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 Annenberg’s leaders, faculty, staff and others.
Diane Winston, who holds Annenberg’s Knight Chair in Media and Religion, was quoted in a story from The Atlantic on the Boston Globe’s recent launch of a separate website for coverage of the Catholic Church.
Winston pointed out that it seems to be a counter-intuitive venture.
“We all know that in the U.S., religion is in a steep decline,” Winston said. “The future of Catholicism, based on the stats we have, isn’t really rosy.”
But when comparing it to sites specializing in technology or economics, Winston added that some people may see it as an equally valid category.
“It’s hard for news media, which is determinedly secular in nature, to admit that religion is a motivating factor for people,” Winston said.
The Sacramento Bee quoted Professor Tom Hollihan in a story about Thursday’s debate between Gov. Jerry Brown and Neel Kashkari, who is in need of the exposure. According to a recent Field Poll, less than 60 percent of likely voters have an opinion of Kashkari with only two months until the election.
But the debate would temporarily give Kashkari “equal footing” with Brown.
“Debates are the most important moments in campaigns, of course,” Hollihan said prior to the debate. “They’re the moment when the public is invited to sort of pay attention to the candidates, and they see them on the same platform, so they’re able to see them in direct comparison to each other.
However, the debate aired at the same time as the first nationally televised game of the regular NFL season.
Hollihan added: “I don’t anticipate this debate’s going to attract a big viewership or frankly that it’s likely to have much of an impact on the election, absent some incredible gaffe.”
Karen North, director of the Digital Social Media program, was quoted in an Associated Press story about the recent hacking scandal in which countless nude photographs of celebrities were released on the internet.
North warned that all digital media, regardless of privacy settings, can be made public.
“What you think is private is public, and what you think is temporary is permanent,” North said. “Once you share it with somebody, you no longer control the intellectual property.”
Voice of America wrote a story about the brand-new Wallis Annenberg Hall, highlighting the technology and tools that can be found in the new, state-of-the-art media center.
Because of the tools available, School of Journalism Director Willow Bay said that students have to be able to produce content across all platforms.
“Today we expect journalists to be able to use all sorts of technological tools to research stories, to vet that research, to analyze that research,” Bay added. “We expect them to be fluid in multimedia storytelling skills. We expect them increasingly to be their own marketing and distribution arms, to get their stories in front of audiences and to spread those stories as far as they can.”
However, media center executive director Serena Cha added that with new technology and tools, journalists need to be aware of the new ethical questions that come with it.
“In the journalism arena we’ve got to consider carefully. How do we teach students to use the tools responsibly? Yes, new technology often raises new questions because you’re able to manipulate reality even more than before,” Cha said.