CommLine Online Feb. 17, 2010

News

 

Journalism scholar Schudson: Reports of the death of quality journalism are greatly exaggerated

Michael Schudson

In a speech that was equal parts history lesson and visionary roadmap, journalism scholar and sociologist Michael Schudson told a crowd of USC Annenberg students and academics Thursday night that while the news media landscape will change, the quality of journalism to come will still be much better than it has been for much of America's history.

"If there is a decline in the quality and democratic value of our journalism over the past five or ten years," Schudson said, "it is a decline from a higher state of performance than we have had at any time in U.S. history before the late 1960s."

Schudson's talk, titled "Envisioning a News Ecology of the Future," was the first of a series of talks on Entrepreneurship and the Future of News, sponsored by Dean Ernest J. Wilson III. The speaker series is itself a part of the dean’s Economic Literacy and Entrepreneurship initiative, designed to encourage USC Annenberg students to rely on the principles of economics and a spirit of entrepreneurship as they envision the future of journalism and communication.

“It wasn’t long ago that the title ‘Entrepreneurship and the Future of News’ would have been boring or contradictory,” Dean Wilson said in his opening remarks. “We’re now at the point where entrepreneurship and journalism are joined at the hip. Our students have the responsibility and the expectation to invent the future.”

Before looking to the future, Schudson, a Columbia University journalism professor and MacArthur Foundation “genius” fellow, turned to the past. Before the 1960s, Schudson said, American journalism was provincial, self-serving and overly deferential to those in power. The Civil Rights Era, the countercultural revolution and the Watergate scandal engendered a "cultural presumption of 'public-ness,'" Schudson said, resulting in greater public scrutiny of the business of politics, an enhanced role of journalists as defenders of democracy and the establishment of the modern news media industry.

The arrival of the Internet – while catastrophic to some existing media business models – has further encouraged the service of a free press to American democracy, Schudson argued. Citing such models as TalkingPointsMemo.com, ProPublica.org and VoiceofSanDiego.org, Schudson credited new media sites with driving the field of journalism forward.

Outlets like these "are springing up, they’re growing, they’re providing effective journalism –  including original reporting – and so providing effective models for the future," he said, citing as positive factors the medium's low barriers to entry and its emphasis on collaboration, as well as the dedication of those who practice it for the sake of its importance to society, rather than for high salaries. “They’re not dining on expense accounts,” he said.

He drew comparisons between the journalism of the future and the current state of the arts and sciences – the vocation of passionate individuals and mission-driven organizations, with funding from a wide variety of public and private sources. “There’s not a business plan for a string quartet,” he said, “and it’s becoming clear that journalism is increasingly gravitating into that realm.”

Schudson (pictured below left, with USC Annenberg executive in residence David Westphal) also offered a spirited rebuke to critics of his recent report, co-authored with former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie, calling for numerous changes in the practice of journalism, including direct government support of news outlets.

Responding to the assertion that government support leads inevitably to government control, he said that to take his critics' view is to "ignore a great deal of the established facts of the world. You have to ignore that NPR and PBS exist. They’ve existed for forty years, and we are not yet a slave state.”

Rather than resist exploring new income streams, Schudson advised future media producers and consumers to experiment with a broad spectrum of funding models, thereby shoring up journalism’s base of support.

“Any source of funding is a potential source of corruption,” he said. “So there is a sort of advantage in playing these off of each other and having multiple sources of funding.”

Read Schudson's prepared remarks
Next in the Entrepreneurship and the Future of News series: "Citizen Journalism" with Jan Schaffer, Feb. 24

 

KCET’S ‘Socal Connected' announces Web partnership with News21 at USC Annenberg

SoCal Connected

SoCal Connected announced an innovative partnership with the News21 team at USC Annenberg.

The Web-based, multimedia project, Dream Interrupted: California in Crisis, launches Thursday, Feb. 11.  News21 journalists working in Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, Ventura County and the Antelope Valley will report on vital areas of concern, including the economy, education, transportation, housing and government.

