Posted by on June 21, 2013 in Blog

By Matt Haugen
Summer 2013 Intern

As part of our weekly Brownbag lecture series, Jennifer Salan came and spoke with summer interns. Salan, who currently serves as the Senior Producer on Al Jazeera’s The Stream, is a former AAI Communications Director who got her start in television working on Viewpoint with James Zogby. The Stream represents the best of the “new media”—Facebook, Twitter, blogging, Google Hangouts and more—using it to connect with people all across the globe. The Stream attempts to tell the underreported stories through dialogue and has won quite a few awards for its innovative approach including a Gracie Award, an Online Media Award, and the Royal Television Society’s “Most Innovative Program Award” for 2012. Salan is currently overseeing the transition of the show to the new Al Jazeera American channel which is set to launch on August 20th.

Salan’s Brownbag talk spanned a variety of topics, from her time at AAI to the state of news media in general. Salan spoke about learning on the job as the producer of Viewpoint and how her trial by fire there helped to prepare her for the chaotic life of a media producer. Also at the talk was AAI’s intern, Dana Ballout, who is placed at The Stream, working under Salan. The two sparked a conversation about how mainstream news outlets often neglect critical approaches and their hopes for the future of the show. Salan talked about the unique challenges she encounters working with The Stream, relative to more traditional formats, and also discussed the process of launching on a new network. Salan’s career trajectory was motivating to many interns, who are interested in careers in journalism and media.