#ANNinsta Instagram Competition Launches

anninsta-instagramInstagram Competition!

We want to see the new Wallis Annenberg Hall from your perspective, from working in the Media Center to meeting with a study group. Starting this month, use #ANNinsta to tag your Instagram* photos from the new building and you could win a gift certificate to ANN’s new Illy Café!

Every other week we will select one winner.



The Rules:

  1. Upload your photos to Instagram and include #ANNinsta in the caption
  2. You can enter the contest as many times as you like
  3. Any type of inappropriate content will be disqualified
  4. Entries will be judged on creativity, school spirit and overall aesthetic quality
  5. Judging takes place every two weeks and one winner will be selected
  6. Competition is open to USC Annenberg students only

*Make sure the “Photos are Private” option in your account is set to OFF.

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Center for Health Reporting, operating since 2008, is in transition

The USC Annenberg-based Center for Health Reporting, which has published more than 150 projects with 50 California news media partners over the past five years, is investigating new funding sources.

Since the Center’s origins in 2008, the health policy landscape has experienced enormous change. It is time to re-imagine what should be the focus of health care journalism. In the next several months, the Center will call on stakeholders to seek out their views of that changed terrain.

The Center’s prize-winning work has changed state policies in children’s dental care, fighting forest fires and oversight of assisted living facilities, and has increased awareness on issues ranging from mental illness to black infant mortality to the current vaccination debate. The Center’s “Ask Emily” column, which is published by more than 25 media organizations across the state, is the leading consumer report on the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

The Center’s funding grant with the California HealthCare Foundation runs through the end of 2015, and new project partnerships will continue.

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Museums In The Digital Age


MuseumsMuseums’ attention to their visitors reached a peak in the late 20th century with the new museology and the populist trend. The field of visitor studies continues strong, with museums still commissioning and conducting studies that provide detailed information on both physical and online visitor demographics, behavior patterns and affinities. Aside from the more traditional surveys and focus groups, museums are adopting new practices for online analysis such as data mining and Web analytics, including geo-informational data mining that tracks location. Museums are also maintaining strong connections with their local communities through public programming, institutional partnerships and school programs. Technology facilitates all of these activities… even serving to create new global communities and affinity groups through social media. Ironically, however, there are dangers associated with these ostensibly positive activities. One risk arises when museums stereotype visitors in order to better understand their broad community by breaking it down into more manageable types of personality, activities and interest. This stereotyping leads to narrowcasting, a practice common in the advertising industry that directly targets select audiences, as opposed to the older form of broadcasting (television, radio, newspapers) that indiscriminately targets the masses. An effort to personalize the masses is not dangerous by itself, nor is the museum’s increased focus on visitor affinities such as film, photography, social events and curatorial talks. The problem is that visitors are being defined by their demographic background and their past behavior, which museums and advertisers alike use to predict future behavior.

—Susana Smith Bautista, Ph.D ’12 Courtesy Altamira Press

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Banet-Weiser And Bay Named Directors



WillowAs of July 1, both schools at USC Annenberg entered a new era of leadership, as Professor Sarah BanetWeiser became the director of the School of Communication, while online and broadcast journalist Willow Bay assumed directorship of the School of Journalism. USC Annenberg Dean Ernest J. Wilson III announced the promotion of Banet-Weiser in September 2013. She takes over the post from Professor Larry Gross, who was director of Annenberg’s School of Communication for more than a decade. Banet-Weiser joined the School of Communication faculty in 1999. Her book Authentic™: The Politics of Ambivalence in a Brand Culture won the 2013 Outstanding Book Award from the International Communication Association. She is currently editor of the American Quarterly, the flagship journal of the American Studies Association. Willow Bay was appointed director of Annenberg’s School of Journalism in March 2014. She succeeds Michael Parks, who has served as interim director since April 2013. Bay is a highly skilled journalist, author, producer, digital news editor and national broadcast and global cable television news anchor. She arrives at USC Annenberg from positions as senior editor, The Huffington Post, Los Angeles; and special correspondent and host, Bloomberg TV. Bay’s career spans start-ups and legacy enterprises alike. Her selection followed a national search across the private sector and academia. “The breadth of Willow Bay’s experiences, skills and talents is extraordinary,” said Dean Wilson when announcing Bay’s appointment. “Her leadership will help our innovative school aggressively continue our path of creating—and defining—the digital future.”

