Quoted: USC Annenberg in the News

Quoted BannerAt 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.

williamsWhy the Gaming Industry Can’t Afford to Ignore Latinos or Women

Associate professor Dmitri Williams was quoted in a Highbrow Magazine article about the underrepresentation of Latinos and women in video games, despite the growing interest in video games by these groups.

According to the article, Black and Latino children spend the most time playing video games, but Williams said in an interview with Voxxi that “they’re not really able to play themselves.”

“For children, the stakes may be slightly higher, many have suggested that games function as crucial gatekeepers to interest in technology, which translates into education and careers in mathematics and science-related fields,” he added.

Mike-AnannyDesigner or journalist: Who shapes the news you read in your favorite apps?

Assistant Professor Mike Ananny and Microsoft researcher Kate Crawford wrote a story for The Nieman Journalism Lab about their recent study on how engineers and designers from media companies compare their work to traditional journalism.

“Today, press ethics are intertwined with platform design ethics, and press freedom is shared with software designers,” they wrote.

When a designer makes a news app, the designer is, in part, “constructing an idea of news.” They added that designers “must make their own decisions about what is important for news delivery.”

When Ananny and Crawford interviewed designers about “journalism as a process and a profession,” they found that common values included: organizing information, meeting user demands, strategic transparency and distancing from journalism.

Lisa-MorehouseRemaining Uninsured Face Challenges in Cost and Simply Signing Up

Lisa Morehouse, a Journalism fellow through Annenberg’s California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship program, wrote a story for KQED Radio’s “The California Report,” about the challenges facing Californians who have yet to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Through the story of Palo Alto resident Leaburn Alexander, Morehouse explained that many Californians, like Alexander, “still find coverage too expensive, or face other obstacles in enrolling.”

Jeetendr-SehdevDavis on NFL: ‘This is a Teaching Moment’

Adjunct Professor Jeetendr Sehdev was interviewed on CNN, along with sports agent Leigh Steinberg and commentator Lanny Davis, about Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer’s recent arrest in a domestic violence case and calls for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s resignation.

Though he admits that there does seem to be a leadership issue in the NFL, Sehdev said that the issue “is much bigger than Goodell.”

“We have to look at the brand itself. The culture of the organization and see how we can start implementing policies and procedures that are actually going to shift that.”

According to Sehdev, 48 percent of 3,000 Americans have described the NFL as “sleazy,” which suggests that the NFL needs to rethink how they communicate with the public.

“Transparency, authenticity, really telling us what’s going on is the first step toward correcting the NFL brand,” Sehdev said.

Kun_150pLong live Gustavo Cerati, Rock en Español’s “avant-garde crooner”

Associate Professor Josh Kun was quoted in a Fusion story about the late Gustavo Cerati, lead singer of Argentine band Soda Stereo and revered solo artist.

“Latin American rock has always had stars and always had stadium-sized personalities, but Cerati was one of its first truly great, truly artful, songwriters,” Kun said, adding that Cerati’s work with Soda Stereo was proof of the authenticity of new wave and alternative rock from Latin America.

Kun interviewed Cerati multiple times during his solo career and noted that he “always heard Sinatra in Cerati’s singing. He was Rock en Español’s avant-garde crooner.”

Though the story noted that “Rock En Español might be dead as a concept,” Kun added that for young people: “The past is just a click away from the present.”

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Edward Malthouse Redefines Consumer Engagement at Annenberg Journalism Forum

Edward-MalthouseUSC Annenberg welcomed Edward Malthouse Tuesday for a lunchtime discussion on consumer engagement, social media and how they affect customer value and loyalty.

Malthouse is an integrated marketing communications professor at Northwestern University, as well as the research director of the Spiegel Center on Database and Digital Marketing at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.

Malthouse’s work deals primarily with consumer engagement, but he said “we should probably stop using the word engagement,” or at least approach it in a different way.

The term “engagement” encompasses several other ideas and strategies – such as marketing, branding and customer loyalty – and those are what people need to hone in on, according to Malthouse.

Fostering engagement, and all that it encompasses, can be done by tying ads, promotions and other aspects of branding and marketing to “a goal in the consumer’s life.”

Social media contests are one of the methods Malthouse has examined along these lines. As good and bad examples, he showed two contests held by Kit Kat.

One was held during the Super Bowl, asking people to give Kit Kat their email address for a chance to win various football and Kit Kat themed prizes. Malthouse said this was a poor example because it has little to do with Kit Kat’s branding strategy, but also because it lacks meaning for the consumer and requires little engagement on their part.

