High School Summer Programs

As part of USC Summer Programs, USC Annenberg extends a tradition of excellence to outstanding high school students through its unique 4-week summer immersion courses. Accepted students will balance academic and campus life as they prepare for college in a global center for culture, media, entertainment and sports — Los Angeles, California.

Storytelling in the Digital Age

The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the biggest news stories of our lifetimes. You will report and write stories that show how it disrupted your life and your community. Individual and team-reported projects will highlight what’s working, what’s not working and bring attention to the unsung heroes of the pandemic. You’ll have the flexibility to produce stories about sports, politics, religion, the arts and culture. You’ll write journal entries in the first person. You’ll profile people who live in your community. You’ll learn storytelling techniques for text, video and audio platforms. You will gain an understanding of the challenges and opportunities for journalists in the digital world. Your critical thinking and analytical skills will expand.

This online class will be conducted via Zoom. If stay-at-home orders are lifted by the start of the summer session, we’ll still focus on the pandemic but with greater flexibility for students to conduct in-person interviews in their communities. Otherwise, no in-person interviews or reporting will be allowed for public health and safety reasons.


  • Enjoy the freedom to produce stories about politics, sports, culture, among other topics.
  • Engage people near and far as the pandemic levels the playing field for journalists reporting remotely
  • Practice what you learn and build your own portfolio focused on one of the biggest stories of our lifetime
  • Publish stories on Instagram, Medium and USC Annenberg's news website
  • Learn reporting and writing skills, interviewing techniques, and new ways of presenting stories.
  • Produce journalism that highlights human triumphs in these challenging times

Topic of Study

  • Interviewing, reporting and writing techniques
  • Basic and advanced photography and video skills
  • How to engage with your audience on social media
  • Changing rules of journalism; Old and new story structures
  • Media law and accountability journalism