—Anne Bergman (MA, Print Journalism, ’94)

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New Building, New Program, New Era


Sea change has come to USC Annenberg. On October 1, 2014 the school celebrates the grand opening of the technologically transformative, 88,000-squarefoot Wallis Annenberg Hall. This summer, the School of Journalism welcomes its first cohort of nine-month Journalism M.S. students. And the School of Communication and the School of Journalism have each hired new directors —Sarah Banet-Weiser and Willow Bay, respectively. These Annenberg changes haven’t occurred in a vacuum. In today’s dynamic era, “creative disruption” is the rule and Third Space attributes are a necessity. USC Annenberg continues through a wide variety of means to aggressively create, innovate —and define—the digital future.

On a sunny day in November 2012, USC Annenberg broke ground on a visionary construction project. On schedule and less than two years later, Wallis Annenberg Hall is set for an October 1, 2014 grand opening. The technologically transformative, 88,000-square-foot building includes highlights such as a 20,000-square-foot digitally converged media center, a four-story atrium, a three-story digital media tower and a rooftop skylight. Throughout the building, faculty and students will be able to work together in a variety of “drop-in” collaboration areas, multi-purpose rooms, meeting rooms, classrooms, open study areas, labs and a laptop lounge. “Wallis Annenberg Hall is the incarnation of this ‘Annenberg advantage,’” USC Annenberg Dean Ernest J. Wilson III said. “All of the spaces have been carefully designed to be connectors and not containers, to be inviting and transparent and to encourage those passing by the building to enter, to experiment, collaborate, innovate and learn.” Wallis Annenberg Hall opens during an USC Annenberg era of great imagination and invention. In recent years, for example, the school has opened the cutting-edge Annenberg Innovation Lab; launched the popular Media, Economics and Entrepreneurship initiative; experimented with wearable computing, augmented reality and 3-D printing; identified and named the Third Space; and emphasized creative collaborations across industries and disciplines.

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Olympics Journalist: Alan Abrahamson


OlympicsUSC Annenberg Professor Alan Abrahamson has covered a total of eight Summer and Winter Olympics throughout his journalism career, most recently the Sochi 2014 Winter Games. Abrahamson—photographed here in front of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, a stadium used dur – ing the 1932 and 1984 Summer Games—reported from Sochi for various outlets, including NBCOlympics.com, MSNBC and Today. He also fed a steady stream of updates and observations to his various social media platforms. In Sochi, Abrahamson supervised Lawrence Murray and Kimiya Shokoohi, a pair of Annenberg graduate journalism students believed to be the only students from a U.S. university credentialed as working journal – ists. “This is exactly the kind of thing that prepares our students for what is most important, which is getting a job in the real world,” Abrahamson said. “I’ve worked at Annenberg for three years now, and we’re doing some crazy, exciting stuff. We prepare our young people to walk into the work-a-day world and kill it. We prepare them to excel from the moment they get their diploma.” Abrahamson teaches graduate-level sports journal – ism and works with the USC Annenberg Institute of Sports, Media & Society (AISMS), which is directed by Professor Daniel Durbin. Abrahamson also runs his own website, 3wiresports..com, and in June was awarded the Track and Field Writers of America Adam Jacobs Memorial Award for excellence in online journalism. The Dayton, Ohio native says his interest in sports was sparked by the 1972 Munich Games. “I’ve loved the Olympics ever since I was a little boy,” Abraham – son said. “I grew up following basketball and football, and the Olympics opened my eyes to other kinds of sports and athletes like Jesse Owens and other people who became my childhood heroes.”
—Olivia Niland (Print and Digital Journalism ’16)


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Q&A With Corii and Cari Berg



Corii Berg (Broadcast Journalism and Political Science ’89) and Cari Berg (Communication ’89) met as USC Annenberg students. Corii is a member of the USC Annenberg Alumni Advisory Board and is Senior Executive Vice President, Business Affairs, Sony Pictures Television. Cari is the founder of Cari Berg Interior Design. The couple was interviewed by phone following their attendance at the Wallis Annenberg Hall Grand Opening Ceremony.

