On April 18 and 19, enthusiasts of the written word will flock to USC’s campus for the highly anticipated Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. USC Annenberg will have a large presence at the event, as many of its own faculty and alumni will be featured at the speaking engagements below. The new Wallis Annenberg Hall will also host events during the weekend festival. Be sure to check out the faculty and alumni events, as well as the many other journalism and communication related events! For a full schedule of authors and performers, visit this page.
Sasha Anawalt, USC Annenberg associate journalism professor and director of Master’s Program in Arts Journalism
From LA to the Middle East: Empowering Youth through Art
12:00 p.m. Wallis Annenberg Hall
Sandy Tolan, USC Annenberg associate journalism professor
From LA to the Middle East: Empowering Youth through Art
12:00 p.m. Wallis Annenberg Hall
Gabe Saglie, USC Annenberg alum
More for Your Money: Travel Bargains in 2015
2:15 p.m. Travel Smart Stage
K.C. Cole, USC Annenberg associate journalism professor
Grasping the Ineffable: On Science and Health
3:00 p.m. Wallis Annenberg Hall
Manuel Castells, Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication, Technology and Society
From Sensitivity to Censorship: The High Stakes of Satire in Popular Culture
4:30 p.m. Wallis Annenberg Hall
Celeste Fremon, former USC Annenberg adjunct journalism professor
Giving A Voice to the Voiceless: Crime & Justice in America
10:30 a.m. Town and Gown
Moderator Diane Smith
Narrative Journalism: Writing the Big Story
10:30 a.m. Hancock Foundation
Josh Kun, USC Annenberg associate communication professor
To Live and Dine in L.A.: Food Pasts, Food Futures
12:00 p.m. Wallis Annenberg Hall
Kenneth Turan, USC Annenberg adjunct journalism professor
LA Times Idea Exchange
1:00 p.m. Bovard Auditorium
Robert Scheer, USC Annenberg clinical communication professor
The Digital Footprint: Privacy, Cyberterrorism and How We Live Now
1:30 p.m. Town and Gown
Ruben Castaneda, USC Annenberg alum
Narrative Journalism: Writing American Crime
3:30 p.m. Hancock Foundation
Book Signings & More:
On Sunday, professor Taj Frazier will be signing copies of his book “The East is Black: Cold War China in the Black Radical Imagination” at Kinokuniya Bookstore’s booth (#84) from 11-11:50 a.m.
Visit professor Joe Saltzman at The Jester & Pharley Phund booth (#572) across from Leavey Library. For every book and/or doll you buy at the Festival, they donate one to a sick child.
“Under Spring: Voices + Art + Los Angeles”
Jeremy Rosenberg, assistant dean of public affairs and special events, will be signing copies of his book “Under Spring: Voices + Art + Los Angeles” at the Heyday tent (Booth 113) on Saturday from 12-1 p.m. and Sunday from 3-4 p.m. The book is the winner of the California Historical Society Book Prize.
Did we miss something? If you are a USC Annenberg faculty, staff, student or alum speaking at the L.A. Times Festival of Books, let us know at [email protected]
At USC Annenberg, we don’t just cover the news, we make it. “Quoted: USC Annenberg in the News” gathers a selection of the week’s news stories featuring and written by USC Annenberg’s leaders, faculty, staff and others. The stories are listed in chronological order, the most recent story appearing first.
USC News highlighted the recent partnership between USC Annenberg and The Huffington Post, which produced its first showcase piece: journalism student Kate Flexter’s video report on a Little Free Library.
A second piece was published later in the week: Daina Beth Solomon’s story on the Zumba craze, which was first reported for Intersections South L.A.
Professor Roberto Suro was quoted in an NBC News article on the federal charges faced by Sen. Bob Menendez.
“He is clearly a very significant figure, being the lone Latino Democrat in the Senate and all the more so because there are two Republican Latinos in the Senate and one already has announced he’s running for president and another is about to,” Suro said.
The effect of the indictment is already being felt, as Menendez was planning to step down from his position as top Democrat of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The International Business Times’ article on Tom Cruise’s image post-HBO documentary on Scientology included commentary from professor Jeetendr Sehdev, a celebrity brand expert.
“People question why an ambassador [of Scientology] comes forward in some circumstances, but not in others,” Sehdev said. “What is necessary is for Tom Cruise to provide context for his involvement.”
Sehdev continued to explain that before social media Cruise would have “had control over the conversation” about his involvement with the church. But in today’s media landscape, the conversation is happening with or without him.
Students at work in the ANN Media Center, which was recently named for alumna Julie Chen, Leslie Moonves and CBS.
Three students from USC Annenberg were included in the American Journalism Review’s story on how students and young journalists use technology in newsrooms.
