Augmented Reality, Not Just for Gaming

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

AR3Augmented Reality Total Immersion is not just for gaming any more. Last fall, USC Annenberg Professor Robert Hernandez led a group of students through an immersive storytelling experiment that revealed nuances of the Los Angeles Public Library, while simultaneously providing a glimpse into the future of journalism and communication. Students created an app featuring digital content layered over real-world visual markers that can be viewed via mobile device. Students designed content that accessed the library’s special collections of rare books, translated Greek epigraphs, revealed how the library structure has evolved over the years, and even presented a full-on puppet show.

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Further experiments in this immerse technology span a diverse spectrum: Artists such as BC “Heavy” Biermann from RE+Public, scientists from NASA/JPL, even a Tokyo aquarium which wanted to boost attendance to its penguin exhibit, are already effectively fusing AR to their work. What’s around the next curve? Hernandez says that it will likely be the merger of AR with wearable, immersive technologies. Sony, Epson, and of course, Google with their Glass platform, have all entered the wearable arena. This fall, Hernandez will lead an entire course focused on creating apps for Google Glass, which he says will be a “strong baby step, creating content that I see as essentially augmented reality.”

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Annenberg Advantage Mentor-Mentee Meetup Event

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About 50 Annenberg alumni mentors and current student mentees attended a dinner event at Wallis Annenberg Hall, where USC Marshall Associate Professor of Clinical Management Dr. Sharoni Little guest spoke about the nature of mentorship relationships.

Little led the program, titled “Building, Leveraging and Maximizing Relationships,” which included an exercise in which mentors and mentees answered questions about each other — an exercise that highlighted the importance of getting to know each other on a personal, as well as a professional basis.

Part of the USC Annenberg Advantage initiative, the mentorship program matches current students with alumni in their respective fields, encouraging the pairings to meet at least once a month. Now in its sixteenth year under the guidance of the alumni office, the program hosts on-campus events for all of mentor/mentee pairings at the beginning of each academic semester.

View the full photo gallery of the January Mentorship event.

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Disney CEO and Vanity Fair Editor speak at USC Annenberg

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Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, and Graydon Carter, Editor of Vanity Fair, in conversation at USC Annenberg on February 17, 2015. For more images from the event, visit USC Annenberg on Flickr.

What does the future hold for media in the digital age? This is the question that students and faculty at USC Annenberg are faced with, and are trying to answer each day.

Tuesday afternoon, the question was posed to two of the most influential people in media: Chairman and CEO of Disney, Bob Iger, and Editor of Vanity Fair, Graydon Carter.

The special event, “Managing Media in the Digital Age,” was moderated by Willow Bay, director of the School of Journalism. Bay introduced the two before handing it over to Iger, her husband, to lead to conversation with Carter. From magazine publishing to Disney princesses, an overflowing audience in Wallis Annenberg Hall was treated to anecdotes and advice from the media managers.

Starting with Vanity Fair, Iger asked Carter about the state of the magazine business and print versus digital.

As a monthly magazine, Vanity Fair covers news in a way that is “halfway between the first onslaught of the story, and a book,” Carter said. But in addition to the expectation of strong monthly content that tackles stories in a wider context, there is also the expectation that the brand offer content online in a more time-sensitive manner.

“How important is it that it exists in atoms instead of bits?” Iger asked Carter of continuing to publish a physical print magazine.

Carter explained there has been a generational shift in the consumption of media. He offered the example that 10 years ago, parents would have had a stack of Disney films in their living room. Then five years ago it would be a collection of DVDs. Now, there’s no physical object because those same films are being streamed online. Vanity Fair has experienced that same evolution, with their website and tablet edition, while maintaining their original magazine.

In discussing the magazine itself, Iger asked Carter about the role of longform journalism, now that stories can be broken down into lists or 140 character tweets. Length doesn’t matter, Carter responded, because its well-done people will read it.

“A great 30-page magazine article ends before you know it,” Carter said.