USC ANNENBERG: What are your impressions of Wallis Annenberg Hall?

CORII BERG: The building is absolutely spectacular. It is an exciting center for students. Having gone through the Journalism School, it’s exciting to see the sort of transformation and focus the University is putting on this school. Its location in the center of campus is telling of the importance of Annenberg. This positions the school to be a central area for all USC students.

USC ANNENBERG: You both generously supported the school by funding the Berg Family Alcove — a.k.a. “The Cove” — a second-floor open collaboration space in the new building. Why?

CARI BERG: There are a few reasons. The part of communication that I still take with me, it really does relate to my prior experiences. In addition to my creative work, there’s a whole other side that is about client relations. I learned those skills at USC, and I learned networking, and all these other things that relate to my life now. And for Corii and I both, this is where we grew up, and where we grew up together. It felt really comfortable for us to respond and donate and support all the programs that Annenberg has.

CORII BERG: We toured the whole building and there are a lot of incredibly dynamic spaces. There’s no way to go wrong. We had the sense that learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom, and it’s the engagement and discussions before classes and after classes that can be even more interesting. It’s like in a workplace environment, where the real meeting happens after a meeting. So, we wanted the more informal space where students could just sit down with each other, or sit down with a professor, and follow up on something, or get more clarity, or ask that next question that they just couldn’t get to in the classroom. This is why we selected the Alcove, which has an open and airy feel to it with a lookout to the rest of the campus. It just felt right for us.

USC ANNENBERG: How has your relationship with the school changed over the years?

CARI BERG: I was a Communication major at the time when Journalism and Communication were separate. I did work on the Daily Trojan. I had Broadcast Journalism major friends. I also had Communication major friends. As a Communication major, I did things like argumentation and debate. At the same time, I got to guest host on friends’ projects for Broadcast Journalism. I think it makes a lot of sense now that the two areas are merged at Annenberg. There is so much crossover.

USC ANNENBERG: How did the two of you meet?

CORII BERG: We met in Journalism 190. It was the general introduction course as a prerequisite to being formally admitted into the Journalism School. We became even closer friends at the Daily Trojan. I asked Cari out on our first date in the Daily Trojan offices, and I ended up being her editor for a semester. There is a lot of Annenberg in our now-23-year marriage.

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Mr. Fish: WARNING! Graphic Content


Mr. Fish

The new Annenberg Press book WARNING! Graphic Content lives up to its title.  Have your IDs ready and your intolerance for incendiary pictures and controversial ideas checked at the door for it’s time to step into the head of the unabashedly liberal awardwinning cartoonist and writer Dwayne Booth (aka “Mr. Fish”), where inflammatory ideas meet deep insights — and things like inspiring woe, discouraging indifference and gleeful nihilism are born. In WARNING! Graphic Content, Mr. Fish examines the past, present and future of art as commentary, deciphering its substructure and translating its unique alphabet into a wholly accessible vocabulary. A handful of those images are shown here. Through extensive interviews, numerous hyperlinks, audio and video clips and nearly 400 provocative images, Mr. Fish demonstrates how uncensored art and weaponized jokes from cartoonists, satirists and fine artists through history provide humanity with its most thorough and revealing self-portraits. This e-book, along with other print and electronic titles from Annenberg Press, is available now from iTunes and Amazon.com.