The USC News21 partnership with SoCal Connected connects graduate Fellow journalists with working professionals. An elite group of 10 USC Fellows was selected for the Annenberg News21 team in a highly competitive search. The Fellows will produce Web-exclusive multimedia reports in a special section of the SoCal Connected Web site.  They'll work as part of the SoCal Connected team – contributing story ideas, collaborating with producers and keeping pace with the demands of a weekly news program.

“We look forward to joining forces with one of the most prestigious journalism programs in the country,” says Bret Marcus, Executive Producer of SoCal Connected and KCET Senior Vice President of Programming and Production. “With their help, we will be able to expand our multiplatform commitment to reporting the important issues in Southern California.”

“We are delighted to work with KCET, a visionary, community-focused public media institution that shares our commitment to developing leaders in the communication revolution. News21 embraces innovative multimedia reporting and our partnership with SoCal Connected is a tremendous opportunity to experiment with new forms of multiplatform storytelling,” says Marc Cooper, Annenberg Digital News Director, who co-coordinates the News21 team with journalism professor Patricia Dean.

Dream Interrupted: California in Crisis continues KCET’s longstanding relationship with USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.  KCET’s award-winning productions California Connected and Life & Times, which laid the foundation for SoCal Connected, both featured broadcast reports by USC News21 graduate students. KCET’s Web exclusive series, Departures, was among the finalists selected to present at USC Annenberg School’s first-of-its-kind National Summit on Arts Journalism.  USC Journalism Professor Judy Muller, currently an award-winning correspondent for SoCal Connected, also reported for California Connected and served as anchor of California at War, a one-hour California Connected special that looked at how World War II changed California, and how California changed the war.

Previous USC News21 fellows have gone on to posts at BBC, Politico, Marketplace, the Orange County Register, and PBS NewsHour.  KCET's Brian Frank, a SoCal Connected associate producer, is a former News21 Fellow and a key player in the Dream Interrupted project.

About News21

News21 is a nationwide partnership among 12 prominent universities including USC, the University of California at Berkley, Columbia University, Northwestern University and Harvard University, under the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education. News21 seeks to advance U.S. news media and to revitalize journalism and schools of journalism across the country.  For more information about the News21 initiative, please visit www.news21.com.

About SoCal Connected

SoCal Connected, recent winner of six Emmys, eight Golden Mikes, including Best News Public Affairs Show, five LA Press Club awards for journalism, recipient of the regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Best News Documentary, and Los Angeles Magazine’s “Best New Local TV Program,” airs Thursdays (8:00 – 8:30 p.m.), Fridays (8:30 – 9:00 p.m.), Saturdays (6:00 – 6:30 p.m.), and Sundays (6:30 – 7:00 p.m.) exclusively on KCET. For more information, to view episodes online or to post comments, please visit www.kcet.org/socal.

SoCal Connected is made possible through the generous support of The Ahmanson Foundation, serving the Los Angeles community since 1952; Jim and Anne Rothenberg; Linda and Abbott Brown; The Elizabeth Hofert-Dailey Trust; The John Randolph Haynes & Dora Haynes Foundation; The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, UCLA and U.S. Bank.

SoCal Connected  
Dream Interrupted: California in Crisis

 

CPD conference explores science as a language of diplomacy

USC Annenberg Dean Ernest J. Wilson III speaks at the Feb. 5 CPD conference

By Lara Levin
Student Writer 

At a time in American politics when international peacemaking efforts have received unprecedented attention and priority from the White House, the USC Center on Public Diplomacy (CPD) at the Annenberg School continues to investigate the role of public diplomacy in these initiatives and the variety of diplomatic tools with which nations can forge relationships.

