Journalism and Multimedia High School Workshop at Nat Geo in Washington, D.C.

Since its founding more than 130 years ago, National Geographic has been instrumental in the evolution of storytelling by pushing the boundaries of how critical knowledge is collected and shared. From our base at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., get an inside look at National Geographic headquarters to see how this organization harnesses the power of visual media and journalism to effect change on a global scale; and work with photo editors, videographers, and a public speaking coach to create compelling media of your own design.

July 10-19, 2019
Airfare is not included. The program begins and ends in Washington, D.C.

Trip Highlights

  • Practice filmmaking and editing with National Geographic producers and videographers, and learn how they use their work to spark widespread engagement around important issues.
  • Go behind-the-scenes at National Geographic headquarters, learning about the organization’s history and current initiatives.
  • Work with a National Geographic magazine photo editor, and hear how they piece together stories for the iconic magazine.
  • Explore the National Mall, and see our nation’s iconic monuments during a boat trip along the Potomac River.


Travel to Washington, D.C. and settle into your dormitory at Georgetown University. The workshop will be led by instructors who have experience in the themes of our program: Multimedia Journalism, Visual Storytelling, and National Geographic: Past and Present. Each day begins with a lively, discussion-based seminar followed by a hands-on workshop or field project to further apply what we’ve learned. Our instructors will guide us through each activity and facilitate workshops and discussions with National Geographic Experts. We’ll have inside access to National Geographic headquarters; and Georgetown University—located within steps of trendy shops and lively restaurants—will serve as our classroom as we build the skills necessary to tell stories that make a difference.

The program kicks off with a behind-the-scenes tour of National Geographic headquarters, where we’ll hear about the organization’s storied history and the latest initiatives being launched from within this epicenter of exploration. Browse the photo and video archives for a look at how storytelling methods have evolved over time, then learn how curators for the National Geographic Museum work with researchers to transform concepts into fun, interactive exhibits for the public. Hear from members of the grants team, which has funded thousands of scientific initiatives across the globe, and meet the engineers who develop field equipment for National Geographic explorers.

Spend time with National Geographic Senior Producer Sarah Joseph to learn how she and her team of videographers and producers use film to illuminate important issues, such as wildlife conservation and vanishing cultures; and hear how their films have been instrumental in some of the organization’s most successful conservation campaigns. Then join a workshop on the fundamentals of documentary filmmaking. Meet with a member of the Pristine Seas team to find out how they have used scientific studies and media in their efforts to protect critical marine environments. Choose a topic you wish to investigate, and bring it to life through filmmaking and video editing. Then participate in a public speaking workshop led by a National Geographic staff member who helps explorers craft stories for live events at headquarters, and practice presenting your own story.

Sit down with Susan Goldberg, editor in chief of National Geographic, to get an inside perspective on how the magazine’s powerful storytelling has shed light on global issues and served as a change agent throughout history. Meet with National Geographic magazine Senior Photo Editor Molly Roberts, and hear how she works with photographers to tell impactful stories through imagery. Discuss the strategy behind photo selection, and master the basics of magazine layout and graphic design. Then hit the streets to apply what you’ve learned, taking pictures and conducting interviews.

In the evenings, take a break from your workshop to explore Washington, D.C. Wander past the White House, cruise the Potomac River on a boat tour, or track down the city’s best food trucks. Cap off your workshop with a private celebration at Nat Geo headquarters, where you will have the opportunity to share your capstone project with staff.

Our university workshops are for students in grades 9-12. Based at a top university, students delve into issues impacting the future of our world, and examine solutions offered by engineering, technology, journalism, and more. Students participate in stimulating seminars and hands-on workshops, and meet National Geographic experts to hear about their innovative work in the areas of focus. At the end, students develop a capstone project to pitch for a chance to receive funding from National Geographic to launch their initiative. Students work alongside a team of highly-qualified trip leaders—college graduates with extensive experience in the field, who love working with students. Our university workshops accommodate up to 50 participants, and the student-to-trip-leader ratio is usually between six and eight to one and never more than nine to one.
Georgetown University is located in the neighborhood of Georgetown in the heart of Washington, D.C. Georgetown is a vibrant university neighborhood that plays host to an array of youth-oriented restaurants, shops, and cultural events. Located a few miles away from the National Mall, the campus offers easy access to world-class museums and some of the country’s most famous historical sites. From our base at the Georgetown dorms, we’ll utilize space at the university student center to work on collaborative projects, and we will explore the cultural diversity of Washington, D.C., including time spent at the nearby headquarters of National Geographic.
We stay in a comfortable dormitory on the Georgetown University campus. Rooms are single or double occupancy with shared bathrooms. We will use National Geographic headquarters and the university’s state-of-the-art classrooms for seminars and hands-on workshops.

Sarah Joseph, Filmmaker and Wildlife Biologist

Meet Our Experts

Sarah Joseph combines her passions for travel, animals, and storytelling in her career as a wildlife filmmaker. She has journeyed across the globe to create films that spotlight the work of National Geographic grantees, covering topics that range from translocating leopards in Namibia to uncovering mummies in Peru. Sarah has taught filmmaking workshops for the Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica and the Harvard Planetary Health Scholars program. Sarah will join the group at Nat Geo headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Molly Roberts, Photography Editor

As a photography editor at National Geographic magazine, Molly Roberts focuses on stories related to culture, history, archaeology, paleontology, and the intersections of these topics. She recently worked on the magazine’s 2018 “Diversity in America” series, and is an advocate for powerful visual storytelling and depicting diverse voices in the media. In 2014, she created HumanEyes USA, a non-profit that uses imagery to help illuminate complex issues facing America. Molly will join the Journalism and Multimedia University Workshop at Nat Geo in Washington D.C.

Program Themes

Explore each of these three topics over the course of the program:

Learn the fundamentals of journalism and how National Geographic approaches reporting a topic. Hear from National Geographic experts on how they assemble a story—from initial idea to finalized piece of work that employs a variety of storytelling elements. Then, craft your own narrative on an issue that resonates with you.
Learn about the many tools that National Geographic uses to create compelling stories—from writing and photography, to video and design. Learn how to shoot and edit your own photography and short videos, and practice techniques to enhance your work through editing and design.
Get an inside look at the remarkable history of National Geographic, and see how the organization has pushed the boundaries of exploration and storytelling to gather and disseminate knowledge about our planet in engaging ways.