CommLine Online August 4, 2010
2010 USC Annenberg Digital Future Study finds strong negative reaction to paying for online services
By Justin Pierce
Millions of Americans use Twitter — just don't ask any of them to pay for it.
The annual study of the impact of the Internet on Americans by the Center for the Digital Future found that 49 percent of Internet users said they have used free micro-blogs such as Twitter.
But when asked if they would be willing to pay for Twitter, zero percent said yes.
"Such an extreme finding that produced a zero response underscores the difficulty of getting Internet users to pay for anything that they already receive for free," said Jeffrey I. Cole (pictured, right), director of the Center for the Digital Future at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.
"Twitter has no plans to charge its users, but this result illustrates, beyond any doubt, the tremendous problem of transforming free users into paying users," Cole said. "Online providers face major challenges to get customers to pay for services they now receive for free."
The responses about Twitter are reinforced by other findings in the Digital Future Study that explore Internet users' opinions about online advertising. The current study found that half of Internet users never click on Web advertising, and 70 percent said that Internet advertising is "annoying."
Yet 55 percent of users said they would rather see Web advertising than pay for content.
"Internet users can obtain content in three ways: they can steal it, or pay for it, or accept advertising on the Web pages they view," Cole said. "Users express strong negative views about online advertising, but they still prefer seeing ads as an alternative to paying for content. Consumers really want free content without advertising, but ultimately they understand that content has to be paid for – one way or another."
The responses about Twitter and Web advertising are among the more than 180 issues explored in the 2010 Digital Future Project, which is marking its 10th year of exploring the digital realm – the longest continuing study of its kind and the first to develop a longitudinal survey of the views and behavior of Internet users and non-users.
The current study reveals a profile of American Internet users who go online more than ever, almost two-thirds who buy online, most households now using broadband, a majority of families that own two or more computers, and large percentages of users saying that the Internet is important in political campaigns.
However, troubling issues emerge as well, with the study finding large percentages of users who express deep distrust in online information, surprising gaps in Internet use within some age groups, low percentages of users who said that the Internet gives them more political power, and continuing declines of users who say that online technology makes the world a better place.
"Internet users deal with an unprecedented level of online connections and communication beyond basic e-mail that did not exist a decade ago: social networking sites, online video, PDAs, texting, IM, e-readers, portable video devices, and most recently the iPad and competing devices to come," said Cole. "Through this technology, users must rely on the Internet more than ever before, yet at the same time this survey is identifying growing concern about reliability of the technology and user trust in it. Have we reached the point at which users are going into 'online overload?"
The Center for the Digital Future: 10 years of exploring the digital realm
The Center for the Digital Future at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism created and organizes the World Internet Project, which includes the Digital Future Project and similar studies in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Australasia.
The Digital Future Project provides a broad year-to-year exploration of the influence of the Internet and online technology on Americans. Since 2000, the project has examined the behavior and views of a national sample of Internet users and non-users, as well as comparisons between light users (5 hours or less per week using the Internet) and heavy users (more than 24 hours per week on the Internet).
"When the Center for the Digital Future began its work in 1999, it was one of the first research organizations to devote its primary efforts to the study of online behavior, yet at that point Internet use was already relatively mature," said Cole. "Conventional wisdom could have suggested that with such a high level of Internet penetration and several years of use, views and behavior about online technology might be stable – or stagnant.
"Yet beginning with our first Digital Future Study in 2000, and in every year since, we have found extraordinary levels of shifting views, new and evolving attitudes about technology, adoption of new media, and casting off of old methods as part of involvement – or not being involved – in the online experience," said Cole.
Read more: Study Finds Strong Negative Reaction to Paying for Online Services
Communication Management students team up to launch entrepreneurial online video business
By Jackson DeMos
Recent alumnus Steve Gatena and current student Andy McNeil had a great idea for a new business, but didn't know how to turn it into a reality.
