Quoted: Week of April 6

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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.


Neon Tommy editor slams Blendle and micropayments on Medium; Blendle hits back

Will FedermanUSC Annenberg student and Neon Tommy editor-in-chief Will Federman was quoted in Poynter for his Medium post on the micropayment model. Federman cited Dutch startup Blendle, which takes stories from various news outlets and charges users mere pennies to get the full story. The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal have signed on to the service, but Federman is not impressed.

“The pay-per-song model isn’t even the preferred business model for music consumers anymor,” Federman wrote. “People are no longer paying per song, they’re paying for a license to listen to every song on every device. The music industry, like the news industry, is in a free fall. Why are folks so keen on this idea again?”


Musings on the Media

Tim PageNew Music Box’s article on the relationship between the media and the new music community included commentary from professor Tim Page, a Pulitzer Prize-winning critic.

“Sometimes, something that you don’t respond to the first time, you may respond to differently” on future hearings, Page said.

Page also elaborated on a technique he teaches to his own journalism students at USC Annenberg, which is to use statements such as “on a first hearing, it seemed…” to provide a description and preliminary judgment upon hearing new works for the first time.


Obama’s Immigration Plan Equals Positive Results for Students

ARobert Suro collaborative report compiled by researchers at USC and UCLA suggests that children of undocumented immigrants have lower standardized test scores and cognitive abilities than children whose parents are documented. The report claims that children of illegal immigrants experience this disparity due to decreased academic focus caused by the threat of deportation and the possibility of being separated from their family.

Lead author, professor Roberto Suro believes that Obama’s executive order to postpone the deportation of undocumented immigrant parents will grant their children the opportunity to focus on academic prospects.

“Reasonable minds can differ on whether there is blame to attach to the parents,” Suro said. “There is no reasonable case to be made for punishing their children. Yet, every day they are being punished.”


Welcome to the Era of Purposeful Viewing

Jeffrey Cole

Professor Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future, was noted in an Adweek article on how the Golden Age of TV is all about viewer empowerment.

Cole has succinctly summed up the state of television as: “No one watches crap on TV anymore,” according to the article.


Starbucks’ college plan a branding win?

Jeetendr-Sehdev

Branding expert and USC Annenberg professor Jeetendr Sehdev was quoted on Fox Business about Starbucks’ decision to expand its free college plan. Starbucks will be offering full tuition reimbursement for a four-year online degree from Arizona State University, up from the two years it first offered.

“I think that audiences today are incredibly savvy,” Sehdev said. “We have high authenticity detectors. Millennials in particular have been raised in an environment where they have been marketed to.”

“This is very much a mutually beneficial relationship and it should be stated as such,” he continued.


Here’s What Happened When A Troubled Liquor Store Also Started Selling Fresh Produce

huffington post whats workingUSC Annenberg student Jordyn Holman first reported on Century Liquor’s transformation into Century Market in December 2014. Her story, which was originally published on Intersections South L.A., appeared on the Huffington Post earlier this week as part of the “What’s Working” initiative.

In her article Holman explores how the liquor store, previously considered a public nuisance, revamped its business by deciding to sell fresh produce. The store now helps the community by serving as a local source for nutritious fruits and vegetables.


Cultural Cartography: Connecting Kinetic Communities with Dance Map LA

Sasha Anawalt

Dance Map L.A. aims to unify and reenergize the dance community and make it more visible through data collection and visualization. Though the survey numbers from nearly 500 respondents indicated that the dance community is fractured and dancers are not interacting with each other enough, the data cannot help but excite Sasha Anawalt, executive producer of Dance Map L.A. and director of USC Annenberg Masters School of Arts Journalism.

“It’s up to the journalists to take this information and build a story from it,” Anawalt said. “Interview people. Find out what’s really going on. Watch this as it changes.”


