Marcia Rock – A message from the Director of News & Documentary

MARCIA ROCK, producer/director/writer, is an author and three-time Emmy award winning independent documentary producer. Her work covers international dilemmas, women’s issues as well as personal perspectives. She recently completed three films on veterans,Warriors Return about the struggle with Post Traumatic Stress by Navajo veterans and SERVICE: When Women Come Marching Home, a documentary on the issues women vets face from ​the challenges of physical injuries to women fighting the hidden disabilities of PTSD and the insidious contributor to that, military sexual trauma. She recently produced a short, “Soldiers Period,” as a response to negative comments on women joining elite combat troops because of PMS.  In 2008 she produced “Salt Harvesters of Ghana,” that captures the beauty and dignity of women working in moon-like landscape, caught in an unrelenting cycle of work. In 2008 she also produced Writers’ Rooms: The Making of a Mural. It gives the background of Elena Climent’s mural hanging in the NYU building, 19 University Place.

Before this, Rock worked with the personal documentary form with her experience framing “Surrender Tango,” on how partnering in tango relates to life, 2006. It was highlighted at the New York Tango Festival and the Milan Documentary Festival. In 2002 she produced “Dancing with My Father,” a story about how adult love is often shaped by what a child learns at home. She combines self-analysis and dynastic saga as she traces her family demons from a tiny Jewish community in Slovakia, to the immigrant neighborhoods of Cleveland, Ohio during the early 20th Century. In the process she finally learns to dance with her father and not around him. It was included in the Schenectady Jewish Film Festival, Dallas Video Festival, The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Northampton Film Festival, Big Bear Lake International Film Festival, The Cleveland International Film Festival, and was featured at the American Psychological Association and the Family Therapeutic Networker Conference.

Her documentary on the women of Northern Ireland, Daughters of the Troubles: Belfast Stories won the American Women in Radio and Television Grand Award and Documentary Award; The Association of Women Journalists, Vivian Castleberry Award for Television; the Chris Award, 1st Place in the Columbus International Film & Video Festival; the Bronze Medal from Worldfest Houston; and the Silver Apple from the National Educational Media Network. It was chosen for the Cork Film Festival, the Women in Film Festival Dublin and the Southern Circuit Lecture Tour of four southern states. It aired in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Spain, Canada and on PBS stations in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Detroit, Milwaukee and Denver.

In 1998 she produced, “Back from Beyond: Women Abuse and Drugs,” profiling a new approach to drug treatment, specifically geared to women addicts convicted of non-violent felonies. It received an honorable mention from the Chris Awards (1999). In 1994 she produced City Originals: Women Making It Work hosted by Donna Hanover. This program profiles the contributions of three women to the quality of life of New York City. It received the Bronze Plaque from the Chris Awards in the social issues category (1994) and honorable mention in profiles, markets 1-25 from American Women in Radio and Television Commendation Awards (1995).

Rock has produced three major documentaries on Ireland and Irish Americans: McSorley’s New York, a documentary essay that chronicles the history of New York’s Irish immigrant community and the role McSorley’s Ale House has played in the cultural and political life of the City. It won a New York Emmy in 1987. Sons of Derry (1992) profiles two men in Northern Ireland working to overcome the bitterness of the past. It won the Bronze Medal from the New York International Program Festival (1993). No Irish Need Apply (1993) is and historical tour with writer Peter Quinn of 1860s New York based on the scenes set in his novel, Banished Children of Eve.

In 1991, she received a New York Emmy nomination for Village Writers: The Bohemian Legacy, (1990) a documentary on the literary history of Greenwich Village. Rock produced the profile of North Carolina writer Reynolds Price in Reynolds Price: A Writer’s Inheritance (1989) exploring the powerful relationship between family history and art. It won the Red Ribbon award from the American Film and Video Festival (1992). In 1988 she produced a documentary on the media coverage of the Intifada in Israel in, Israel Through the News. In 1999 she was executive producer of “Turning Inward: Ethnic Tensions in Russia.”

She won her first Emmy for The Singing Angels in China, a chronicle of a Cleveland youth choir’s trip to China in 1983.

In 1988 she and Marlene Sanders co-authored Waiting for Prime Time: The Women of Television News.

Jason Samuels – Professor for TV Reporting II and Advanced Multimedia Reporting

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In 1958 the great journalist Edward R. Murrow delivered a speech on the state of news media. Speaking about television news he said: ”This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box.”

