‘Impact’: 20 years of documentary storytelling

Impact is a long-form documentary program that launched at USC Annenberg in 2001. The 20-year-old series has given undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to produce in-depth stories as part of the journalism curriculum.
Dan Birman, professor of professional practice and Megan Chao, an adjunct instructor at Annenberg, run the program along with a team of practitioners and students. Students in documentary classes learn to research stories, shoot original content, write scripts and edit their stories into compelling narratives. Then the student-led Impact team packages the stories for broadcast.

Impact is a regular feature on uscannenbergmedia.com. In 2018, the series was picked-up by Spectrum News 1, L.A.’s 24-hour news channel. The channel provides a regular time slot on Sundays, giving student documentaries an even greater reach.