Soon the conversation turned to what sells content, and Carter turned the tables on Iger — taking on his more natural role of interviewer instead of interviewee. He asked the Disney CEO about the media company’s audience: Disney would grab kids’ attention around age two and would lose them around 10. Mixed in would be parents and grandparents, of course, but there were large generational gaps that Disney couldn’t seem to fill.

“We just had to get better,” Iger said. “We had to make things that were … more likeable.”

Iger explained that these conversations often centered on whether Disney should change its standards, adding more violence or “saucier language.” Rather than change Disney, Iger looked at acquiring other properties to fill these roles, like Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm.

The conversation eventually transitioned into a question-and-answer session with the audience. Jonathan Taplin, professor and director of the Annenberg Innovation Lab, noted the increased prevalence of piracy — he even mentioned how easy it was to find The Avengers online via a simple Google search.

“Do either of you think Google could be more supportive of the creative community?” Taplin asked.

Iger said he has spoken to Google, and that over time the search-engine has become more receptive. However, it is a “whack-a-mole” situation due to the sheer volume of pirated material that exists. Iger said the important thing for people to understand is that content has value.

“The distribution of pirated goods really has no value to society,” he said.

The final question was asked by a student, who was curious what Iger and Carter look for in young employees and what advice they’d give USC Annenberg students. Iger noted the value of classroom and practical experience, specifically commenting on the USC Annenberg Media Center as a great example of how these two qualities can come together.

“I benefitted a lot from showing an interest in learning and doing at the same time,” Iger shared. His went into his first job as a production assistant with more practical experience than his colleagues.

Carter said simply: “If you can write a great, really charming letter, you can get in to see anyone.”

Look through audience reactions to the event in our Storify recap of Disney’s Bob Iger and Vanity Fair’s Graydon Carter visit to USC Annenberg.

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Storify: USC Annenberg Welcomes Disney’s Bob Iger and Vanity Fair’s Graydon Carter

What does the future hold for media in the digital age? This is the question that students and faculty at USC Annenberg are faced with, and are trying to answer each day.

Tuesday afternoon, the question was posed to two of the most influential people in media: Chairman and CEO of Disney, Bob Iger, and Editor of Vanity Fair, Graydon Carter.

The following is a Storify recap of the audience’s reactions to the special event, “Managing Media in the Digital Age.” For the full story on their visit, click here.

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Quoted: Week of February 9

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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.

What Jon Stewart’s departure means for Viacom

Jonathan Taplin

The stock of Viacom, the parent company of Comedy Central, fell about 1.5 percent Wednesday after “fake news” icon Jon Stewart announced he will leave the network’s marquee program, “The Daily Show.”

But some analysts, including professor Jonathan Taplin, say the situation could be worse.

“Viacom is suffering the same way almost every major TV network is. In the 12-to-17 age range and the 18-to-49 age range, the year-over-year declines in people watching traditional TV are in the 12 percent range. Now if you project that out for a few years, that’s pretty scary.”


Eight Developments That Are Disrupting the TV Industry

Jeff Cole

Ad Age quoted professor Jeffrey Cole on developments that are disrupting the TV industry at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting.

“The behavior of recent college graduates often indicates the direction of the market. When people reach this phase, they start to eliminate those things they grew up with and are no longer willing to pay for. This now includes giving up TV sets in favor of other devices.”

However, Cole says this generation’s interest in television is greater than any previous generation, they just want to watch, “what they want, where they want, and, importantly, they don’t want to spend $85 a month.”


Who will replace Jon Stewart?

Communication professor Tom Hollihan

Professor Tom Hollihan spoke to USA Today about The Daily Show’s future replacement.

Without question, Comedy Central will take its time finding a worthy successor to formidable fake-news anchor Jon Stewart, who announced Tuesday that he’s leaving The Daily Show when his contract is up.

Hollihan says Stewart’s successor will face a daunting task.

“He’s a supremely talented interviewer, very quick-witted and sharp and he’s clearly well-read and well-informed. There is something about his kind of charm and his ability to connect with viewers non-verbally that I think will make it difficult for anyone to fill his shoes. There are other people who have established their own brand, but Stewart is a unique player.”

ABC News and Variety also quoted Hollihan on the Stewart departure.


