Amara Aguilar is an associate professor of journalism at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She teaches journalism for mobile/emerging platforms, social media storytelling for Latinx audiences, visual journalism, engaging diverse communities, public relations strategy, and interactive design, among other courses. At USC, she co-founded Annenberg Media’s award-winning bilingual outlet, Dímelo, focused on serving Latinx audiences.
Aguilar has written for Los Angeles Times, CNN, NiemanLab, and other outlets. She has worked as a designer, visual journalist, reporter, social media engagement producer and consultant. She’s conducted social media, data, and digital journalism training for the Associated Press, ABC News, the National Football League and other organizations. Aguilar earned an Online News Association Challenge Fund grant for Innovation in Education in 2020, was named a TOW Knight Disruptive Educator for innovation in 2018, MediaShift’s top innovative journalism educator in 2018, a Scripps Howard Foundation-AEJMC visiting social media fellow in 2017, and an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2015. Her collaborations at USC include work with ABC7, L.A. TACO, NBC Latino, Snap Inc., Fusion, KPCC, NPR Next Generation Radio, Las Fotos Project, Azteca America, and others. She is also an SPJ trainer on Google News Initiative tools.
At USC she is a regular collaborator and faculty fellow for the Center for Public Diplomacy and has also worked with the Center for Health Journalism. She earned her doctorate at USC’s Rossier school of education in organizational change and leadership, where her research focused on converged newsrooms. She is currently examining the state of Latinas in journalism and writing a book focused on Latinx storytelling.
Awards and honors:
Online News Association Challenge Fund Innovation in Education Winner (2020)
TOW Knight Disruptive Educator for innovation (2018)
MediaShift’s top innovative journalism educator (2017)
Scripps Howard Foundation-AEJMC visiting social media fellow (2017)
Apple Distinguished Educator (2015)
“Journalism schools emphasize listening” (2021, NiemanLab)
“Dear Facebook, more news please?” (2016, CNN)
“Social virtual reality tips for Facebook spaces” (2018, MediaShift)
“‘Headspace Vr’ study at USC Annenberg finds importance of human characters” (2017, MediaShift)
“Journalists, let’s create stories for Alexa” (2017, MediaShift)
“How to tell diverse social media stories with a simple phrase: ‘Dímelo” (2016, MediaShift)
“May the audience be with you: How USC students are learning the ways of social media” (2016, MediaShift)
JOUR 406: Social Media Storytelling for Latinx Audiences
JOUR 490x: Directed Research
JOUR 590: Directed Research
PR 351b: Strategic Public Relations Media and Content
PR 486: Multimedia PR Content: Introduction to Digital Design Tools