After working closely with USC Annenberg Communication Management Master’s degree professors such as Ben Lee, however, Gatena and McNeil put the finishing touches on REP Interactive, an online video production and marketing company that specializes in high-end real estate, which has already achieved tremendous success. The pair has rapidly expanded the business while traveling to places such as Park City, Chicago and Hawaii for video shoots.
"It’s not work to us because it’s so fun," Gatena said. "It seems too good to be true."
But it wasn't always fun and travel. Lee said both students have worked countless hours during their time at USC Annenberg to learn the nuances of entrepreneurship. They pored through dozens of books and academic studies about online video while taking full advantage of the one-on-one time they had with Lee during their final capstone courses. It was there that they refined their business plan and strategies.
Gatena and McNeil are two of the many recent examples of entrepreneurial Communication Management students who have used their coursework and connections at USC Annenberg to start their own businesses. There isn't a specific Communication Management class that focuses on entrepreneurship, but Lee said students find a sustained entrepreneurial thread across a range of classes, including Integrated Communication Strategies (CMGT 541), Business Strategies of Communication and Entertainment Firms (CMGT 542), Leading and Communicating Change in Global Organizations (COMM 561), and Economic Impact of Innovation (CMGT 599). Students are able to then use their capstone classes — Uses of Communication Research (CMGT 540) and Communication Research Practicum (CMGT 597) — to tailor their education in an entrepreneurial way. Lee also recommends that students take other relevant classes in the USC Marshall School of Business to expand their perspectives.
"Entrepreneurship is becoming embedded in Communication Management the same way technological change and globalization have been embedded across Annenberg," Lee (pictured, left) said. "The 540 and 597 classes are where the students can exercise their entrepreneurial instincts If the students have a viable concept, they can study how to make that into a reality."
Gatena, who attended both the Air Force Academy and UC Davis as an undergraduate before coming to USC as a Master's student and football player, convinced McNeil to join him in the Communication Management program. The two knew each other from their days at Davis.
"I said, 'Look, go to Annenberg. It’s a great school and the teachers are unbelievable," Gatena said. "It's something I’ve never experienced anywhere else. I've been to fantastic institutions but they don’t compare to USC and Annenberg in the types of practical knowledge and skills you're equipped with.'"
Gatena and McNeil credited Lee with coaching their concept into a full operational business.
"Ben took it upon himself to guide us and be our business coach and professor at the same time," Gatena said. "He pointed us in the right direction and educated us on the research and all the necessary materials we needed that we would’ve never known about."
McNeil said the classes at USC Annenberg have been a fantastic resource for him.
"It has provided more than I ever could’ve expected out of a school," McNeil said. "It’s been a big privilege to go there."
"I feel so indebted to USC and to Annenberg because none of this would’ve ever happened if it wasn’t for my experience there and everything USC has helped me out with," Gatena said. "USC Annenberg does a great job of teaching students how to convert theory into practical application.”
Lee said he wants to continue to mentor Gatena and McNeil to help them build good habits for sustained success.
"I want them to be aware of challenges they face while giving them the tools and resources to do well," Lee said.
Gatena called that an understatement.
"Most grad school projects stop at an essay, and we built a company," Gatena said. "Everything we’ve done is a result of the hard work and all of the painstaking hours we put in at USC. If it wasn’t for Ben Lee, I’d probably be applying for a job somewhere and living at my parents’ house. Luckily, I had this opportunity and now we’re able to create jobs — and we always look at hiring from USC."
Lee emphasized that that the credit belongs to Gatena and McNeil for their initiative and energy, and also to the Annenberg faculty who continue to build the Communication Management program.
“My work is representative of my colleagues’ – especially Daniela Baroffio’s and Mathew Curtis'. We all want our students to succeed," Lee said.
REP Interactive on Twitter
New platform gives Annenberg web outlets greater flexibility, “digital backbone”
By Jonathan Arkin
A newly configured web content management system being rolled out for USC Annenberg’s websites and news outlets promises to transform all of the school’s online communities by eventually giving them a “digital backbone.”