Social Media Keeps Up Pressure on NBC Over Brian Williams’s ‘Mistaken’ Iraq Story

Karen North

Recode quoted professor Karen North on social media’s power to hold public figures accountable.

Critics have turned to Twitter to lampoon Brian Williams’ explanation that he had ‘misremembered’ his account of the 2003 Iraq events. The hashtag #BrianWilliamsMisremembered is now attached to dozens of creative images online.

Digital media experts say the incident demonstrates the power of social media to hold prominent figures to account for their words and actions.

North says,

“When you talk about the democratization of the digital age, if people can speak their minds, and if they find a way to make it resonate with enough people or the right people, then they can force the issue to come to light.”

The LA Times also quoted North on the murder trial of a teen accused of sending a selfie with the body on Snapchat.

The Sacramento Bee also quoted North.


PopPolitics: Beau Willimon on ‘House of Cards’ New Season; Eve Ensler on Movies and Masculinity

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Professor Mary Murphy was quoted in Variety, discussing actors driving the anti-vaccine movement.

On the radio broadcast, Murphy discussed the prominent role of entertainment industry figures like Jenny McCarthy in driving the anti-vaccine movement, as well as plans among some celebrities to start to a draft-Elizabeth Warren effort.

Pop Politics, hosted by Variety’s Ted Johnson, airs Thursdays at 2 P.M. ET on Sirius XM’s Channel 124.


Huffington Post Bets People Will Read Good News – And Share It, Too

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The announcement of Annenberg’s “What’s Working” partnership with the Huffington Post was quoted by NPR.

Under the deal, USC journalism students who produce stories, videos or other content on positive developments or constructive solutions to enduring problems will work with Huffington Post editors to get them posted on the site.

Leader of the initiative Arianna Huffington said she hopes the new project can help bring out the best in the site’s users.


Brian Williams’ future uncertain as NBC News launches investigation

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NBC News recently celebrated Brian Williams’ 10 years as anchor of “NBC Nightly News” with a promotional campaign that stressed trust and experience.

However, Williams’ false statements regarding his accounts of his trip on a military helicopter during the 2003 invasion of Iraq have triggered an internal investigation at NBC News into the anchor’s version of his story.

The LA Times article quoted Professor and former broadcast news reporter Judy Muller.

“If you are a journalist, your basic job description is reporting the truth, so if you are caught telling a lie – intentional or not – your credibility is going to be seriously impaired. At the very least, in the age of instant judgement, you will be Twittered into a punch line.”

Up to Friday, Williams’ apologies have failed to alleviate the criticism and comments from crew members on the flight that was attacked.

The LA Times and KNX 1070 also quoted Muller on the Williams incident.

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USC Annenberg Media Center Reacts to #AdviceForYoungJournalists

The Twittersphere erupted earlier this week when #AdviceForYoungJournalists became a trending topic after journalist Felix Salmon offered some thought provoking “words of wisdom” to aspiring newsies.

The USC Annenberg Media Center — conglomerate that includes Annenberg TV News, Neon TommyAnnenberg Radio News and other student media outlets — came together to flip the switch on the popular hashtag by offering #AdviceFromYoungJournalists. In the video below, USC Annenberg students ask their predecessors to take notice of a revitalized generation of news writers and producers.

ATVN also weighed in on the hot-button issue during their nightly newscast, giving professors and USC Annenberg alum Ashley Riegle the opportunity to extend their own pieces of advice.

 

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Annenberg…Of Course

Want to get a preview of what classes to take? Thirty seconds is all you need to get a better idea. Watch, as professors provide a snapshot of the courses they teach!

 

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Gift to help USC Annenberg build a bridge from classroom to board room

Click here for a PDF of the Annenberg Works calendar.

Click here for a PDF of the Annenberg Works calendar.

USC Annenberg has more to offer than a world-class education. From real-world experience in the converged Media Center to internationally recognized research, the school is on the cutting-edge of the communication and journalism fields. With a recent gift, this work will go far beyond the walls of the Annenberg School and Wallis Annenberg Hall.