At a Feb. 5 conference on the USC campus, CPD joined with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), bringing together scientists, scholars, peacemakers and policymakers to discuss the place of scientific diplomacy in the practice of conflict prevention. The conference was created to further academic understanding of science diplomacy as a valuable element in the wider field of public diplomacy. Science diplomacy provides an opportunity for scientists around the world to work together on projects that address humanity's most pressing challenges, including sustainable development, preserving the environment, and fighting disease and hunger to prevent conflict around the world.

“Science diplomacy is an intricate blending of science and the diplomatic process, which can be used as a tool for health, a tool for education, a tool for peace,” said Philip Seib, director of CPD. 

Struggling with the challenge of international access — to data, results from experiments, and other scientists — is crucial to progress, Seib noted, and can often only be attained through careful diplomacy. 

USC Annenberg Dean Ernest J. Wilson III (pictured, above left) echoed Seib, touting the importance of science diplomacy.

“Like many other important topics in today’s world it tends to be neglected,” said Dean Wilson, adding that the potential for progress and international reach that lies within science is a valuable asset, and development in this field has a purpose “to get closer to the truth scientifically, but also the moral and ethical truth that drive our society.”

Also observing the immense opportunity in the realm of science diplomacy was Sheldon Himelfarb, associate vice president and executive director of the Center of Innovation for Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding at the United States Institute of Peace.

“Rarely have we seen such high profile expressions of hope and support for science,” said Himelfarb, suggesting that science diplomacy could be a prominent tool for easing tensions in the Muslim world.  He proposed, however, that efforts in recent years have been much more targeted toward peacemaking than at conflict prevention, and it will require rigorous research and data collection to prove the cost of inaction on the front of scientific diplomacy to ensure its funding and progress.

Herman Winick, assistant director of the Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory and professor emeritus at Stanford University, offered a particularly keen insight into the necessity of science diplomacy and its power.  Inspired by a quote from Anton Chekhov, Winick offered: “Science is international. There is no such thing as national science, just as there is no national multiplication table.  National science is not science--it only works when people exchange ideas.  It is fundamentally international in nature, and progress is made when people cooperate.”

Winick said it is only possible, however, with cooperation between governments and a vested interest in progress. An additional obstacle exists domestically as well. While the Obama administration has made clear its faith in the value of science diplomacy and development, moving forward with plans proves to be easier said than done.

“For these kinds of initiatives to be sustained, there needs to be bipartisan backing on Capitol Hill, and it’s proving to be a challenge to generate that kind of bipartisan support,” said Joel Whitaker, senior adviser of the Center of Innovation for Science, Technology and Peacebuilding at the USIP.  “For an issue like science diplomacy that, while seen by everyone as a worthy goal, is a top priority for hardly anyone, we need to get better at communicating the value of science diplomacy and connecting that to the things that policy makers care about.”

CPD 
Journalism professor K.C. Cole’s blog about the event 
Photos
Visit CPD’s Science Diplomacy project page

 

Muller wins Golden Mike Award; begins second season of her radio program

Journalism professor Judy Muller won a Golden Mike award for Individual Writing in the Television News Category for her report on homelessness at the LA Library, “Safe Haven,” which aired on KCET’s So-Cal Connected.

Also, Muller began the second season of her radio show program, Town Hall Journal, on Feb. 14 on KPCC 89.3. The first week’s show discussed the Top Ten Risks for the 21st Century. The second week’s program will take a look at the need for “an ecosystem of innovation” if the U.S. is to remain competitive in science and technology. The third week will feature Richard Reeves, and will discuss his new book “Daring Young Men: The Heroism and Triumph of the Berlin Airlift.” There will be 13 programs this season.

She reported on the budget crisis in Los Angeles for KCET’s SoCal Connected on Feb 11. On that same day, she discussed the issue on KNX radio.

Watch "Safe Haven"
Town Hall Journal
KCET's SoCal Connected

  

Gutiérrez to judge Scripps-Howard Foundation National Journalism Awards

Journalism and Communication professor Félix Gutiérrez will judge the Scripps-Howard Foundation National Journalism Awards at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg from Feb. 18 to 19.