Periscope phone app gives millions a way to live-stream their lives

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A new live-streaming app for the iPhone, Periscope, was launched last week and has been making waves in the United States, but competition is tough. Other live-streaming apps like Meerkat and websites such as Livestream and Ustream are fighting for a piece of the same cake.

“No one really knows what sort of live streams are going to catch on,” professor Jeetendr Sehdev said.


Multifaceted Music Critic Andrew Porter Dies At 86

Andrew Porter, Tim Pagea renowned music critic, scholar, and opera translator passed away on April 3. Porter is perhaps best known for his two-decade stint as music critic of The New Yorker.

Professor Tim Page, former music critic of The Washington Post, said that his style of critique was a departure for The New Yorker.

“Some thought perhaps the scholarship sometimes overtook the criticism because he included so much background information,” Page said. “He really changed the definition of the gig in that he really examined music in great detail and taught you a lot about music.”


Are Laptop Requirements a Forgone Conclusion or a Burden on Students?

eTPN9QzeA survey in 2014 found that 90 percent of college students own laptops and 86 percent own smartphones, driving  journalism schools to mandate laptop ownership. A PBS article put forth USC Annenberg as a school that embraced the forecast that device ownership would increase in the future by ensuring that the new Wallis Annenberg Hall would be able to support the trend.

“We see students investing in these devices themselves, so we should take advantage of these devices on campus while providing a robust digital infrastructure,” James Vasquez, associate dean of facilities and technology, said.


America and Iran: An Opportunity for Public Diplomacy 

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Vice Dean Philip Seib‘s latest column for The World Post focused on the Iran nuclear agreement and the opportunity it creates for improving Americans and Iranians’ cultural understanding of each other.

Seib wrote about the need to accelerate existing efforts by the United States and other nations reach out to the Iranian people through measures such as academic and cultural exchange programs that effectively break down stereotypes.

“If people understand each other’s culture, relations between their countries are less likely to be shaken by animosities rooted in ignorance,” Seib wrote.

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USC Annenberg Faculty, Alumni to Take On LA Times Festival of Books

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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.

Saturday:

Sasha Anawalt

Sasha Anawalt

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

Sandy Tolan

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

Gabe Saglie

Gabe Saglie, USC Annenberg alum
More for Your Money: Travel Bargains in 2015
2:15 p.m. Travel Smart Stage

 

 

 

K.C. Cole.

K.C. Cole.

K.C. Cole, USC Annenberg associate journalism professor
Grasping the Ineffable: On Science and Health
3:00 p.m. Wallis Annenberg Hall

 

 

 

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Manuel Castells

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

 

 

Sunday:

Celeste Fremon

Celeste Fremon

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

Moderator Diane Smith

Narrative Journalism: Writing the Big Story
10:30 a.m. Hancock Foundation

 

 

 

 

Josh Kun

Josh Kun

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

Kenneth Turan

Kenneth Turan, USC Annenberg adjunct journalism professor
LA Times Idea Exchange
1:00 p.m. Bovard Auditorium

 

 

 

Robert Scheer

Robert Scheer

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

Ruben Castaneda

Ruben Castaneda, USC Annenberg alum
Narrative Journalism: Writing American Crime
3:30 p.m. Hancock Foundation

 

 

 

Book Signings & More:

Taj Frazier

Taj Frazier

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.

 

 

 

Joe Saltzman

Joe Saltzman

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'

“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]

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Quoted: Week of March 30

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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.


What’s Working’ initiative delivers first showcase report

huffington post whats workingUSC 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.


Sen. Robert Menendez Indictment A Blow to Latino Political Influence

Suro_Roberto_121x183Professor 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.


Scientology Doc ‘Going Clear’ Could Cause Problems For Tom Cruise At Box Office For ‘Mission: Impossible 5′

Jeetendr-SehdevThe 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.

Sehdev was also quoted in a Business Insider article on a very different type of brand: Keurig.


How Tech-Savvy Journalism Students View Innovation

Students at work in the ANN Media Center, which was recently named for alumna Julie Chen, Leslie Moonves and CBS.