The new Annenberg Content Management System (CMS) is built on Drupal, an open-source software, and Kaltura, an open-source video platform. Both are used for the project’s infrastructure and will be scalable, expandable and compatible with the current needs and forward-thinking designs of the many web pages and news outlets beaming from the building.
“I’m really excited about it,” said Wendy Chapman, Annenberg’s director of web technologies. “A lot of times you imagine how it is going to be in your head. Our hope is to build a solid foundation for all of our websites. I feel we have accomplished that. This is going to be the engine that drives all of our web content and with Kaltura we can host all of our student-produced video in one place.”
Chapman said the Annenberg Social News Platform (ASNP) developed for Annenberg’s news outlets is just the start. It is only one of the many features in a much wider infrastructure that will soon enable the creation of e-portfolios, resume-building tools for doctoral researchers, student blogs, and sophisticated websites for Annenberg’s many projects and centers.
“We want to make this content management system usable for everybody at Annenberg – faculty, students, classrooms, all of our web content,” Chapman said. “The social news aspect is only one aspect of it. It’s something for everybody to use.”
Chapman also made it clear that this system would bring Annenberg up to date with some of the latest advances in web technology and exciting new applications.
“This content management system represents the infrastructure for all web content,” Chapman said. “We want to push all of our web content – anything online, including our news publishing – through this one system. Our next move is the Virtual Commons, which is really the hub of all of this. The Commons will become the place where students can request blogs and to get information, get online tutorials and documentation on coding and HTML.”
One immediate benefit to Annenberg’s news system, for example, will allow hosting of all video and other related rich media in one place – allowing online editors to perform complex editing and management tasks normally in the purview of high-end IT practice.
“Neon Tommy was a sort of guinea pig in this venture, with our site the first to migrate to the new system over the summer,” said director of Annenberg Digital News and journalism professor Marc Cooper – who called the system a "needed digital backbone" for the Schools of Communication and Journalism. “The school would not have been able to move forward without it and we are quite fortunate that in these lean economic times, the administration had the foresight to make the resources available for the content management system.”
The digital faculty “rolled it out” recently for the News 21 Fellows and their respective summer projects.
The foundation of the ASNP – Chapman refers to it as the “heart” of the Neon Tommy web site built on Drupal – is the Editorial Control Panel, a tool allowing non-technical site editors to manage the content and layout through a visual editor; in addition, the ASNP is built to support rich media.
“Editors can embed video from third party video hosts such as YouTube and VIMEO but we also host our own video solution with Kaltura,” Chapman said. “The Kaltura interface has a simple video upload feature as well as an online editing tool that can be used by reporters to create simple edits and post stories in the field. Editors can also create custom slideshows right in the CMS, Google maps for embedding and in the next few months a robust podcasting feature should be complete.”
Previously, these sites had primarily used movable type, a non-scalable media technology that is now identified with blogs and other static and more limited information sharing.
“The system is set up in such a way that we will be able to provide the same editorial control and rich media features to our other incubator programs such as Annenberg TV News, Annenberg Radio News, Impact and the South LA Report as well,” Chapman said.
The student editors running Neon Tommy’s site are also enamored of the social news platform, as it allows more freedom in interactivity and web design.
“The new platform allows us to be much bloggier,” said Neon Tommy editor-in-chief Callie Schweitzer. “The new website design has propelled us into the competitive and fast-paced blogosphere and the interface itself has a much better design and structure for featuring big stories and their related multimedia components. It also allows us to create distinct sections and highlight supplemental story elements through new features like video and podcast players.”
But Schweitzer added that the upgrade has more far-reaching consequences than just user-friendliness.
“The site demands up-to-the-minute fresh and quality content, and our readers expect to see a different homepage every time they check the site,” she said. “Our staff has more than risen to the occasion, and everyone is really enthusiastic about all of the new multimedia platforms the site offers us.”