The judges for the awards are chosen from journalism professionals and academics around the country. Gutierrez has also served as an inaugural judge for the first Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication(AEJMC) Scholars awarding $10,000 in research and teaching grants.

Also, Gutierrez was a judge for SI DocFest, judging social issues documentaries produced by Northern California high school students. The competition is conducted by DoGoodDocs, a foundation co-founded by Annenberg alum and staff member Monica Alba. Winners were announced on Feb. 6 at a screening in San Jose.

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Green named International Medical Corps Ambassador

Communication professor Jerrold Green has been named an International Medical Corps Ambassador. As an International Medical Corps Ambassador, and particularly in his capacity as president of the Pacific Council, Dr. Green will support the organization’s work and mission through efforts to raise awareness of the critical services its programs provide to people in need.

 The International Medical Corps is a nonprofit humanitarian organization that works in countries around the world to provide healthcare training, relief and development programs in order to end suffering and save lives.

Green has also been invited to join the Advisory Panel of the Secretary of the United States Navy. Dr. Green will begin his tenure on the Advisory Panel with its first meeting in Feb. 2010 in Washington, D.C.

 The Advisory Panel is designed to mobilize independent expertise to inform decisions on issues ranging from the health of service members to nuclear weapons. As an advisor to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, Dr. Green, a specialist on the Middle East who previously served as Senior Advisor for Middle East/South Asia and Director of the Middle East Development Council at the RAND Corporation, will offer his insight into international affairs as they relate to national security. Dr. Green is honored to support the nation’s service men and women in this capacity.

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Joint Director’s Forum welcomes journalist, Pulitzer juror Hamilton

By: Jonathan Arkin
Student Writer

USC Annenberg's School of Journalism and the USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School  hosted John Maxwell Hamilton, dean of LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication, longtime journalist and Pulitzer juror, to the Feb. 9 Director’s Forum (watch full video here).

Hamilton spoke about how American journalism has looked to the rest of the world and about the publication of his book Journalism's Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting, which he has peppered with stories about well-known journalists such as Edgar Snow, Victor Lawson, Dorothy Thompson and adventurer Richard Halliburton – adding that today’s “foreign correspondents are going to survive” the challenges facing legacy journalism.

“Many people think that foreign news is going to become extinct,” Hamilton said, naming blogging, ‘parachute journalism’ and hyper-local reportage as representing the re-imagined foreign reporting model of tomorrow. “I would say the following: I think that traditional foreign correspondents are going to survive…what is going to change is that the model that existed before is now going to be challenged in ways that have never been challenged before. What we see now is a kind of multiplicity of models. It’s not a question of being optimistic, it’s a question of seeing things the way they are and saying, ‘I don’t know how it’s going to end up.’”

Hamilton said the Chicago Daily News, one of two seminal 20th-century papers from that city, created the first modern corps of foreign correspondents and was “one of the greatest American newspapers of all time,” providing a farm system for a heretofore unseen type of professional journalist working overseas.

“Foreign correspondents love to romanticize themselves,” Hamilton said, adding that foreign news is not only made by journalists who go overseas but is made by editors, technicians presiding over advances in transmission, by newsmakers themselves, by the public – and sometimes by larger-than-life characters. “Many of the people I have tried to bring to life in the book have been forgotten. I have tried to favor those who needed a little light shed on their lives…one of my favorites is Richard Halliburton. We tend to denigrate Richard Halliburton today, but in fact he had an enormous impact on Americans in the 1920s and 1930s…many other journalists went abroad because they wanted to be like Halliburton. Therefore to count him out of the rolls of great journalists is a mistake.”

Hamilton also had some advice for those training at USC Annenberg to become precisely the type of foreign news journalist highlighted in the pages of his book – copies of which he signed following the talk – but he cautioned against diving in too quickly.

