the world. 

If you’ve ever read, commented on or shared a story from The Eagle…or picked up print edition…

If you know somebody who works in journalism and know how hard they work…

If you know somebody who lost their job in journalism despite all the work they did..

If you’ve ever covered breaking news…

If you’ve ever spent a night on deadline…

You know what it takes to make journalism happen. Help us continue to do it. Donate today.

The Eagle 3.4.14

Members of Greek life organizations are finding it more difficult to enter and decorate new members’ rooms during Big/Little Week in accordance with new regulations.

Student Activities created the regulations to coincide with Housing and Dining rules in the Student Conduct Code to reduce trespassing, said Curtis Burrill, the University Center’s assistant director for fraternity and sorority life.

Read the rest of the story at The Eagle, which includes interviews with student leaders in Greek life on the changes to a longstanding AU tradition.

I returned to The Eagle newsroom for last week to for some marathon copy editing in the first print edition of the semester. Following some print delays, it was released today.

If you’re on campus, pick up a copy today for stories on evolutions in the WONK campaign, an off-campus housing guide and a great profile of men’s basketball’s “Pee Wee.”


The Peace Corps named AU the third largest volunteer-producing, middle-sized university in the country Feb. 11. AU lost its No. 2 slot to the University of Virginia by a single student.

AU has fluctuated between second and third place since 2009 with the exception of 2011, when it was in fourth place.

Read the rest of the story at The Eagle.

The Eagle 1.13.14 McKinley Building opensStarting off the new year in journalism by creating a photo gallery for The Eagle on the opening of American University’s School of Communication’s new home in the McKinley Building. Though up and running, there are still plenty of areas under construction.

Picked up a girlfriend in Chicago, and we still get along almost a year later.

Finished my tenure as editor-in-chief of The Eagle, one of the best weekly student newspapers in the country.

Interned for a phenomenal five months at PBS MediaShift.

Lived for four and a half months in Costa Rica, the most verdant country I have ever had the pleasure to call home.

Traveled in Israel, which I have always called home.

Secured my last internship of my academic career at The Washington Post, a newspaper I have revered since moving to DC three and a half years ago.

Through good times and bad, I could count on friends and family to be there for me.

I’ve made some enemies, I’ve made more friends.

I’ve had some sucesses, I’ve made more mistakes.

I cried, but I more often I laughed.

There have been good days and bad.

I don’t regret a second.

Come at me, 2014. I’m ready for you.

The Eagle, nationally recognized

Photo by Eagle Editor-in-Chief Paige Jones.

Sometimes, for all the literal blood, sweat and tears, I wondered if it was worth it.

The answer was always “yes.”

Award or no, my experience working at The Eagle, including more than a year as editor-in-chief, has been the defining moment of my education, even though I wasn’t even a J-school major.

I could not be more proud of our team of reporters, editors, photographers, designers, business staff, you name it. It belongs to each and every one of them.

The Eagle, American University’s student newspaper, has an agreement to syndicate quality content through UWire to other college newspapers.

A pleasant surprise: Three of my articles written for the newspaper were picked up for UWire for syndication.

Zach Cohen's syndicated story via UWire headlined "Huntsman: I lost because I didn't pander," originally published by The Eagle

Huntsman: I lost because I didn’t pander

Former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman has come a long way from getting his “ticket to ride” by finishing third in the New Hampshire primaries.

“Put whatever I’m going to tell you tonight in proper perspective, because I’m just a loser,” Huntsman told students and alumni at American U. on April 18.

Zach Cohen's syndicated story via UWire headlined "D.C. students react to East Coast earthquake," originally published by The Eagle

Students rally against student debt at Sallie Mae headquarters

American U. students joined their peers from other D.C. universities to protest high student loan debt on Oct. 28.

Protestors, including about a dozen AU students, marched in the streets from an Occupy D.C. camp in McPherson Square to the D.C. headquarters of Sallie Mae, a company that provides student loans.

On the way, the group of students and some teachers blocked the streets, making it impossible for traffic to pass.

Shouts of “Hey hey, ho ho, student debt has got to go,” and “When education’s under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back,” filled the air during the mile-long walk.

Zach Cohen's syndicated story via UWire headlined "Students rally againsdt student debt at Sallie Mae headquarters," originally published by The Eagle

D.C. students react to East Coast earthquake

American U. evacuated all on- and off-campus buildings for a short period of time following a 5.9 magnitude that rocked the eastern United States Tuesday.

No one on campus was injured in the earthquake and there was no apparent damage to any AU buildings, according to emails from the University.

The earthquake, centered in Mineral, Va., started around 1:51 p.m. and lasted less than a minute.

Do you know where these stories eventually appeared? Because I don’t. UWire asks its clients, of which The Eagle is one, to publish the story in print, not online, to retain the value of the original publisher’s post.

If you saw these stories in print anywhere other than The Eagle, please let me know and comment on this post.