Cooper, whose vision propelled the platform’s installation forward, said that the project’s timing was essential to keeping pace with advances in online news gathering, editing and dissemination – especially within the innovation and hands-on context of the Annenberg School itself.
“As more and more classes move their work online and as blogs and web pages become more integral to more classes,” Cooper said, “as more digital class projects emerge, and as more student media sprout, this sort of robust, powerful and uniform content management system has become imperative.”
Along with James Vasquez, Annenberg’s assistant dean for operations, both Chapman and Cooper worked hard to marry Annenberg’s traditional hands-on approach to instruction with the need to upgrade a system that needed an overhaul on several different levels.
“There were some glitches and bugs, as expected, but the transition was remarkably smooth,” Cooper said, describing the ASNP’s initial launch and current expansion. “We never went dark and the publication of our content went on uninterrupted. The interfaces of the system are user friendly and our editors were very quickly able to learn how to operate and manage the system.”
Stroome, another innovative online editing tool – developed at USC Annenberg – is built on Kaltura – they use their hosting and editing tools to run that site.
What Stroome did, according to Chapman, was simply to create a social network on the front end for collaborative video editing also using Drupal and Kaltura as their infrastructure.
“I think this new system is much more compatible with Cooper’s vision,” Chapman said of Neon Tommy and News21’s applications of the new rollout. “It’s really the heart and soul of the whole platform. In that sense, the platform…that’s one of the enticing things about Drupal. It’s scalable. We can add or create modules and plug them in. That’s the beauty of it. You can build on it. We’re looking at it long term and the content management system can build with it.”
Cooper cautioned against allowing the system to run itself; though user-friendly, it is not user-proof.
“Perhaps the greatest single innovation and challenge offered by the system is its ability to handle so much content at once,” Cooper said. “This means we really have to stay on top of the ball. If we are lazy and do not feed the beast, so to speak, its discomfort will be immediately visible. In the end, this is a real plus. It sets the bar high for students and faculty to produce with the immediacy and volume that the new world of media demands.”
The excitement over the system’s launch is spreading through the Annenberg building – especially timely, considering the looming fall semester’s incoming class and the various connections that will be made to interface with the new, retooled websites at a rapidly changing journalism and communication school.
“To have the opportunity to work at a competitive mainstream news site like Neon Tommy while in your undergraduate or graduate years at Annenberg is the opportunity of a lifetime,” Neon Tommy’s Schweitzer said of the new ease with which she can apply her reporting and writing skills. “The journalism education I have received from my time in the Neon Tommy newsroom has been priceless.”
While the new system promises to be popular with both the journalism and communication ends of Annenberg’s extensive user family, there is some adjusting yet to be done.
“I do think everybody likes it,” Chapman said, adding a caveat. “With all of this, it still needs to be tweaked.”
Annenberg students mentor South African high-schoolers to create multimedia projects
This summer, 16 USC Annenberg graduate students working and studying in South Africa under the direction of journalism professor Erna Smith collaborated with local high school students to produce videos and slideshows that tell the story of what it means to be South African in a post-apartheid world.
The work is part of a project called Democracy Is… that Annenberg is co-sponsoring with the State Department. Since the project was launched two years ago, more than 1,600 people from over 110 countries have submitted videos that complete the phrase “Democracy Is…” The public-private partnership sponsoring the program includes NBC Universal, The Motion Picture Association of America and YouTube.
Two blogs showcase USC Annenberg students’ work with high school students from Khayelitsha Township in Cape Town and from the city of Paarl in the Cape winelands:
The Students for Humanity in Khayelitsha
The student workshop in Paarl
The next phase of the project is the Democracy Photo Challenge, which the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy will help judge.