“There’s no one way to get there,” Hamilton said. “Go work on a small newspaper. Understand what it means to be a good reporter…you need to go someplace to train to be a good reporter. Being abroad on your own and not having enough experience is not going to give you the tools to be a good journalist.”

Hamilton added that the audiences for foreign stories are not as easily retained at home as they are for domestic news stories and the correspondents who take jobs overseas are not always qualified; as a result, there exists a tendency for sloppy reporting when abroad.

“One thing about reporting that doesn’t apply to domestic reporting is that most Americans have never been to the places that are being reported,” Hamilton said. “Foreign correspondents have to provide context and they have to look at story in a very broad way…it’s very important to tell you what the story is about rather than tethering quotes to each other, and that’s where it can become careless. What I think you need are people who are knowledgeable abroad and who have expertise. I think were going to look at a lot of alternative ways of covering the world…the fundamental problem is foreign news is one of the most expensive news there is and one of the least interesting to American audiences.”

Some faculty disagreed with Hamilton’s assertion that the “glory years” of foreign reporting occurred only during the colonial era – when American newspapers would grab stories from docking European ships – and the period between the World Wars.

“Beyond the glory days of the 30s and 40s there were some very good correspondents,” journalism professor Murray Fromkin said. “And there were many in the 1950s and 60s, 70s and 80s, that did an outstanding job of reporting.”

In the end, Hamilton said, it was about individual people, and not just reporters, and that the real issue with a book like his is “not the people but what they stand for” and – despite the decreasing emphasis on reporters’ specialization in some foreign markets – where the profession is going.

“And some of those people are going to be characters,” Hamilton concluded. “There are wonderful characters out there, and history is not over.”

Geneva Overholser , director of the School of Journalism, who co-moderated the forum with journalism professor and director of the CPD Phil Seib, added that there would be further opportunities to join forces within Annenberg and to foster future collaborations between the various schools therein.

“What a terrific idea for the joint forum,” said Overholser. “One of the pleasures of Annenberg is that we combine so many disciplines. The opportunity for us in the Journalism School to join forces with the Center for Public Diplomacy really enriches our forums.”

Hamilton, for his part, spent much of the day at Annenberg interacting with faculty, staff and students, sharing his expertise on foreign affairs journalism.

“I’m very appreciative to have been invited here,” Hamilton said. “There are people here I admire enormously. To see how this very fine school operates…I appreciate this a lot.”

Seib introduced Hamilton beforehand and also added kudos about the 650-page tome that Hamilton presented and signed afterward.

“There is a richness in the history of American foreign correspondence…that makes reading the book such a lively enterprise,” Seib said.

Full video

 

Alumnus Heimpel wins Anna Quindlen Prize

Daniel Heimpel (M.A. Journalism ’07) won the Anna Quindlen Award for Excellence in Journalism in Behalf of Children and Families last month.

He won the award for his 2009 LA Weekly cover story, “Left to Themselves: Nobody can undo the damage to kids like John Kyzer, raised from infancy by the foster care industry.”

His article in LA Weekly is about a foster child, John Kyzer, and his life in the foster care system.

The Quindlen Award is named in honor of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anna Quindlen. The award was established in 1995 to recognize journalists who cover child welfare issues.

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Undergrads Guerrero and Schweitzer place in Hearst Journalism Awards Program

Students Jean Guerrero (B.A. Print Journalism ’10) and Callie Schweitzer (Print Journalism ’11) placed in the Hearst Journalism Awards In-Depth Writing Competition.

Guerrero placed 6th overall, winning a $500 scholarship check. Schweitzer placed 18th. Eighty-nine students from 55 journalism schools across the country participated in the competition.

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Published and Presented

 

Anawalt and Page participate in library panel

/images/faculty/anawalt_121x161p.jpg /images/faculty/page_tim_121p.jpg

Journalism professors Sasha Anawalt and Tim Page were featured in the Los Angeles Public Library’s ALOUD series on Feb. 4. They discussed Page’s new book, Parallel Play.