Fernando Hurtado, who works as executive producer of Mobile & Emerging Platforms in the Media Center, told AJR he thinks the next movement in journalism is mini-broadcast using apps like Vine, Snapchat and now Meerkat or Periscope.
“Taking the editing and producing outside the newsroom makes stories that are much more powerful,” Hurtado said.
Google Glass and other wearables may be the future of journalism, Anna-Catherine Brigida told AJR. But then again, maybe there will be an entirely new technology, the Intersections South L.A. reporter hypothesized.
“Even if Glass isn’t widely used, the class made us start thinking of how to tell news in a digital world,” Brigida said. “Maybe it will come and go. Maybe I’m not using Glass tomorrow, maybe it’s a new tool. But I’ve learned the mindset to adapt content production to a new tool.”
Graduate student Jessica Oliveira discussed the importance of mobile, and highlighted her experience designing apps and coding.
“It’s never something I thought reporters would be doing hands on,” she said. “While we’re still going out and getting information, being able to create it on these platforms gives you more control.”
EdTech highlighted USC Annenberg’s partnership with Adobe to offer students, faculty and staff access to the Adobe Creative Cloud. The article noted the movement in higher education to offer cloud-based apps thus giving everyone a common platform.
James Vasquez, associate dean of IT and facilities operations, told EdTech that while moving to Adobe Creative Cloud saved money that was previously used for managing and maintaining computer labs, “the real benefit is that it makes us more mobile and flexible,” he said. “Students can work on the tools from anywhere.”
People in tech-related fields are interested in unlocking the potential of live-streaming applications. Periscope and Meerkat are two new live-streaming apps that have hit the market within the last few weeks.
Professor Jeetendr Sehdev told New Scientist that he believes there is no way to predict which types of live streams will be the most popular, but time will tell.
“No one really knows what sort of live-streams are going to catch on,” Sehdev said.
The article reported that down the line, Sehdev “thinks that success on the apps will be about the bond that viewers feel with the live-streamer.”
Women’s rights activist Jody Evans was a refugee amidst Guinea’s civil war in 1999. Her time with the other female refugees taught her lessons in self-image and body appreciation. “Women in the global south live in their bodies much more than we in the global north,” Evans said.
Since Evans’ time, campaigns like Dove’s #speakbeautiful and Always’ #LikeAGirl have brought women’s body image issues to the forefront of public discussion. Sarah Banet-Weiser, director of the School of Communication, recently contributed her views on the ongoing struggle for women empowerment.
According to the LA Weekly article, Banet-Weiser “expressed concern that the corporatizing of the women’s confidence movement is grounded in an economic incentive.”
Vice Dean Philip Seib offered his evaluation of how the Western media covered the death of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s authoritarian leader in a new column for the World Post.
“Much of the Western news coverage of the death of Lee Kuan Yew has been characterized by grudging admiration for the rise of Singapore and tut-tutting about Lee’s autocratic style,” Sieb wrote.
Sieb views Yew’s form of self-government as highly effective. The disconnect between Yew and our government, however, is due to U.S.’s unyielding faith in the promise of a liberal democracy rather than a respectable autocracy, Seib wrote.
Laws on drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants differ depending on which state they live in. For Ofelia Rosas Ramos, an illegal immigrant living in Seattle, a drivers license is easy to come by. The New York Times reported that, in other states where a social security number is a prerequisite for a license, undocumented individuals face the risk of deportation every day.
Professor Roberto Suro is one of many immigration scholars who expressed his concern regarding disparity in state laws.
“This case has brought the differences to the surface so vividly because it caused the states to pick sides,” Suro said.
Joined by professors from California State University, Fullerton, Saltzman’s panel will look at the ways that social media pervade electronic media marketing and programing content. The panel will be held on Monday, April 13 at 11:30 a.m. at the convention’s location in Las Vegas.
Saltzman is the director of the Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture project at the Norman Lear Center. A former associate dean and current journalism professor at USC Annenberg, he is also an alum of the school.
A remarkable transformation is taking place in the heart of Los Angeles. Over the last 10 years, Downtown L.A. became vibrant as it built ties to the south, reaching USC and Exposition Park. Now, from the Walt Disney Concert Hall to the California Science Center, a dynamic innovation corridor is just beginning to flourish, receiving a boost in May as the Los Angeles City Planning and Land Use Committee formally adopted the MyFigueroa project, allowing the area on and around that well-known street to become inclusive and more welcoming to pedestrians, transit riders, cyclists and drivers. Construction is slated to begin at the end of 2014 and finish up by end 2015. At USC Annenberg we’ve long been advocating for such a transformation, with Annenberg’s Dean Ernest J. Wilson III writing of the power of an interrelated “quad” of sectors: public, private, civil, and academic. Meanwhile, our faculty’s research demonstrates that innovation thrives on clusters: interconnected businesses, creativity across sectors and fluid jobs. The proposed innovation corridor taps a rich ecology of experimental media, arts and technology start-ups, education and civic institutions that already surround the area, with deep ties to the diverse communities of Los Angeles. All this innovation cluster needs now are the connections that facilitate the free flow of people and ideas. There are too few congenial places along Figueroa for innovators to meet informally, run into one another and have serendipitous conversations that spark new ideas and projects. Innovation is about flow—about informal encounters rather than formal meetings, when people can connect unexpectedly. This has the potential to be deeply transformative for Los Angeles. As Figueroa begins to feel less like a freeway and more like a boulevard, it will foster a network of tightly woven institutions that welcome ideas—and export bold ideas to the world. From here on, Figueroa will serve as a vital artery along which Los Angeles’ innovative energies can flow freely.