New spring ‘11 admits take their first look at Annenberg and its leadership
By Jonathan Arkin
Newly admitted journalism and communication students for spring 2011 enjoyed a welcome reception and luncheon at USC Annenberg on July 22, with many saying they were pleasantly surprised at the school’s size, mission and resources.
The new admits, most with their parents in tow, expressed delight with the accessibility of faculty, administration, staff, current students and recent graduates during their visit – with many in-house veterans sharing their stories of how the school is changing with the times and how the new crop will add to that legacy.
“As with all of our new admits, each core of incoming students is very strong,” said JaBari Brown, the assistant director for undergraduate advisement and academic services. “And they get stronger and stronger. They have greater experiences and their enthusiasm for the fields of journalism, communication and public relations is impressive.”
With the students not taking classes full-time until the spring, many had time to reflect on their options and some already began making plans for specific courses, internships and post-graduation work.
“Being at this event was quite overwhelming at first,” said Tiffanie Cheng, who has been admitted as a new media broadcast major and plans to actively seek internships in broadcast media. “But after meeting the great faculty – they were so friendly and informative – I’m just excited for the spring semester to begin.”
The parents, some traveling far from home to see the school up close, watched as their children talked with senior faculty and deans as archived Annenberg TV News broadcasts played on a screen next to the live Twitter feed in the East Lobby.
“I am very excited for her,” Suzanne Nakashioye said as her daughter Kristen enjoyed a breakaway tour of the building and its facilities. “We were feeling a little out of the loop before coming here…the spring admit thing is a little different. But now that we’re here and have gotten all the reassurances, it feels really good. The size of the school, for example. It’s a lot smaller than I thought and that is nice. It gives me the feeling that this will be an intimate group.”
Both Larry Gross and Geneva Overholser, directors of the Schools of Communication and Journalism, respectively, told the group that the unique junction of new developments and legacy media’s foundation would provide the students with fertile room for professional growth while at Annenberg.
“It's always a delight at these events to see the future sitting there before you, and to think about the innovations that will come from them,” Overholser said. “Journalism is changing so quickly that each one of these students is likely to have very different experiences than those the students had even a couple of years ago. But, in talking with them, what comes through is the same familiar passion for doing the journalism -- however they plan to do it!”
Journalism professor Robert Hernandez told one student that the school was uniquely positioned to help those looking for careers after graduation – even with the soft economy and journalism’s uncertain future – and voiced even more professional optimism at the craft’s current state of affairs.
“This new batch of incoming students are coming to Annenberg at a great time,” Hernandez said. “While the industry evolves, the school evolves... and these students are going to benefit. It was also great to see Spring-admin students from a year or so ago reflecting on where they were and how far they've come.”
With Annenberg TV News, Neon Tommy and News21 – all Annenberg-based media information outlets – going through innovative new changes with their interface and dissemination platforms in the weeks to come, Hernandez said that the new students will find themselves with ever more opportunities to immerse themselves in the new world of news…and to represent Annenberg.
“They are ideal ambassadors for us... they're our proof.”
CPD presents video conversations from Shanghai Expo featuring the Israeli Pavilion
As evident in the news media, Israel is often mentioned in the context of war and conflict. On July 20, the USC Center on Public Diplomacy's research team in Shanghai released a video conversation featuring the Israeli pavilion. Watch the video here.
In the video, the Deputy Commissioner General discusses how the country presents itself as a place of innovation and creativity at Shanghai Expo.
"Reinventing Local News: 2010" details how technology and innovation may save local news
While revenues decline for traditional media organizations despite high demand for news and information, technology and innovation may be saving local news, according to Reinventing Local News: 2010, a report released by the University of Southern California's Center on Communication Leadership & Policy at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.
In Reinventing Local News: 2010, Adam Clayton Powell III updates his landmark 2006 book Reinventing Local News: Connecting Communities Through New Technologies.
Powell discussed innovations in local news delivery and unveiled the report at the annual convention of the Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication. Powell is a senior fellow at the Center on Communication Leadership & Policy and director of USC's Washington policy initiatives.
