Indira S. Somani

Associate Professor

Indira S. Somani, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Media, Journalism and Film at Howard University, Washington, D.C. 

Somani studies effects of satellite television on the Indian diaspora, specifically the generation of the Asian Indians who migrated to the U.S. between 1960 and 1972, and their media habits.  She has been published in the International Communication Research Journal, Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, and the Asian Journal of Communication

For the fall of 2011, Somani was awarded a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Fellowship to study the Western influence of Indian programming in India.  Somani is also an award winning independent producer and director of documentaries about how Asian Indians maintain and preserve their cultural identity. 

Her most recent production is “Crossing Lines,” a personal essay documentary about her struggle to stay connected to India after the loss of her father.   The film has won numerous awards, screened in film festivals nationally and internationally, screened on PBS affiliates, and has also been distributed to more than 100 university libraries in the U.S. through New Day films. 

Somani brings 10 years of broadcast journalism experience as a television news producer to the classroom, most notably with CNBC and WJLA-TV, the ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C.  She has been a leader of the South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA), where she has also won several “Outstanding” awards on her coverage of South Asians in North America. 

Prior to joining Howard University, Somani was an Assistant Professor of Journalism at Washington and Lee University (Lexington, VA) and American University’s School of Communication (Washington, DC).  Somani earned her Master’s in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University in 1993, and her Ph.D. from the Phillip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland, College Park in May 2008.



  • THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, Philip Merrill College of Journalism, College Park, Md.
  • Ph.D. Journalism and Public Communication, 2008
  • Dissertation:  Enculturation and Acculturation of Television Use Among Asian Indians in the U.S.                         
  • NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, The Medill School of Journalism, Evanston, Il.
  • M.S.J. Concentration:  Broadcast Journalism, 1993                                                                                                                
  • KNOX COLLEGE, Galesburg, Il.
  • B.A. Independent Major: Media, Race and Gender, 1992
Indira S. Somani
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