A generous gift from Rick and Shelley Kuhle — parents of two USC Annenberg students and one alumna — has supported the launch of Annenberg Works, a comprehensive initiative that links industry partners with the USC Annenberg community. In doing so, Annenberg Works will expose corporate partners to the breadth and depth of talent within USC Annenberg, with the expectation of building a pipeline of new employment opportunities for graduates.

“What we are most excited about this program is that it will differentiate USC Annenberg from other top tier programs and guarantee not only jobs upon graduation but meaningful and impactful employment,” Rick Kuhle said.

Josh Larsen, director of development at USC Annenberg, worked with the Kuhles to help define the gift. Larsen describes the overall goal as a “refocusing” of the work done by Career Services.

“In the past we’ve been reactive,” Larsen said. “We’ve responded when a student has a particular desire to work in a field or work with a certain company … We wanted to flip that upside down and be more proactive. We’re grateful to Shelley and Rick for their partnership in launching this exciting new initiative that will benefit the USC Annenberg community for years to come.”

Part of being proactive included hiring two new positions: an alumni career counselor, to assess the needs of alumni, and a corporate liaison, to build relationships with companies to bring new employment opportunities to the USC Annenberg community.

“Part of my role is really figuring out what’s the best way to engage companies,” Miracle McClain, the new corporate liaison, said of her job. Only a few weeks on the job and McClain has already launched a concerted effort to start to develop a strategic relationship with targeted companies.

These relationships will lend themselves to more than simply internships and job offers. Events like career treks will offer students the opportunity to visit with companies in the field they’re studying to learn more about the industry while simultaneously allowing these corporate partners to personally meet many talented members of USC Annenberg student body.

“That’s new and that’s what I think is really going to ignite Annenberg Works,” McClain said. “Getting students up and out of the university and into the trenches of advertising companies, digital brand companies, journalism and broadcast companies.”

Once students have left USC Annenberg to begin their careers, there has been limited support from offices like Career Services. However this new gift and expansion allowed the school to hire Tiffany Madden, the new alumni career counselor and assessment coordinator. Madden will be sending out assessments for young alumni in order to gauge what they need and want from USC Annenberg as they begin their careers.

Madden said the recent economic situation has caused a unique set of needs for young alumni that the school had not met. Outreach to those recently out of school is a top priority for her to assess what more the school can do to support them. Even mid-career alumni, perhaps looking to change fields or move into a management position, can take advantage of the new programming designed to meet their needs.

But alumni relations are not limited to their own career searches. Madden also plans to build relationships with alumni that will then come back to campus and speak with students, playing to the value of the ever-present Trojan Family.

“I foresee us doing more and more alumni speaker panels,” Madden said. “I think it’s absolutely invaluable for our students to see and hear from those who have been in their shoes, who have walked these halls, have taken these classes, and can talk about they’ve come out on the other side.”

Some of these changes began in the fall semester, like the Insider Insights speaker series which brings high profile alumni to campus, offering advice to students. Director of Career Development, Suzanne Alcantara, said she is excited to see the office grow.

“The employability of our students is our number one goal, so it’s really exciting to have the bandwidth of two additional people and to really be thinking about our efforts in creative ways,” Alcantara said. “In particular, we look forward to measuring the impact of these new activities to make sure they’re achieving the greatest possible benefit to the USC Annenberg community.”

One large project launching this year is the Maymester program. A group of students will be traveling to New York City at the end of the semester to spend time meeting with different organizations, networking with alumni, and learning about the unique aspects of the NYC media industry.

“That program is also running through this office,” Alcantara said. “We will be working some of our alumni angles and our industry contacts. There’s a lot of student excitement, and I think it’s going to be phenomenal that it’s happening as part of this initiative as well. And, of course, we’re excited about the prospect of connecting with new companies and showing them all that the USC Annenberg student body has to offer.”

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Quoted: Week of February 2

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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.

Hello, wearables! Goodbye, privacy?

Jeff Cole

The Cincinnati Enquirer quoted professor Jeffrey Cole on the risks associated with the exploding popularity of the wearable technology industry.

Research firm Markets and Markets predicts that the wearable technology industry will grow to $11.61 billion by the end of 2020. However, security experts say the companies creating these products can’t always ensure the data collected won’t end up in unintended hands, or be used for unauthorized purposes.