The report provides an overview of the current state of the news media, discussing the rapid decline of both newspaper circulation and revenues, as well as traditional television news viewership. "This trend is having an enormous impact on reporting and gathering information," notes Powell. "One-tenth of newspaper newsroom positions disappeared in 2008, accelerating a trend."
These changes are contrasted with the growth of cable news, as Fox News and CNN are now profitable television news sources. Powell explains, "This is largely due to the business model of cable television, where Fox and CNN receive revenue both from advertising and from fees paid by each cable and satellite subscriber. That is exactly the traditional pre-Internet newspaper model, which always collected money from both subscribers and advertisers. But now newspapers and over-the-air broadcasters are urgently trying to replicate that model online."
In addition, the report describes the impact of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, as well as mobile telephones, all of which increasingly are being used to distribute news--citing examples such as the delivery of breaking news about the street demonstrations in Teheran or the earthquake in Haiti.
The report also analyzes the potential of the iPad and other e-readers--which Powell says many publishers view "as a tool of their economic salvation"--as well as the growing use of newspaper websites and attempts to monetize access to content, including News Corp.'s potential bundling of its Sky News pay-television service with a subscription to one of its printed publications, such as the Times of London.
A complete copy of the report is available for download here . Copies of the original 2006 edition of Reinventing Local News: Connecting Communities Through New Technologies is available from amazon.com or from USC's Figueroa Press.
Summer Institute explores cultural diplomacy
Thirty public diplomacy practitioners from around the globe gathered at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism as part of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy's annual Summer Institute and shared their thoughts and experiences on cultural diplomacy July 20.
Led by Nicholas Cull, director of the USC Masters Program in Public Diplomacy, the class discussion centered on the concept and history of cultural diplomacy, a component of public diplomacy involving the exchange of a culture's ideas, traditions, language, information, and more.
Examples of cultural diplomacy include China presenting pandas as cultural gifts to other nations, musicians from different countries performing together, and teaching languages to promote understanding.
After speaking to the Summer Institute participants on cultural diplomacy, Cull and César Villanueva, professor from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City with whom Cull co-taught the class, challenged the group to create a cultural diplomacy campaign to subsidize an artist, tour or exhibit representing the Colombian Embassy in South Africa. Forty-five minutes later, the participants presented their proposals to the professors; they included enlisting the help of celebrity figures and collaborating with local organizations and governments to promote and sponsor cultural events.
"The participants were highly engaged with the subject of cultural diplomacy as a whole and participated enthusiastically in the break-out sessions," Cull said. "I was especially delighted to see how many students shared fascinating cases from their personal experience and revealed the universality of the questions we face and the best practices to counter them."
"I enjoyed the exercise very much," said Hyangjoo Park, Summer Institute participant from The Korea Foundation. "My team succeeded in making an excellent case for the exercise using Professor Cull's tips, information and knowledge.
"I was very satisfied with the Cultural Diplomacy seminar, especially defining the terminology and looking over the history of cultural diplomacy," she said. "I would like to present the terminology of cultural diplomacy and public diplomacy to my colleagues at The Korea Foundation and discuss The Korea Foundation's identity and vision."
Jing Chu, public diplomacy officer for the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Beijing, also found the group exercise valuable. “Professor Nick Cull presented us with different approaches to cultural diplomacy, including cultural information (sharing an unknown dimension of your culture to correct an image) and cultural dialogue (cooperation in the cultural field for mutual knowledge)," Chu said. "I think mutual understanding of cultures plays an important role, especially when practitioners deal with a specific foreign public and this understanding can contribute to effective cultural diplomacy strategy."
"I hope they take home a sense that cultural diplomacy is a highly effective activity which works especially well in the long term and when fire-walled from a policy agenda," Cull said. "I also hope they were impressed by one another's experiences and the potential of cultural diplomacy to not merely promote a narrow national agenda but to bring people together as cosmopolitan citizens of the world."