He then showed another contest held by Kit Kat, where they chose a “Fan of the Month,” based on photo submissions of people “taking a break” with Kit Kat. Because the theme of the contest aligns with their branding strategy and it requires more engagement and co-creation from the consumer, it will presumably be more effective.

“You want consumers to elaborate on how the brand helps them achieve a goal in their lives,” said Malthouse.

Malthouse also discussed his study in which he looked at the Canadian Air Miles Reward Program and how tactics promoting a contest affected traffic and consumer engagement.

The contest, which took place around the winter holidays, asked consumers to share how they planned to spend their reward points on the website. Malthouse explained that while the contest style worked because the consumer is asked to elaborate and engage with site, but the company promoted the contest by spamming consumers with email blasts, which worked only briefly.

Another study Malthouse worked on looked at online and mobile grocery shopping. It compared a consumer’s ability to shop for groceries from their computer to the shopping capabilities that came with adoption of a mobile app.

The study found that habitual products, like coffee creamer, sold better on the app, whereas products that require closer inspection, like frozen meals, sold better on the website viewed on a computer, which shaped what products are promoted on each platform.

When Malthouse opened the discussion to the audience, the conversation turned to the concept of true and genuine engagement and how to develop a strategy for it.

Malthouse said that a company needs to be aware of what value they’re trying to create for the consumer, adding that “with a clear strategy, the tactics will follow.”

Constantina Konugres, a junior Public Relations student, said she found Malthouse’s views on creating value and genuine engagement to be very applicable.

“As a fairly new PR student, I haven’t really understood the definition of engagement as a strategy,” Konugres said, adding that the talk allowed her to consider “how to engage your audience in non-gimmicky ways that don’t add value to your product.”

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Wallis Annenberg Hall’s Digital Lounge is a One Stop Shop for Learning

Kaylee Ho (left), economics and mathematics major, recently found the Digital Lounge and has been using the space to study ever since.

Kaylee Ho (left), economics and mathematics major, recently found the Digital Lounge and now uses the space to study.

The new Digital Lounge in Wallis Annenberg Hall isn’t just a space for work, but rather a space to create, experiment, learn and play. Students can look forward to exciting workshops and series of events in upcoming weeks.

Now that Annenberg students have access to the Adobe Creative Cloud, the Digital Lounge is hosting events to help students learn to use its programs. Last week the lounge hosted a three-day event called Adobe Days where students learned everything from Photoshop to designing websites.

This week the lounge will host WordPress days, and Annenberg students aren’t the only ones taking advantage of the Digital Lounge workshops.

“The WordPress Days announcement looked really cool so I actually sent a picture of the flyer to my friends, and I plan on attending myself,” Kaylee Ho, an economics and mathematics major, said.

This semester the Digital Lounge wants to focus on hosting more engaging activities rather than just basic workshops, Erika Hang, design specialist at the Digital Lounge and 2013 alumna, explained.

“We’re doing one for photo blogging,” Hang said. “Students can combine Adobe Illustrator and Tumblr to create a photo blog. We’re also doing one on creative infographics on Illustrator.”

The space is a way for students to receive help from their peers, as well as professionals.As students walk into the Digital Lounge, they will find a help desk where graduate students can assist with questions about software or projects.

Johnson Thomasson, M.S. candidate for Cinematic Arts, Film and Television Production, works at the help desk and assists students with technical support questions.

“All of the graduates who are here and available to help are experts on creative cloud and WordPress,” Thomasson said.

In addition to helping students with their technical support questions, the Digital Lounge also shares online tutorials on their website that students can refer to.

“We’re kind of an all-encompassing technical solutions team,” Martin Stack, digital media specialist, said. “Whether or not students can come to the space, they can get support for the tools we offer.”

Students like Sean Summers, a mechanical engineering major, have also used the Digital Lounge as a group study area. Summers particularly likes the large white boards that help his group map out problems they work on together.

“It’s very conducive to a collaborative environment,” Summers said. “There can be a lot of people here but its quiet enough to talk in a group setting without interrupting others.”

Courtney Miller, new media specialist, believes the the workshops, “DIY” series and “Digital Detox” are just the beginning and hopes to expand them.

Courtney Miller, new media specialist, believes the the workshops, “DIY” series and “Digital Detox” are just the beginning and hopes to expand them.

Courtney Miller, the new media specialist, is organizing additional activities for the space. Although the lounge is part of the digital epicenter of Annenberg, Miller wants to integrate events that help students disconnect, even temporarily, from the digital world.

Her first goal is to take ahands on approach with a series she’s named “DIY.”

