Samanta Helou

Where are you from and what were you doing before enrolling in the Arts Journalism program? 

I’m originally from Mexico City but grew up in San Diego. Prior to enrolling in the Arts Journalism program, I was working at LA Weekly in their advertising department, and doing freelance writing and photography on the side.

How did you learn of the program, and why did you choose Annenberg?

I majored in Communication as an undergrad at USC, so I was already familiar with Annenberg, the incredible facilities, and most of the faculty. A friend of mine, who works as a full-time journalist, suggested the graduate program to me and it seemed like the perfect fit to prepare me for the kind of career path I wanted to take.

What do you enjoy most about the program? 

I enjoy the freedom I have to produce unique stories about art, food, music, and culture, while also having the guidance of faculty members who currently work in the fields I seek to be a part of.

What is your area of emphasis, and how do you intend to apply this to your professional career? 

My emphasis is on food and culture, and how these two are interrelated; allowing us to gain a better understanding of the world around us. I intend to continue producing multimedia stories surrounding these subjects as a way to build bridges and bring light to social justice issues.

What excites you most about the direction of the journalism profession? 

The most exciting and challenging aspect of being a journalist right now is creating new ways to tell stories. Whether it be through social media videos, snapchat, chatbots, or interactive elements, journalists are expected to engage on various platforms and adapt our stories to those platforms.