"I am left with the melancholy sensation that my life is in a perpetual state of parallel play," said Page at the event. "Growing up with Asperger's Syndrome was certainly part of the story...but I hoped that this book was pretty fun. I did my best not to wallow in the sadness."

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Bar on research design (Global Impact Study)

Communication professor François Bar wrote “Research Design: Assessing impact from four complementary angles” on Feb. 11 for Global Impact Study.

“This post summarizes the updates in our research design, articulated around four basic components: 1. Inventory and surveys that provide a big-picture view, 2. Focused studies of specific mechanisms through which public access impacts livelihoods, 3. An assessment of indirect and aggregated impacts, which takes the community as the unit of analysis and looks at non-users and alternative information sources, 4. A look at alternatives and complements to public access, focusing on mobile phones,” said Bar in the piece.

 “Together, these four components cover a range of complementary approaches and methodologies, hypotheses about how impact occurs, national contexts, levels of analysis, and impact areas,” Bar continued.

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Cooper interviewed and profiled (The College Reporter)

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Director of Annenberg Digital News Marc Cooper was featured in the College Reporter in the first part of a profile and interview on Feb. 7.

In the first part of the interview Cooper was asked questions about his journalistic background and his personal history in the profession.

“There’s no question that my professional trajectory certainly falls under the rubric of being a left-wing reporter. I don’t shirk away from that. My first book has the words “radical reporter” in the subtitle. But it may not be accurate to call me a left-wing reporter now. I come out of the left and I’m sympathetic to the left, but my worldview is broader than that in this point in my life,” he said in the interview.

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Kaplan pens "Side Effects Include Denial" (Huffington Post)

Director of the Norman Lear Center and holder of the Norman Lear Chair in Entertainment Martin Kaplan wrote a Feb. 16 Huffington Post article  titled "Side Effects Include Denial." In the article, he discussed how different drug campaigns work, even though the drugs have side effects.

"Pictures are more powerful than words. Language and logic don't have the kind of immediate access to our brains that images and instruments do. Feeling comes before thinking. We can be as skeptical about marketing as we like, but media literacy isn't much of a match for music," he said in the article.

"In 2005, Duke University researcher Ruth Day presented a study to the FDA demonstrating how ads can use distracting images and music to minimize attention to risk warnings," he continued.

Read the article

 

Kun serves on panel at Council of American Jewish Museums annual conference

Communication professor Josh Kun appeared on a panel from Jan.31- Feb. 3 at the Council of American Jewish Museums annual conference.

Kun served on a panel titled “Exhibitions of Influence: Installations that changed the conversation.” Discussions explored different outcomes of exhibitions that have altered the trajectory of Jewish museum exhibitions that followed.

Kun was also featured in an article in the Spring 2010 issue of USC Trojan Family Magazine.

“There are many original thinkers at USC, but nobody quite like Josh Kun. Witty and insightful, he’s the go-to scholar on popular music and the politics of cultural connections,” read the article.

Additionally, Kun delivered the lecture “Of Angels & Migrants: The Music of El Otro Mexico” for The Program in American Studies at Scripps College on Feb. 10.

CAJM Annual Conference
USC Trojan Family Magazine
Information on Scripps lecture 

  

Reeves on Senate election in Massachusetts

Journalism professor Richard Reeves wrote a Jan. 25 op-ed on Yahoo! News about the special Senate election in Massachusetts. In the election, Republican Scott Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley.

“To me, the talented (I hope) Mr. Brown, is another example of the descent of American politics into our empty celebrity culture," Reeves wrote. "The Massachusetts election, or at least media analysis of it, was just another public entertainment. Who is Scott Brown? He's a reality show star. The same could have been said of the emergent Obama."

Reeves also wrote a Feb. 2 article on Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. In the article, he discussed Obama and Edmund Burke.