“We’ll have a ‘DIY’ series where instead of being digital, we’re going to do some hands on arts and crafts, like making buttons,” Miller said. “I think this will do two things: it will inspire them to be creative without digital tools and encourage them to take that creative time and turn off their devices for an hour.”

For Miller, it’s important that students know when and where to turn off electronics. That’s why, in addition to the “DIY” series, she will implement a series of meditation sessions called “Digital Detox,” which she hopes will start next semester.

“In meditation, you learn to tune out everything around you,” Miller said. “It’s a nice thing to promote because it encourages balance.”

Miller was inspired to bring meditation to the Digital Lounge after reflecting on her time teaching with Semester at Sea with the University of Virginia. Meditation helped her balance running the media department and teach video journalism.

“I realized how important it is to be able to tune everything out, so its something I wanted to be able to bring back to Annenberg and to instill in this digital narrative we’re doing here,” Miller said.

One interesting aspect of the space, however, is that you won’t find computers. A new laptop policy that went into effect this semester requires that students own their own laptop computers, which they bring to the lounge.

“Students were so use to the old digital lab, but it’s just a new era,” Hang said. “Everyone already comes with his or her laptop so it’s just something new to adjust to.”

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Annenberg Board of Councilors Member Named New Publisher of the Washington Post

Frederick-RyanUSC Annenberg Board of Councilors member Frederick J. Ryan, Jr. was recently named the new publisher of The Washington Post.

According to a story from The Washington Post, Ryan has had his eye on the position since earlier this year.

After stepping down as President of Allbritton Communications and CEO of Politico, which he co-founded in 2007, he was asked by Jean Case, a philanthropist and the wife of AOL founder Steve Case, what he wanted to do next, to which he allegedly replied: “I want to be publisher of The Washington Post.”

Soon after, Ryan was introduced to Washington Post owner and Amazon.com founder Jeffrey Bezos — who gave Ryan the job earlier this month — replacing publisher Katharine Weymouth.

Following Ryan’s appointment, Bezos said: “I welcome Fred and thank him for agreeing to become The Post’s next Publisher and CEO. I know he’s excited to meet the team and roll up his sleeves.”

Ryan — who will lead the paper starting Oct. 1 — said in an interview, “the primary job of the publisher is to support the newsroom and to lead a news organization forward with a shared sense of mission, innovation — to, in this case, encourage forward thinking.”

He added that, under the leadership of Bezos, The Post “is better positioned than any other media organization because it’s got a mandate to innovate, to experiment and to do it for the long term.”

Ryan graduated Magna Cum Laude from USC in 1977 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Speech Communication. In 1980, he received a Juris Doctorate from the USC Law Center.

He was also an official in the Reagan Administration. He is the Chairman of the White House Historical Association and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation, as well as the Co-Chair of the National Archives Advisory Committee on Presidential Libraries.

USC Annenberg’s Board of Councilors members also includes Jarl Mohn, who was named CEO and President of NPR earlier this year, Norman Lear, and Dean Earnest J. Wilson III.

“USC Annenberg’s reach, reputation, and the respect we receive, is international,” Wilson said. “These new, powerful positions for Fred Ryan and Jarl Mohn are certainly no surprise to those of us in the greater Annenberg diaspora.”

Read more on Ryan here.

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Los Angeles Lakers Coach, Byron Scott, Visits Annenberg

To view more photos from Coach Scott's visit, click through to Flickr.

To view more photos from Coach Scott’s visit, click through to Flickr.

USC Annenberg Professor Jeff Fellenzer invited Los Angeles Lakers Head Coach and former player Byron Scott to speak with students in his “Sports, Business and Media” course on September 10, 2014.


To view more photos from Coach Scott’s visit, click through to Flickr.

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Quoted: USC Annenberg in the News


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.

Durbin_121x163.ashxTMZ Rice Video Puts Gossip Site In Front Again on Sports

Professor Dan Durbin was quoted in a Bloomberg story about gossip site TMZ releasing the violent video footage of football player Ray Rice abusing his fiancée.

The National Football League claimed they had not seen the video prior to TMZ’s leak, but Durbin argued that “nobody wanted to look at the video from the interior of the elevator until TMZ made them look at it.”

The article argued that TMZ’s growing habit of beating traditional media to breaking stories seems to reflect a change in the rules of the news cycle, and Durbin agreed.

“You can no longer look at them as some sort of cockroach at the side of the street that you can step on outside your house. They are controlling the house,” said Durbin.

mullerA political junkie takes helm at ‘Meet the Press’

USA Today quoted Annenberg Professor Judy Muller in a story on new ‘Meet the Press’ host Chuck Todd.