I have spent 20 years working as a news producer, senior producer and executive producer, attempting to make sure these “lights in a box” do more than simply entertain – but engage and inform.

At NBC News I worked on primetime documentary projects that explored topics such as residential segregation, welfare reform, and homeless veterans. In 2004, I produced A Pattern of Suspicion, a documentary about racial profiling that won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, an RTNDA-Edward R. Murrow Award, and an Investigative Reporter and Editor Award.

I spent three years as a documentary producer at CNN where I developed and produced the documentaries: Obama Revealed,Silicon Valley: The New Promise Land and Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door. “Obama Revealed“ was a 90-minute portrait of the Obama presidency that aired shortly before the 2012 election. This project included an exclusive interview with President Obama and many senior members of his inner circle, including Hillary Clinton. “The New Promise Land” was a provocative  look at the startling lack of diversity in Silicon Valley, and “Unwelcome” explored Islamophobia through the experience of a small Muslim community in middle Tennessee. (Both “The New Promise Land” and “Unwelcomed” featured CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien. )

In addition to NBC and CNN, I worked as a senior producer at ESPN, where I produced stories for the innovative, Emmy Award-winning sports newsmagazine E:60. I also led an award-winning documentary series at BET called “Heart of the City” that featured hour-long documentaries on failing public schools in Detroit, childhood obesity in the South, and post Katrina recovery in New Orleans.

I also have spent some time in the digital realm. At ABC News digital, I led production of the World News Webcast with Charles Gibson, the first, live, daily network newscast produced exclusively for the web. Our ‘digital first’ program featured a diversity of stories and storytelling approaches. (While at ABC News I also enjoyed a brief tour-of-duty as the executive producer of the ABC World News Saturday and ABC World News Sunday evening news broadcasts.)

Currently I produce stories for the highly acclaimed, Peabody award-winning HBO newsmagazine Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

If anything, I would hope I bring to the classroom a passion for important underreported stories, a diversity of real-world production experience, and a deep appreciation of the challenge of producing compelling video journalism, in all its forms.

I teach TV II, the second semester course in the News and Documentary program. In TVII students are pushed to produce compelling, high quality video journalism of various lengths – while working solo and in teams. The emphasis is on solidifying production and storytelling skills. Inspiration comes from new and old media.  We work hard together, push and support each other – and have fun. Join us.

Cora Daniels – Professor for Written Reporting  

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I came to News Doc with a background in words: magazines and books. To some that may seem like an odd fit for the program but for News Doc it makes perfect sense because the program is constantly looking at the world differently, with creativity, and innovation. Because of that my favorite class to teach at NYU is my WRR News Doc class. There is an energy and excitement in News Doc that is unmatched. Every year when I meet my new class I feel that when it comes to telling stories anything is possible

I’ve been a staff writer at Fortune magazine for almost a decade. I currently am a contributing writer at Fast Company and at Essence, where I writes for both magazines regularly. My work has also appeared in the New York Times MagazineO: The Oprah MagazineUSA TodayMen’s FitnessHeart & Soul, and Savoy among others. I am the author of Impolite Conversations (Simon & Schuster, 2014), Black Power Inc. (John Wiley and Sons, 2004) and GHETTONATION (Doubleday, 2007). I have commented on diversity and business issues on ABC News, CNN, CNBC, BET, NPR, Fox News, and the Charlie Rose Show. I began her career as a newspaper journalist and has also been an editor at Working Mother magazine. I have a BA from Yale University and an MS from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. I am a native New Yorker and live in Brooklyn with my husband and two young children.

In my class, WRR I: NEWS & DOCUMENTARY, you learn to become a journalist. The semester will give you a solid foundation in reporting, develop your news judgment, and help you recognize a story and what medium to tell that story. Our class will simulate a newsroom and New York City will be your reporting lab. You will cover a beat and be sent into the city hunting for stories from day one and write weekly news stories for the News Doc multi-media news site. By the end of the semester you will be comfortable writing for the web and developed the reporting skills that you will be expected to use in every News & Doc class and throughout your career.

Jane Stone – Professor for Press Ethics

janephotoarmscrossed - CopyI have worked over the past 17 years investigating everything from corporate negligence at Fortune 500 companies to bogus retirement homes to the trafficking in endangered species by the country’s prestigious zoos.

I have investigated hazardous abortion clinics, explored Pat Robertson’s religious and political philosophy, and profiled a dangerously overcrowded public hospital. My investigations have changed laws, shut down shoddy companies and increased workplace safety standards. They have also helped shed light on important public policy issues.

