Daniel Birman
Professor of Professional Practice


Specialized Journalism
Specialized Journalism (The Arts)




ANN 205A

Office Hours

By appointment

More Dan


Broadcast Journalism
Longform Journalism
Practice of Journalism
Science Journalism

Daniel H. Birman is an award-winning documentary producer based in Los Angeles.  He is currently producing Sentencing Children, a seven-part investigative series about juvenile sentencing reform in Tennessee.  The multimedia project is a joint, journalistic collaboration with PBS - Independent Lens and The Tennessean.  He is also in production on Hunting Dark Matter for CuriosityStream, a documentary about new technological advancements that might help scientists solve a decades-long mystery about our universe.

Among his notable projects: Curious Minds: Conscious Capitalism, a documentary for CuriosityStream, features visionary leaders like Raj Sisodia, John Mackey and David Steiner and their new movement in business economics.  Perfecting Flight: Bob Hoover is an independent documentary about a legendary aviator from WWII.  Birman was a contributing producer on The Big Bang Machine for NOVA on PBS.  The special was about one of the great scientific discoveries of modern times, the Higgs Boson particle, which explains how the universe was formed. Chasing Speed: Leslie Porterfield for Velocity follows the world’s fastest woman on a motorcycle in her quest for more world records.  Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story is an internationally acclaimed feature documentary about a young woman sentenced to life in prison as juvenile.  Birman spent six years producing the film, which has gained millions of followers worldwide.  The film aired on PBS - Independent Lens, was shown as part of the ITVS Community Cinema Program, and has been incorporated into school curricula.  Birman wrote, produced, and directed the documentary, Brace for Impact: The Chesley B. Sullenberger Story for TLC and Discovery Channel, about the successful landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River. Naked Science: Death of the Universe, a special for Nat Geo, explores new theories about how the universe will end.  Europa: Mystery of the Ice Moon, for Science Channel, looks at a moon of Jupiter that just might support life, and Medical Maverick, a limited series for Discovery Health, goes into the ER with a world-class trauma surgeon. Alternatives: Uncovered takes an in-depth look at alternative medicine, and was a series for Discovery Health.  Birman also produced medical television with some of the nation’s leading research physicians during a six-year association with Lifetime Medical Television.

His production company, Birman Productions, Inc., is in active development and production on a number of series and specials.  They recently secured the rights to a seven-volume bestselling nonfiction book series called The Hinges of History by acclaimed author Thomas Cahill.

Birman currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Television Academy representing the documentary peer group.  

Birman is the faculty advisor and executive producer for IMPACT, USC Annenberg's award-winning television newsmagazine show.


Colloquia and Guest Lectures

Birman is frequently invited to academic institutions around the nation to give guest lectures about his work.  He participated in dozens of panel discussions about juvenile justice issues in America for Me Facing Life: Cyntoia's Story.  He produced a panel at the Television Academy called, “What is Nonfiction?”, featuring executives leading the charge in television.  He presented his Europa documentary to an international space research organization, and for NASA scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).  He presented at a national writer’s conference and led a panel on journalistic malpractice in reporting healthcare.  He led panels for Realscreen Summit in Washington, D.C. and Television Academy nonfiction panels for educators and students entering television.  He has also been invited to judge documentaries on various industry committees, among which include the International Documentary Association and the Shanghai Television Festival, China’s premiere television awards competition.


Course Titles

JOUR 405: Non-Fiction Television
JOUR 521: Documentary Pre-Production
JOUR 522: Video Documentary Production
IMPACT: USC Annenberg's television newsmagazine show