Cole’s study for the Annenberg Center for the Digital Future found that people ages 18-34 don’t have much expectation of privacy. While critics argue this perspective will change by 2015, this finding will undoubtedly have an impact on the future success of the wearable technology industry.


Williams’ popularity, ratings could save his job

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USA Today quoted professor Judy Muller on the ever-changing story of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams abroad a military helicopter in 2003 that has recently gotten him in some hot water.

The anchor apologized to veterans earlier this week. But Williams’ misstatements have unleashed a firestorm on the Internet and social media, with some critics calling for his firing and others more tolerant of Williams’ account that it was simply a matter of ‘misremembering.’

However, Williams’ popularity and likability could work in his favor, Muller said. “Do they toss out a multi-million dollar brand after he apologized? You may find people are more forgiving than not.”


AOL and Comedian Mike Epps Take on Racism- Ever So Gently

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The Wall Street Journal cited the work of professor Marcia Dawkins in its CMO Today blog on AOL’s recent unveiling of an edgy web series titled “That’s Racist With Mike Epps”.

AOL debuted five episodes of the series starring comedian Mike Epps last week, with titles like “Jews Are Cheap” and “Asians Can’t Drive”. Epps said he knew the episode titles would draw attention, but says the series is aimed at exposing stereotypes, not encouraging racism.

To succeed in this goal, Epps enlisted the help of Dawkins to examine the origins of various racial stereotypes. Dawkins’ background includes frequently writes on issues such as race and diversity for a variety of academic and mainstream publications.


A New Study Redefines What’s Sexy- and Courage Really Matters

Jeetendr Sehdev

Glamour Magazine cited a recent study by professor Jeetendr Sehdev. Sehdev’s study was aimed at finding a universal answer to the question of what makes someone sexy. Sehdev questioned 10,000 men and women from Asia to Australia on what makes someone sexy.

Sehdev’s study found that courage matters more than confidence to to 75% of respondents as it shows someone’s flaws in a positive light and makes them relatable.

Perhaps the most fascinating finding from Sehdev’s study is that men considered ambition in women sexier than the reverse, with 52 percent saying it’s attractive for challenging traditional gender-based stereotypes.

The Today Show also quoted Sehdev.


How Much is My Browsing Worth to You? A River of Nickels

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Professor Gabriel Kahn wrote an article for PBS MediaShift on the cost we actually pay for “free” digital media news.

Kahn says we are paying for the overwhelmingly popular free digital news with our attention and “a disturbing amount of of personal data we offer up in a mysterious algorithmic cocktail to advertisers.”

Kahn shared his personal research on how much revenue his news browsing is creating for publishers.

Overall, news sites generate an estimated $5 billion in digital ad revenue, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. Kahn found his morning contribution to this total to be around six cents a morning to various publishers.


Television Academy: Creating Content for Children’s Media: What’s Next?

Erin Reilly

 CNN iReport quoted professor Erin Reilly in an audio recording on the future of creating content for children’s media. Reilly says the future is all about audience engagement, citing the recent trend of including YouTube stars in children’s movies and television shows.

Reilly says the future is based on characters that “are relatable and able to create an emotional connection with the audience.”


How do you solve a problem like censoring YouTube?

Karen North

Last Wednesday, the European Union’s counter terrorism chief said it was up to governments to flag “terrorist-related” videos on YouTube.

“This is a very human movement, where people look at something and say, ‘That is completely inappropriate for our community.’ It’s our responsibility as a community to alert YouTube,” professor Karen North told Marketplace Tech.

Given the sheer number of daily uploads on YouTube and the focus on user-generated content, North says it’s impractical for Google to to monitor each upload. 

While there have been suggestions of governments being more involved in this process, North says that such a development, especially in the U.S., would only result from a “long, complex negotiation.”


Movie business still a man’s world

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CNN ran an op-ed by Stacy Smith and Katherine Pieper of the Annenberg School on the issue of putting women front and center in film is the exception, not the rule. Smith says this in light of the announcement of the all-female cast of the “Ghostbusters” reboot.