— Prof. François Bar and John Seely Brown
*BASED ON AN OP-ED PUBLISHED IN THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
Teaching theory in media education is important, but teaching diversity in media is complicated. Despite almost-daily public criticism of content that draws on, and perpetuates, stereotypes and social discrimination, students still ask, “Why do we have to learn this?”
Instructors may believe that the material will make our students better people and therefore better media producers. However, other concerns in their early career, like colleague hierarchy and maintaining employment, may inhibit this new generation of media producers from affecting change. What good are diversity classes if students cannot promote awareness in the workplace?
To address this, I prompt my students to “Write an Email: If your company/client proposed this idea, how would you talk about it given what you have learned? Why is it problematic or beneficial?” This “email” critically analyzes current content, including, but not limited to, print ads, commercials, television programs, and movies, as well as web videos, tweets and hashtags; students objectively describe the content, identify relevant implications for different groups, and recommend alternatives that promote a culture of inclusivity.
Through the act of writing, students practice constructing clear and concise arguments that are grounded in theory, culturally aware, and professional. They understand why content may be inappropriate or offensive and can explain it to others. They suggest strategies that avoid or address potential PR crises. In the workplace, these skills can help future media contributors, creators, and consumers be successful and promote a diverse media environment.
“Write an Email.” You don’t always have to send it.
*Charisse L’Pree Corsbie-Massay is a Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Communications at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and from 2006-2012 worked at USC Annenberg as a researcher in Socially Optimized Learning in Virtual Environments (SOLVE).
In a new series of columns, each week an alum of USC Annenberg will share stories of their time at the school, discuss their career, and offer advice to students.
Companies spend millions of dollars and plenty of time with the goal of getting possible customers to “raise their hands,” to show interest in learning more or starting a relationship with their brand.
One of the elements that I can attribute much of any academic and professional successes I’ve enjoyed is having a penchant for raising my own hand when it comes to my career path. It’s amazing how an action so simple can prove so powerful.
A professor asks for help with a side project? Raise your hand.
A regional manager looks for assistance with a major new business proposal? Raise your hand.
A nonprofit board in a category of interest to you has an open seat? Raise your hand.
What’s equally amazing to me is the number of people who don’t raise their hands. In today’s so-called “skills gap,” what’s often missing are the intangible soft skills that come only by instinct or practice — those such as tenacity, strong work ethic, thoroughness and being proactive. Some of these qualities lend themselves to what Dean Ernest J. Wilson refers to as the Third Space — a rare and specific skill set.
Raising your hand not only shows you are proactive, but also often puts you in situations that advance your personal interests or professional goals. As a junior in college at USC Annenberg, I recall coming across an opportunity to join a small research project led by a professor. I decided to join the research team — an immersion in LexisNexis that was meant to analyze and rank media stories on marquee brands for tonality, depth and other reputation-driving factors. I formed strong relationships with my fellow researchers and our professor. I was also able to get hands on with key corporate reputation topics that catapulted what would be lots of work (and even numerous awards) in the space.
Little did I know then that this base of knowledge would help me when it came to helping build reputations for the likes of P&G and Aflac years down the road. Beyond that, even more than a decade after graduating college, that professor’s research organization became among my first dozen clients when I founded my own PR shop, M Public Relations.
Raising your hand is not meant to be an exercise in stretching yourself too thin. The idea is that these opportunities align with areas of growth or interest for you. And while you don’t do it with the sole purpose of gain, such opportunities just happen to come back to benefit us, days, months or even years down the road. Raising your hand often raises your profile and can help raise your professional career to the next level.
Maggie Habib (’04 Annenberg) is the Founder of mPR, a boutique communications shop serving growing businesses nationally. She previously ran multiple award-winning PR programs for startups to Fortune 10 companies as a part of large global agencies. She graduated from USC magna cum laude and as “PR Student of the Year.”
In the Annenberg Innovation Lab’s Edison Project, we argue that the media and entertainment industry is experiencing its biggest changes since Thomas Edison invented the Kinetoscope. A big part of this is the “screens” we use.