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.”


Colleges Branch Out with Powerful SaaS Apps

eTPN9QzeEdTech 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.”


When will live-streaming apps like Periscope get interesting?

Jeetendr-Sehdev

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.”


Jody Evans Says She Learned to Love her Body from Third World Women

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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.”


Lee Kuan Yew and the Middle East

seib-photoVice 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.


States Are Divided by the Lines They Draw on Immigration

Professor Roberto SuroLaws 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.

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Professor Joe Saltzman to Speak at the Broadcast Educators Association

Joe Saltzman

Professor Joe Saltzman will discuss “The Rise of the Multi-Screen Consumer: The Effect of the Use of the Internet and TV Simultaneously on the Future Consumption of Media” at the 2015 Broadcast Educators Association Convention.

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.

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Innovation Corridor

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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

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TruthDig Five-Word Webby Award Speeches

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Honors accumulate for Truthdig, a news website with USC Annenberg connections. Below: Complete texts of brief speeches from Truthdig’s Webby Award wins.

“You can handle the truth.”
ZUADE KAUFMAN (M.A. PRINT JOURNALISM ’05), PUBLISHER
BEST POLITICAL BLOG, PEOPLE’S VOICE, 2014
—————————————————————————————————

“This one’s for Bradley Manning.”
PETER Z. SCHEER (B.A. COMMUNICATION ’04), MANAGING EDITOR
BEST POLITICAL WEBSITE, JURY, 2013

—————————————————————————————————

“Whistleblowing: That’s a patriot act.”
ZUADE KAUFMAN (M.A. PRINT JOURNALISM ’05), PUBLISHER
BEST POLITICAL BLOG, JURY, 2011

—————————————————————————————————

“Wall Street: What fuckin’ thieves.”
PROF. ROBERT SCHEER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
BEST POLITICAL BLOG, JURY, 2010

—————————————————————————————————

“Lust for truth, not profit.”
ZUADE KAUFMAN, (M.A. PRINT JOURNALISM ’05), PUBLISHER
BEST POLITICAL BLOG, JURY, 2007
BEST POLITICAL BLOG, PEOPLE’S VOICE, 2007

OTHER USC ALUMNI CURRENTLY AT TRUTHDIG: JOSHUA SCHEER (B.A. COMMUNICATION ‘03), KASIA ANDERSON (Ph.D. CANDIDATE)

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Teaching Diversity: Write an Email

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By Charisse L’Pree Corsbie-Massay*

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).

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Be the Hand Raiser

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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 Headshot 2014Maggie 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.”

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Read/Write the World: The Future of Storytelling

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By Geoffrey Long*

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?

*Technical Director and Research Fellow at the Annenberg Innovation Lab

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Quoted: Week of March 23

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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.


From Mexico to NASCAR: Daniel Suarez chases the American dream in Charlotte

USC Annenberg clinical professor Daniel DurbinDaniel Suarez is the first full-time Mexican driver in a NASCAR national series. Professor Daniel Durbin — who also serves as director of USC Annenberg Institute of Sports, Media, and Society — told the Daily Bulletin that Suarez is bringing NASCAR the opportunity to reach a more diverse and larger audience.

“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.


The revolution will be live streamed

HernandezR_121x163.ashxProfessor 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.


Car loaner raises ethics questions for 101.5 FM’s “Ask the Governor” show

Marc CooperThe 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.


Jane Fonda Joins Famous Alumni in Feting 40 Years of L.A. Theatre Works

CowanG_161pA 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.


Hollywood’s Women Problem: Why Female Filmmakers Have Hit the Glass Ceiling

Smith_Stacey_news.usc.eduResearch by professor Stacy Smith and the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative (MDSCI) was featured in The Daily Beast’s story on female filmmakers.

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.


New Works by Nam June Paik Are Discovered at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Noll_webProfessor 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.

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