“To me, the most important single line in Obama’s long address was this: ‘When I ran for president, I promised that I wouldn’t just do what was popular — I would do what was necessary,’” Reeves said in the piece.

Also, Reeves was chosen as one of 11 international scholars and writers to contribute to Die Berliner Luftbrucke: Ereignis und Erinnerung  (The Berlin Airlift, Risk and Memory).  Reeves’ chapter is titled “The Airlift in American Global Politics.” It was published by the Alliierten Museum in Berlin.

Yahoo! News article
Kitsap Sun article

 

Seib writes book review on "The Midnight House" by Alex Berenson

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Director of the Center on Public Diplomacy Philip Seib wrote a book review on Feb. 7 for the Dallas Morning News on the book "The Midnight House" by Alex Berenson.

"In his fourth novel featuring CIA superstar John Wells, Alex Berenson has reduced the amount of shoot-'em-up action and instead has built his plot around a disturbingly detailed description of how the United States might have employed torture during the past decade," said Seib in the article.

"In Berenson's skillful hands, moral dilemmas and rousing action produce a novel very much worth reading," Seib continued.

Read the review

 

Sigal writes articles on Obama for the UK Guardian, AlterNet

Journalism professor emeritus Clancy Sigal penned the article “We have let Obama down” for the UK Guardian, published online on Feb. 14.

“We on the American left – in a dysfunctional marriage with a bought-and-paid-for Democratic party, tamed by leechlike dependence on "non-profit" liberal foundations themselves funded by corporations, a women's movement obsessed by the abortion issue, a gay movement fixed on gay marriage – simply aren't up to the job. We have not backed up Obama with a serious antiwar movement (there isn't any), and our Big Labour is too weak to fight for itself, let alone for the rest of us,” said Sigal in the article.

He also wrote another article, "I Volunteered For Obama in 2008, But His Support of Landmines Is the Last Straw" on Dec. 24 on AlterNet.

“I voted and worked hard for Obama in 2008, partly because I admired his wonderful mother, Ann Dunham, who like my own mother once survived on food stamps and raised her son in liberal feminist New Deal values,” said Sigal in the article.

“If Ann Dunham were alive today she – like Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son to a needless war in Iraq – would camp outside the White House office and demand: ‘Son, what are you thinking?’ ” he continued in the article.

Read the UK Guardian article
Read the AlterNet article

 

Westphal on government and journalism (AOL News)

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Executive in Residence David Westphal wrote a Feb. 1 op-ed about whether the government should support journalism.

“In a report issued at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, my colleague Geoffrey Cowan and I concluded that federal, state and local governments have contributed billions of dollars a year to the commercial news business,” Westphal wrote.

“All of which raises a question: If the government has supported the news industry for all of American history, shouldn't it consider new forms of support now, when the survival of news businesses is in doubt? Our answer is yes. Our report does not recommend specific new policies, and in fact observes that given the rapid growth of news and information in the digital world, it's possible that government action may not be needed,” he continued in his op-ed.

Read the op-ed

 

Quoted

 

Jeffrey Cole on decline of communal viewing due to Internet; TV ratings (Washington Post, The Age)

Cull on collaboration between Voice of America and Radio Marti (Miami Herald)

Fromson on death of General  Weyand (NY Times) (LA Times)

Kaplan on reality TV; screen adaptation of “Noises Off” quoted (CBS News) (LA Magazine)

Overholser on the entries for the Selden Ring Award (Poynter)

Reeves’ new book reviewed, Reagan biography cited (Oak Hill Gazette) (The Atlantic)

Westphal mentioned as a judge for the McClatchy President’s Awards (Anchorage Daily News)

South LA Report's Fox Theatre articles mentioned  (LA Observed)

Neon Tommy piece on Yosi Sergant mentioned (LA Observed) (LA Times)

CCLP research mentioned (Associated Press)