Desktops yielded to laptops, laptops are yielding to mobile devices, and soon they’ll yield to wearables, the Internet of Things, the connected home and the connected city. At AIL, we’re prototyping stories for that future. I built “Lighthouse in the Woods,” an Oculus Rift virtual reality experience. We’re also building a storytelling experience for smart objects and sketching out storytelling experiences for places like the Figueroa Innovation Corridor.
However, as devices like Google Glass literally come between us and the world, who has “read/write access” to the world becomes crucial. If you read Harry Potter and then visit London, you can almost see Harry racing to Platform 9 3/4. If you read The Hunchback of Notre Dame and then visit Paris, you can almost hear Quasimodo ringing the bells. That’s because J.K. Rowling and Victor Hugo could write books set in these locations, and those stories are evoked when we readers visit those places.
But what happens when storytelling on wearable devices becomes mainstream, and when stories are triggered at real-world locations? What if government and/or big business restricted that access? It’s not unimaginable; what if such stories were legislated like graffiti? Who will have read/write access in that world? Who will determine what that future world of storytelling will be like?
At USC Annenberg, we don’t just cover the news, we make it. “Quoted: USC Annenberg in the News” gathers a selection of the week’s news stories featuring and written by USC Annenberg’s leaders, faculty, staff and others.
“Greater diversity always means a greater target audience for any sport and, ultimately, the long-term health of a sport relies on building new and more diverse audiences,” Durbin said. “This is a potential win all around for the sport if they handle it well.”
Durbin said Suarez and NASCAR now need to share his story to help build both the driver and the brand’s fan base.
Professor Robert Hernandez was on KPCC’s AirTalk discussing Periscope and Meerkat, two new video-streaming apps that could change the field of live news.
“Behind-the-scenes, genuine, exclusive access type of perspective to a potential presidential candidate is going to be very much in play,” Hernandez said of potential news uses for these streaming apps. He also noted that politicians, businesses and others have even more potential to bypass press conferences and break news directly to the public.
Society has already subscribed to the idea of live-casting day-to-day life, from Instagrams of brunch to Vines of conversations. Hernandez mentioned the statistic that 91 percent of Americans have their mobile phone within arms reach 24/7. Whether it be a live-stream of brunch or citizen journalism, we’re primed to use our mobile devices at a moment’s notice.
The International Business Times (IBT) recently reported that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie petitioned the auto dealership that sponsors the “Ask the Governor” show to loan a Corvette to station news director and host Eric Scott.
IBT reported that neither Christie nor Scott responded to questions about the ethics of the situation.
Media ethics experts said it raises questions, including professor Marc Cooper. “Because Christie hasn’t had a news conference with local reporters in months, it makes the ‘Ask the Governor’ controversy even more troubling,” Cooper said.
A Variety article cited the recent explosion in popularity of radio plays. While consumers have been listening to these audio theater productions on NPR for years, the amount of star power joining the trend is seeing a massive increase. The 40th anniversary gala of the L.A. Theatre Works this past Wednesday celebrated the industry’s success.
Professor and president of the Annenberg Foundation Geoffrey Cowan recently joined the trend as a first-time playwright with his production of “Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers”. Despite words of praise from everyone to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Cowan was skeptical on lasting popularity for the production.
“This is a play that started in a classroom and wound up traveling all over the United States, and then even making its way to China,” Cowan said.
While the article cites the increase of female presence in Hollywood since the late nineties, progress seems to have come to a screeching halt for the film industry. Despite making up 50.8% of the U.S. population, a measly 17% of women hold director, writer or producer positions.
Headed by Smith, MDSCI published a study titled “Gender Bias Without Borders” in 2014. The study analyzed films from the ten “most profitable territories internationally.”
The study found that the lack of female presence in the film industry extends far beyond U.S. borders. Averaged together, the abroad figures found women making up only 7% of directors, 19.7% of writers and 22.7% of producers.
Professor A. Michael Noll was quoted in a Smithsonian Magazine story on forgotten works by artist Nam June Paik.
The Smithsonian Museum acquired the Nam June Paik archive in 2009. Since then, museum researchers have been working tirelessly to catalogue materials accumulated by the artist deemed the “playful father of video art”.
One find by researchers included a Bell Labs punch card, the company responsible for running the program for a 1967 Paik exhibit. The punch card featured Noll’s name, a former Bell Labs programmer.
Noll monitored Paik’s visits to the company during this exhibit, but was surprised to find his own name featured in the archive. “I was surprised when printouts with Paik’s name along with mine in the Smithsonian archive,” Noll said. “I gave him a short introduction to a programming language … The challenge back then was that programming required thinking in terms of algorithms and structures. Paik was more used to handiwork.”
Paik’s exhibit will be featured at the Smithsonian Museum from April 24 through September 7.
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.