Smith and Pieper’s research reveals that the lack of diversity in films can be blamed by perceptions of market forces and money both in front of and behind the camera. Male leads, stories and properties are seen as more profitable, while female stories and casts are seen as a risk.

Smith says leveling the playing field for hiring is a good start to solving this problem, through modification of the NFL’s Rooney Rule. The Hollywood application of this rule would stipulate that women as well as candidates from underrepresented backgrounds must be considered or even interviewed when hiring film directors.

The Washington Post also mentioned Smith’s Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative.

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Selden Ring Award For Investigative Reporting: A Look Back

For the past 25 years, USC Annenberg has honored remarkable work in investigative journalism with the Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting. A $35,000 prize is presented annually to reporters whose work effected change. In anticipation of the 2015 winner announcement, let’s take a look back at the stories that have all shared the prestigious distinction.

2014: Deadly Delays”- (Milwaukee Journal Sentinal)

The 2014 Selden Ring Award winners from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. (Courtesy the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The 2014 Selden Ring Award winners from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. (Courtesy the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

A team of five reporters shed light on newborn screening programs that depend on speed and science to save babies from rare diseases. Through an analysis of nearly 3 million screenings, the series revealed how delays across hospitals have put babies at risk for disability and death. As a result, dozens of states overhauled their infant screening programs.

2013: “In God’s Name”- Alexandra Zayas (Tampa Bay Times)

A three-part series and year-long investigation revealed instances of abuse against children at unlicensed religious homes and boarding schools. Zayas also created searchable database outlining abuse cases across group homes in Florida.

2012: “Methadone and the Politics of Pain”- Michael J. Berens and Ken Armstrong (The Seattle Times)

This story uncovered the pressuring of Medicaid patients to use the painkiller Methadone by the state of Seattle as a cheap alternative, despite warnings about its often fatal risks. Within days of publication, the state issued an emergency public-health warning of the drug’s uncertainties and later removed methadone from its list of preferred drugs.

2011: “Breach of Faith”- Ruben Vives and Jeff Gottlieb (Los Angeles Times)

Following a detailed expose of municipal corruption through the issuing of enormous compensation packages in Bell, Calif., eight former and current city officials were arrested and the state controller’s office ordered municipalities around California to post the salaries of city employees on the Internet.

2010: T. Christian Miller (ProPublica)

In a multi-part series, Miller’s reporting brought to light the first publicly tallied data showing that more than 1,600 civilians have died and 37,000 injured while supporting U.S. soldiers. The series also revealed that insurance coverage for war zone private contractors was directly benefitting companies instead of those seeking treatment and death benefits.

2009: Sandra Peddie and Eden Laikin (Newsday)

Ubiquitous pension abuses and outrageous spending by local government districts on Long Island at the cost of millions of taxpayers’ money became the centerpiece of this investigative story. As a result, New York state legislature passed a pension-reform package and stepped up regulation to end the corruption.

2008: Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army’s Top Medical Facility”-Dana Priest and Anne Hull (The Washington Post)

The heavily neglected and deprecating living conditions for veterans within the Walter Reed Army Medical Center spurred the firing of the facility’s commanding general as well as the forced resignation of other top-ranking military personnel.

2007: Lisa Chedekel and Matthew Kauffman- (Hartford Courant)

Beginning an investigation in 2006, this reporting duo revealed how the U.S. military was sending troops with grave mental health and psychological problems into combat.  As a result, Congress established new mental health screening programs for recruits and placed a cap on the amount of time mentally ill soldiers are mandated to stay in a war zone.

2006: “Investigating Abramoff- Special Report”- (The Washington Post)

The work of reporters and editors at The Washington Post uncovered deep congressional corruption by Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Their journalistic skills aided in Abramoff’s four-year prison conviction for exchanging expensive gifts and trips for political favors.

2005: “Drinking Water”- (The Washington Post) 

With this investigative story, more than 200 articles ran warning Washington D.C. residents of dangerously high levels of lead in the tap water. The report spanned nationwide and the Environmental Protection Agency launched an investigation into the misreporting of lead levels across numerous water facilities.