Muller said that the show needs to undergo a transformation of sorts. Comparing it to John Stewart and John Oliver, she said Todd and the show should do deeper research and work toward “making the comfortable uncomfortable.”

“What [Todd] brings to the table is savvy political insider knowledge, but he’s got to blow up the table,” Muller said. “This show, like other Sunday shows, is like watching a dinosaur race.”

Meet the Real-Life McDreamy: The Doctor Behind ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

The Hollywood Reporter recently published a story from Steven Giannotta, a neurosurgeon at USC’s Keck Medical Center and the inspiration for Dr. Derek Shepherd – or “McDreamy” – on the ABC medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy.” He credits Annenberg’s Hollywood, Health & Society program with his connection to the show.

The program allows Hollywood writers and producers to get in touch with medical experts who can provide information for health-related storylines. “Grey’s Anatomy” showrunner Shonda Rhimes used the program to connect with Giannotta because she was “eager to probe the realities of life as a neurosurgeon and the pressures of the hospital operating room.”

northHeard of Bethany Mota? She’s one of ABC’s newest stars

Karen North, director of the Digital Social Media program, was quoted by Marketplace in a story about Bethany Mota, a teenage YouTube star who will compete on the upcoming season of “Dancing With the Stars.”

While Mota is unknown to a lot of people, North attributes the casting choice to the type of demographic the show wants to attract.

“Right now everybody’s looking to integrate stars from YouTube into traditional television, and the primary reason is to bring in a younger audience,” North said.

KaplanBrands Make Lousy Lovers

Professor Marty Kaplan wrote an article for Jewish Journal about how brands such as Amazon, Uber, Yelp and Hillary Clinton have become difficult to support based on economic and political decisions.

Kaplan cited Amazon’s price war with publisher Hachette and questioned “why [he’s] in a relationship with a bully.”

Additionally, Hillary Clinton’s recent review of Henry Kissinger’s book, “World Order,” in which she calls him a “friend” and “vouches for his ‘astute observations,’” reminded Kaplan that “she is, after all, a politician.”

He concluded that “if recent years have taught us anything, it’s that loving any brand is a losing proposition, in politics no less than in commerce.”

“Unfortunately, the business that brands are in is persuading us to confuse their power with our love,” Kaplan added.

seib-photoIn Obama Speech, Echoes of the Lyndon Johnson Era

In an article for Defense One, ProfessorPhilip Seib said that President Obama’s speech on Wednesday was reminiscent of the Lyndon Johnson era.

From the “false promise of air power,” to “Iraqization” — which Seib suggested will be a direct descendant of “Vietnamization” –  Seib said the speech lacked necessary arguments, such as having “Arabs do more to clean up their own mess for a change.”

“The speech was nicely written, if you care about presidential syntax,” Seib said. “But it reflected no sense of history. We have been down this path before.

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USC Annenberg: Communication at the Center

As the world continues to change and become more interconnected, USC Annenberg recognizes that communication, in all its forms, is at the heart of understanding how we can progress and make an impact on society.

For more information:
Dan Durbin
Kjerstin Thorson
Marty Kaplan
David Craig
Jonathan Aronson
Philip Seib
Chris Smith
Henry Jenkins
Josh Kun

“Communication at the Center” is part of a series of videos looking at USC Annenberg’s exciting new era. For a look at the recently completed Wallis Annenberg Hall, watch USC Annenberg: New Building, New Program, New Era.

Also, don’t miss Dean Ernest J Wilson III’s Communication at the Center (C@C) blog.

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Wallis Annenberg Hall Hosts Its First Conversation Series on Covering Global Conflict

Panelists discuss “Covering Global Conflict: Ukraine & Ferguson,” in the first of a series of noontime conversations.

Panelists discuss “Covering Global Conflict: Ukraine & Ferguson,” in the first of a series of noontime conversations.

On Tuesday, USC Annenberg held the first in a series of noontime conversations in the new Wallis Annenberg Hall. More than one hundred students attended and listened to a panel made up of USC staff and visiting journalists as they examined how multiple international medias cover global conflicts.

The Center on Communications Leadership & Policy , School of Journalism, and the Pacific Council on International Policy helped organize the event “Covering Global Conflict: Ukraine & Ferguson,” with special attention to the Ukrainian crisis and how Russian and American media cover it.

Willow Bay, director of the school of journalism, said she hopes that the conversations will spark greater interest in global coverage to the prospective journalists in the room.

“I expect that this building will become a hub for more of these conversations of news media, domestically and internationally,” Bay said.

Senior correspondent of the Moscow Times, Ivan Nechepurenko, joined the panel from Moscow via Skype to share his insights.