—Arlene Luck (managing editor, Annenberg Press)

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Graduate School: A Family Affair


Family Affair

Moving across the country for graduate school is an undertaking that could dant ueven the most fearless of students. Fortunately USC Annenberg M.S. Journalism program students Jessica and Maritza Moulite were right by each other’s side when they moved from Miami to Los Angeles and started a nine-month graduate program. “Nothing beats having your sister here,” Maritza, the older of the two by a year-and-a-half, says. The siblings hail from East Coast schools and applied and got into the same graduate programs. But USC Annenberg was an obvious choice, with each of the sisters’ scholarship awards providing initial motivation to move out West. Maritza is a Dean’s Scholar, while Jessica is an Annenberg Graduate Fellow. Annenberg stood out for other reasons as well. “[We] were able to speak to different students in the graduate programs and even some alumni as well, and they were all so passionate about the school,” Maritza says. “I really feel like Annenberg is doing a great job of being a journalism school for the 21st century.” Adds Jessica: “I’m really interested in how news can be shaped to impact our generation more. People will still have to get information about the world, [but] I think the way in which we’ll go about it will have to change with our demographic.”

— Olivia Niland (Journalism ’16)

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Third Space Company: IBM’s Marketing Innovation Lab


Third Space Company

One company that has gone out of its way to locate, hire and nurture people with Third Space traits and inject them into an environment where they can make a difference is IBM. Like all big companies, IBM has many “hardskilled,” linear-thinking experts in operations, but relatively few people who exhibit the broader Third Space core competencies. See illustration, pg. 34. To leverage the skills of those with demonstrated Third Space skills and to enhance collaboration and communication between people in marketing and other constituencies across the company, like R&D and sales, IBM has set up its Marketing Innovation Group. The group manages a portfolio of internal start-ups that use enterprise data and platforms to develop new technology services and digital experiences. Broad categories in the lab portfolio include web and mobile application development, digital marketing services development and digital experience innovation, including sales engagement and employee engagement. Working side-by-side in the IBM Studios are 250 writers, interaction designers, user experience professionals, developers, graphic designers and others. People who work in the group are trained in lean start-up techniques and the Agile method of product development, which Ben Edwards, IBM’s VP of Global Digital Marketing, learned to use when running the digital media business at The Economist. (Applying something that is used in one context to another is a hallmark of the Third Space Thinker, and Edwards’ application of the Agile (software development) methodology to marketing projects is unique.) A descendent of lean manufacturing methodology, Agile is an empirical method emphasizing short cycles of planning and execution that teams use to learn their way toward solving problems. This collaborative methodology has provided a model for cross-functional teamwork. “It becomes a way to bridge how we work together as marketers and technologists,” says Edwards. IBM screens prospects carefully to ensure that they have the intellectual curiosity and enterprising nature to be successful in the Marketing Innovation Group, and then offers classes and workshops in the methodology. “Those who succeed are very valuable for us,” says Jon Iwata, IBM’s Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, and a USC Annenberg Third Space Founding Advisor. “I just wish we had more of these people.”

—Bronwyn Fryer

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Third Space by Bronwyn Fryer


Third Space

A massive, urgent talent gap is draining companies and preventing them from innovating and moving forward today. According to a Boston Consulting Group survey, 76% of senior executives rank talent management the biggest blind spot in their companies. The McKinsey Global Institute has found that between $900 billion and $1.3 trillion is missing from the economy, due to — in short — time wasted on inefficient and ineffective communication and collaboration. What exactly is this blind spot, and why is there such a huge talent gap? Companies, academics and research firms have attempted to answer these questions in various ways, but to date there has been no comprehensive attempt to synthesize their findings or definitively identify the real capabilities of those people who can fill the gap. For this reason, USC Annenberg’s Third Space researchers conducted our own inquiry, asking 75 senior executives in companies in various industries and around the world what kind of talent is in highest demand. The resounding answer is “not more MBAs or engineers.” Rather, companies want leaders who are collaborative, creative, communicative and flexible, and who can help propel the organization forward with projects that are both more innovative and effective than what they have previously undertaken. Next — see pg. 37 — we partnered with Korn Ferry, the world’s largest executive search firm to crunch the numbers on nearly 2,000 members of the firm’s extensive database. This brought further quantitative analytics to our Third Space research. For some time now, it’s been understood that ‘soft skills’ such as creativity, collaboration and an ability to communicate are crucially important. These findings have been repeatedly borne out by research from Korn Ferry, Deloitte, IBM and others, and they are not unique or new. What is new are our specific research findings we are presenting, as well as our framework for describing the specific skill-set of what we call “Third Space thinkers.” Others have looked at the competencies and skills needed to capture opportunities, but not thought that these could all be contained within a single person with inherent or cultivated competencies. Until now, no one has been able to describe the person who will fill the gap. This is the first time anyone has been able to encapsulate the person who embodies the characteristics and will provide the skills and talent that companies across sectors are starving for. We define the Third Space as an area of capability that intersects and overlaps with harder skills in business, engineering and other industries — in a way that makes the person who lives in this space extremely valuable to the organization. People who occupy this space are characterized by a general mindset that includes the characteristics of adaptability, 360-degree thinking, intellectual curiosity, cultural competence (the ability to think, act and move across boundaries) and empathy. When provided with additional training and development in complementary “hard” skills, people demonstrating such characteristics are ideally suited to fulfill collaborative leadership roles.