I won three national Emmys including one for Outstanding Investigative Journalism, as well as three regional Emmys, an Ohio State Award, a DuPont-Columbia Award, a Peabody, and the Joan Shorenstein Barone Award for Excellence in National Affairs Reporting.

I was also a producer for 60 Minutes, West 57th, PBS Frontline, Dateline NBC and the CNN Special Assignment Unit. I helped start Court-TV, and in the last few years has developed a strong interest in legal journalism. Recently, I was awarded the American Bar Association Gavel Award for educating the public about important legal issues. I still continue to produce stories for Dateline NBC.


Jason Maloney – Professor for Global Beat


I am a news and documentary producer, videographer and editor and a passionate evangelist for international news coverage. I’ve reported from 30 countries for ABC, CBC, CBS, CNN, Discovery, HDNet, Huffington Post, PBS, The New York Times and Time.com.

My work has been honored with the biggest awards in the business including the Emmy, RFK, duPont, Headliner and OPC. My most memorable assignments were an investigation for ABC News into the former Soviet Union’s biological weapons program, and a two­-part series for CBS 60 Minutes on the crisis in Darfur.

While teaching at NYU, I am still actively producing pieces for PBS NewsHour on international affairs issues. My most recent assignment was to cover the Indonesian elections and report on Sharia law in that country’s northernmost province, Aceh.

My classes include multimedia production, television reporting and international crisis reporting ­­ so I get to teach exactly what I do! And therefore, most importantly, I also run GlobalBeat, a class and program that takes graduate students on overseas assignments, to jointly report video news pieces for PBS. And I’m always eager to help NewsDoc students with advice and practical planning on their own overseas reporting projects.

Joe Peyronnin – Professor for Digital Newsroom


I have been an adjunct journalism professor at New York University since 2008.  I’m also a full-time associate journalism professor at Hofstra University. I serve as a senior advisor and investor to several new media companies, and is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.

In 1999, I founded TelemundoNetwork News and served as its executive vice president until 2006.  There I created and launched several Spanish language news programs, including Sin Fronteras, Noticiero Telemundo Fin De Semana, Enfoque, and A Rojo Vivo.  I led Telemundo to its first national Emmy Award for round-the-clock coverage of the terrorist attack on New York’s World Trade Center.

From 1996 to 1998, I was a media and communications consultant at Osgood, O’Donnell & Walsh, advising corporate 500 firms on communications strategy. In 1995 and 1996, I was president of Fox News, where I put together the core organization of what would become the Fox News Channel.  I also created Fox News Sunday and oversaw several news specials.

Prior to that, I served six years, 1989-1995, as vice president and assistant to the president CBS News, where I oversaw global newsgathering and news programming, including 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, Sunday Morning, The CBS Evening News, and CBS This Morning.

Before being promoted to New York, I served as CBS News vice president and Washington bureau chief for two years. From 1979 to 1986 I worked at The CBS Evening News, first as producer and then as senior Washington producer, where I regularly covered the White House, Congress, political conventions and national elections. I also covered major international assignments, including all US-Soviet summits, economic summits, and Israel’s 1981 invasion of Lebanon.  In 1984, I covered President Reagan’s trip to China and also produced a series of reports from inside the Soviet Union.  I began my career at CBS in 1970 as a local news producer and assignment editor in Chicago.

My awards and recognitions include the 2012 Honorary Faculty Member of the Year award from Lambda Pi Eta (communications honor society) at Hofstra University, 2004 Special Award from the Mental Health Association of New York City,  2002 Emmy Award, 1994 Who’s Who in America, 1990 George Polk Award,  and a 1976 Emmy Award.

I’m currently the executive vice-chair of the Mental Health Association of NYC Board, as well as a trustee at Gracie Square Hospital,  and I served as a trustee at Columbia College Chicago from 2003 to 2012. I’m a member of the Council of Foreign Relations.

I hold an MBA degree from the Walter Heller School of Business at Roosevelt University, Chicago, and a BA from Columbia College Chicago. I live in NYC.

Kirsten Johnson – Professor for Visual Thinking

When Marcia Rock first invited me to speak at a “Master Class”, I had no idea I would get hooked on the relationships I would develop in the classroom with students in my Visual Thinking Class. I love my life as an independent documentary director and cameraperson, and now I feel that the conversations I am having with students about the work they hope to make is expanding the way I think about the whole craft.