2004: (Asbury Park Press- Gannett New Jersey)

Before the New Jersey state election in 2003, the series exposed government officials more concerned with personal financial gain than the interests of their voters.

2003: “Abuse in the Catholic Church”- (Boston Globe)

Reporters at the Boston Globe joined forces to reveal misconduct within the Catholic Church. The series led to public outcry against Boston priests, state legislature requiring clergy to report sexual abuse, a national child-protection policy in the Catholic Church and ultimately the resignation of Cardinal Bernard F. Law of Boston, one of the nation’s most influential Catholic prelates.

2002: Heidi Evans and David Saltonstall- (New York Daily News)

Lorraine Hale, the co-founder of the highly regarded Hale House shelter serving women and children in Harlem, was exposed for funneling more than $500,000 in donor funds to outside projects and violating child adoption laws. As a result, Hale faced indictment on 72 counts of criminal activity.

2001: “Quackenbush Secretly Routed Funds to TV Ads”- Virginia Ellis (Los Angeles Times)

Virginia Ellis brought documents to light proving California’s state insurance commissioner funneled $1.9 million in public money to private political consultants and production studios for advertorial television slots. Shortly after publication, Quackenbush resigned.

2000: The Rape Squad Files- (The Philadelphia Inquirer), “Invisible Lives, Invisible Deaths”- Katherine Boo  (The Washington Post)

The Inquirer team was honored for their efforts in revealing the Philadelphia police department’s questionable pattern of neglecting women’s claims of rape. Post reporter Katherine Boo exposed the shocking abuses of mentally disabled people in Washington D.C. group homes.

1999: “Deadly Force: An Investigation of D. C. Police Shootings” (The Washington Post)

Five reporters from the Post were honored for an investigation revealing Washington D.C. police shot and killed more persons per resident in the 1990s that any other police force of a large American city. The story spurred a complete revamp of officer training programs, emphasizing alternatives to using deadly force.

1998: “The Shipbreakers”- Gary Cohn and Ginger Thompson (The Baltimore Sun)

USC Annenberg adjunct professor Gary Cohn and Ginger Thompson revealed the covert shipbreaking industry, which was bringing often fatal danger to workers and the environment both domestically and overseas in India.

1997: “Safety at Issue: the 737″- Byron Acohido (The Seattle Times)

This five-part series took an in-depth look at technical, financial and regulatory issues circulating around a number of Boeing 737 crashes during the 1990s.

1996: “Batallion 316″- Gary Cohn and Ginger Thompson (The Baltimore Sun)

With their first Selden Ring Award, USC Annenberg adjunct professor Gary Cohn and Ginger Thompson shed light on the Honduran army unity responsible for political assassinations and torture during the 1980s. It was also revealed that Battalion members received training and support from the CIA.

1995: (The New Orleans Times-Picayune)

A group of five reporters disclosed instances of local government officials touting the legalized gaming industry.

1994: Eileen Welsome (The Albuquerque Tribune) 

Eileen Welsome revealed classified information surrounding the U.S. government’s willingness to expose thousands to radiation poisoning, including 18 Americans who were unknowingly injected with plutonium.

1993: Roy Gutman (Newsday)

For exposing the tragic carnage of imprisonment, deportation, torture and murder of Muslims in Bosnian death camps, the United States increased humanitarian aid in Bosnia, urged the United Nations to form a war crime commission and thousands of prisoners were released.

1992: (The Greenville News)

As a result of exposing the University of South Carolina’s president was accepting extra compensation and lavishly spending, he resigned and was later indicted for using a public office for personal gain.

1991: Candy J. Cooper (The San Franscisco Examiner)

This investigation exposed the city of Oakland’s police department was actively disregarding rape allegations against women with previous drug or criminal records. As a result, more than 200 cases were reopened.

1990: Jane O. Hansen (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution), (The Lexington Herald-Leader)

In a series uncovering abuse and neglect against Georgia children in the state’s welfare system, child protection legislation was enacted. Additionally, an investigation piece based in Kentucky revealed  financial policies in the state’s school system.

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