Over the past generation, the Internet and the attendant social media revolution have turned the world inside out. The traditional broadcast model of communication is increasingly obsolete as billions around the planet are creating and disseminating their own information via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and other tools. This revolution is analogous to that which occurred in the 19th century, as agrarian societies transformed to industrial ones. While that transformation took place over more than a century, the current switch to a technologically mediated society, which has networked human-human communication at its center, has occurred practically overnight, and this phenomenon will only continue to speed up as billions more around the globe tap into the Internet. As Jon Iwata, a USC Annenberg Third Space Founding Advisor and Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications of IBM, puts it: Traditionally, organizations and institutions have historically created segmentation models, whether based on age or income or geography or hobbies or household compositions or political party affiliation. And we have, frankly, imposed that model on a population of people and then attempted to market to them. Today, because of the phenomenon of social media, mobile devices and the Internet, the reverse is happening: people are declaring their individual segmentation to us as unique individuals. They are telling us explicitly what they’re looking for and what their needs are. We’re able to know, in some cases, their physical location, and in some cases, we can predict what their needs are even before they’re articulated. This is all based on what they are choosing to share with the world through their searches, through their GPS location signals, through their posts, tweets, logs, they are telling us who they are, what they’re looking for. Given this new reality, the question for any organization, then, is not just how to understand all this, but how to engage with new constituencies in new ways.” For these reasons, the professional practice of “communication” is changing radically too. Not only is it moving to the center of global trade, national, economic and political life, but strategic communication is also becoming more centrally important to companies, as the increasing number of communications professionals in the C-Suite attests. The increase of communication via social media now requires that companies understand, manipulate and target flows of information to the benefit of the organization. Given these changes, the USC Annenberg School understood that our own modus operandi had to change with them; we could no longer be content to train excellent journalists and corporate communications professionals — just to cite a few of the myriad fields our alumni go into. For this reason, we set out to discover what our role should be in developing the professionals that companies most need today and tomorrow. We began by conducting one-on-one interviews with senior executives in the entertainment and professional communications industries (entertainment because of our close proximity to Hollywood, and professional communications because we train future corporate communications and marketing officers). We then expanded our interviews to include executives in the technology, retail, automotive and pharmaceutical industries. The story we heard from these executives, both in interview and survey form, was almost uniform. They told us that during the dot-com revolution of the 1990s, their companies scrambled to move from brick-and-mortar operations to become digitally fluent; but with the advent of social media, they lost control of the ability to dictate their corporate messages to audiences that now had the tools to do their own communicating without regard for the company’s reputation. Today, their companies are faced with the new challenge of building communities of internal and external constituents, and of building the internal talent needed to engage collaboratively with these various communities. Most crucially, they need help navigating a future that is absolutely unforeseeable. In our interviews, executives expressed a critical need for people who demonstrate a kind of broad-based, wide-open, imaginative, collaborative and adaptive thinking that is rare in business. Such people aren’t typically steeped in the engineering and business skills that colleges and universities have focused on developing for the last generation. (As Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman, told us flatly: “Engineering isn’t enough anymore.”) We began our research looking for specific talent competencies; by the end we recognized the talent gap was also about a new way of thinking and acting.

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