Currently, I’m reflecting a lot about what it means to be a documentary cameraperson. I’ve been doing it for over 25 years now, traveled to 86 countries, and have been honored to work with some of the most remarkable people in the field – Laura Poitras (The Oath) and her upcoming film about surveillance and Edward Snowden, Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering (The Invisible War, Derrida), Gini Reticker and Abby Disney, (Pray the Devil Back to Hell), Johanna Hamilton, a Newsdoc Alumnus! (1971), Michael Moore (Farenheit 9/11), and Raoul Peck (Profit and Nothing But!, Fatal Assistance). Now, I’m making my own film called A Blind Eye, using footage from documentaries I’ve shot over the years for other people, about how my work with the camera has impacted the people I’ve filmed and changed the way I see.

In my class, Visual Thinking, we’re trying to figure out how we think and feel through seeing. So we watch many excerpts from films, create shooting exercises that dig deep into the skills and thinking it takes to make evocative and original images, and we talk about what each student is truly interested in exploring when they shoot their Thesis project documentary in the summer following the class. The class is very much informed by the specificity of each student and the collaboration of all of us as a group. In my experience with documentary, it is the cultivation of the capacity to listen, to act with a camera, and to experience the world as a collaboration that generates the most thrilling films. And that’s what we all want more of!

Adrian Mihai – Professor for Digital NewsRoom

adrianI am a Broadcast studio coordinator and an adjunct professor in the Journalism Institute. As a videographer and multimedia designer, I bring an inquisitive perspective that combines flexibility and experimentation in exploring the convergence of the two mediums.

Born in Romania, I maintained cultural links with his former country and produced four documentaries. The first one, E Pluribus Unum (1994), investigates the spiritual milieu of first generation immigrants from Romania, as they become integrated into the various folds of the American society. The second one, Someone Has Killed The Sphinx (1995), offers an analysis of Romanian social realities following the overthrow of Nicolae Ceausescu’s dictatorship, as seen through the staging of “Oedipus”, at the Romanian National Opera House, by Andrei Serban.

In 1996 I produced and shot a video diary, perpetuum mobile, shot during a driving trip from New York to the shore of the Arctic Ocean at Prudhoe Bay in Alaska. Following this, I completed his fourth project, Quo Vadis? (1997), an analysis of the new consensus found in the American-Romanian community in support of Romania’s accession to NATO.

1998 brought a fifth project, Crossroads (1998), a 78-minute video that takes a look at Columbia University’s Graduate Acting Program, created and steered by renowned Romanian director Andrei Serban. In 2001, I completed E Biagoresqo Drom / The Endless Journey, a 109-minute documentary about the Roma/Gypsy communities of Romania.

Shimon Dotan – Professor for Political Cinema

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 3.14.35 PMI am an award-winning filmmaker with twelve feature films to his credit and the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship award for Creative Arts (2012) and of a Cullman fellowship for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library (2012-1013.) My films are the recipient of numerous awards including the Special Jury Prize for Best World Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival (Hot House); the Silver Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival (Smile of the Lamb); and multiple Israeli Academy Awards, including Best Film and Best Director (Repeat Dive, Smile Of The Lamb.) Dotan has taught filmmaking and film studies at Tel Aviv University, Concordia University in Montreal and The New School University in New York. I presently teach seminars on political cinema at New York University on both the graduate and undergraduate levels. I am also a fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities and a member of the Writers Guild and Directors Guild of America. I was born in Romania, grew up in Israel and resides in New York City and am currently at work on a documentary series on the Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

David Spungen – Professor for Video Editing

das HeadshotI am Broadcast Journalism professional, specializing in producing and editing for the TV News Magazine genre.  At CBS News’ 48 Hours since 2001, my work has included long-form segments, hour-long projects and same day special events such as the on-going coverage following the 9/11 attacks.  My most recent documentary work was producing and editing an hour long special detailing the behind-the-scenes of the 2012 Grammys when Whitney Houston died.

As a free-lance producer/editor since 1986, I’ve had product on ABC News, PBS, MSNBC, The Discovery Channel, The History Channel, Lifetime, The Travel Channel and WE Network.  Am proud to say that I’ve won an Emmy and have just received my fourth nomination.  This year I also won a DuPont-Columbia Award.

I have had the privilege of teaching at NYU since 2001 and received a M.S. in Telecommunications from Indiana University.


For other members of the NYU Journalism school, click here for more faculty bios.

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    News & Documentary is a Master's-level broadcast and documentary journalism track, at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Graduates work around the world for top media organizations and on award-winning films.

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