“Russia has a very strong television media that only gives one side of the story,” Nechepurenko said. “My belief is that the situation is very similar in the western world. They give a very singular interpretation of what’s happening.”

Panelist Florian von Heintze, deputy editor-in-chief of German newspaper BILD, echoed Nechepurenko by stating that Russian media has strictly followed the official Russian position by arguing that they are protecting Russian minorities in Ukraine, while American media has emphasized Vladimir Putin unjustness and that he must be stopped.

One-sided stories can be especially problematic as it leaves room for governments to generate propaganda and misinform readers, explained Julian Reicheit, editor-in-chief of BILD.

“The best protection against propaganda, for me is to always have your own people on the road because it’s the best defense over believing government propaganda,” Reicheit said.

Julian Reicheit, editor-in-chief of Bild.de, discusses how to overcome propaganda.

Julian Reicheit, editor-in-chief of Bild.de, discusses how to overcome propaganda during “Covering Global Conflict.”

When Reicheit began covering wars and conflict zones in Iraq and Afghanistan years ago, Twitter didn’t exist the way it does today. Now readers are confronted with a “constant real-time influx of information” so journalists tend to jump on everything, even if its only 140 characters on Twitter.

“That makes it very easy for governments to create something like propaganda as long as they have an understanding of what an audience wants to hear,” Reicheit said.

Governments, however, aren’t the only entities using propaganda. Rebels and terrorist groups, like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, have favored it. These groups have additionally realized that journalists are their biggest threat because they can reveal confidential information about their organization.

Journalists have almost become favorite targets of terrorists, Reichei said, which makes it very difficult to check news in their country. In fact, by threatening the lives of journalists, terrorists groups like ISIS have essentially monopolized the coverage of their own organization.

“Every time they run footage, may it be video or pictures from ISIS, its shot by ISIS,” Reicheit said. “We have to take it off of Twitter because we have no access. It always looks glorified and always looks the way they want it to look, and the truth is we have no way around it.”

As barbaric as the images and videos appear, they are not Neanderthal, he continued. Even in an environment where they are gruesomely beheading people, ISIS knows that in order to attract an international audience they need clean audio in their footage.

Jessica Moulite, an M.S. journalism student, attended the event and admired the honesty of the guest speakers, especially regarding the role of journalists in telling stories.

“As an aspiring journalist, I now have to keep in mind which agendas I may consciously or unconsciously use for my reporting, now more than ever,” Moulite said.

The panel agreed that in order for readers to be fully informed, they must be well versed in news coverage from multiple organizations, domestic and abroad. Michael Parks, professor and former director of the school of journalism, added that its important for journalists to be up-to-date on recent past histories when it comes to big news stories.

“There are different narratives in every conflict,” Parks said. “So whose narrative is right? Is it the job of the journalist to decide or explain?”

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New Media Center is “one big sandbox for all our student productions”

#ANNHallPass, Wallis Annenberg Hall Grand Opening, October 1, 2014

Now that the new school year is underway, students have had the opportunity to play in the “sandbox” that is the converged Media Center at Wallis Annenberg Hall. The following are a selection of videos offering a peek at what’s begun and what’s to come. 

Executive producer for ATVN and senior journalism major, Faith Miller, spent the summer working on preparing the Media Center for ATVN’s broadcasts. “A place like this doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world,” Miller said.

Chuck Boyles, director of multimedia technology for USC Annenberg, shows off the Media Center’s many features. 

Willa Seidenberg of Annenberg Radio News is most looking forward to the impact the state-of-the-art complex will have on student and faculty collaboration.

For more videos from USC Annenberg, visit our YouTube page. The building will be complete for its grand opening on October 1, 2014.


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Annenberg Alumni Kick Off ‘Meet the Directors’ Series in Orange County

(From left to right) Sarah Banet Weiser, Jacki Cisneros, Willow Bay, Gilbert Cisneros, and Dean Ernest J. Wilson III,

(From left to right) Sarah Banet Weiser, Jacki Cisneros, Willow Bay, Gilbert Cisneros, and Dean Ernest J. Wilson III,

The inaugural event in the USC Annenberg Alumni Relations “Meet the Director” series was hosted Aug. 27 at the Orange County home of Annenberg alumna Jacki Cisneros and her husband Gilbert Cisneros.

More than 50 alumni, parents and friends were in attendance, including Dean Ernest J Wilson III and Annenberg’s two new directors, Sarah Banet-Weiser and Willow Bay.

Click through to view the full Flickr album of the event.

Annenberg Alumni Relations will host the next event in its “Meet the Directors” series on Oct. 16 in New York City.

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