The 30 public diplomacy practitioners are here attending the USC Center on Public Diplomacy's annual Summer Institute, an intensive two-week course that equips practitioners to engage foreign audiences and improve the image and impact of their country or organization in the world.
Published and Presented
Center on Public Diplomacy publishes Summer PD Magazine
The USC Center of Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School recently published its Summer 2010 Issue of PD Magazine titled “Pursuing Human Rights Through Public Diplomacy.”
PD Magazine presents the views of scholars and practitioners from around the globe while examining key concepts in the field of public diplomacy.
PD’s editorial board is composed entirely of Master of Public Diplomacy graduate students at USC Annenberg. Tala Mohebi is the Editor-In-Chief, and Katharine Keith, John Nahas, Paul Rockower, and Leah Rousseau serve as senior editors.
"As PD concludes its second publication cycle, we continue to expand the public diplomacy discussion. With our latest edition we have focused on the use of public diplomacy by nonstate actors to further the promotion of human rights. Nonstate actors do not necessarily consider themselves public diplomacy practitioners, and thus are not always aware of the public diplomacy power they wield," editors Mohebi, Rockower, and Rousseau wrote in a statement.
"We chose to examine work on human rights in order to delve into questions about where public diplomacy is used as well as who benefits from its execution. Organizations dealing with human rights are typically labeled as dealing in 'low politics.' Our hope is to create a space where the distinctions of 'high politics' and 'low politics' can be explored and reevaluated with a more complete understanding of the role human rights norms play in global politics," the editors wrote.
In the Summer 2010 issue, articles from a broad range of human rights organizations working around the world are featured, as well as an endnote by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Jody Williams.
PD’s mission is to provide a common forum for the views of both scholars and practitioners from around the globe, in order to explore key concepts in the study and practice of public diplomacy. It is published bi-annually, in print and on the web.
Read the magazine
Cooper participates in panel discussion on checkbook journalism, pens article for "The Nation"
Director of Annenberg Digital News Marc Cooper served as a panelist at the SPJ/LA panel discussion “Ka-Ching! Checkbook Journalism: An Old Dilemma for the New Media” on July 27. At the public event, Cooper and a panel of experts discussed ethics of checkbook journalism in today’s news environment.
“We'll struggle with establishing journo ethics for years to come,” said Cooper. “But our only reference can't be ‘how it used to be.’”
Cooper served on the panel with Jon Healey, editorial writer for the LA Times, and Sharon Waxman, founding editor/publisher of “The Wrap” website. Joel Bellman, press deputy for the LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, moderated the panel.
Cooper also penned an article for The Nation titled "John McCain's Last Stand " on July 29.
"Rob Haney's got a big problem. After a stint in the Air Force and a thirty-year career with IBM, Haney is now a full-time political activist. And he can't decide who he viscerally hates and fears more: the hierarchy of the Catholic Church or Senator John McCain," he wrote in the article.
"It's a toughie for him. This is the sort of middle-of-the-night quandary that might bedevil a liberal secular humanist. Or some sort of atheist progressive Democrat. Haney, however, is the elected chair of the Republican Party of Maricopa County, which includes Arizona's capital, the fifth-biggest city in the United States. And whatever one thinks of John McCain, spending a half-hour or so with Haney boldly underlines the challenges the former GOP presidential candidate is facing in his August 24 primary battle against ultraconservative challenger and former Congressman J.D. Hayworth," he continued.
Read the article
Kaplan pens article “Thank You, Robert Gibbs”
Director of the Norman Lear Center Martin Kaplan wrote a July 19 article for the Huffington Post and the Jewish Journal titled “Thank You, Robert Gibbs.”
“If Robert Gibbs hadn't said last week that Democrats may lose the House in November, then House Democrats might not have been so infuriated that the president himself had to travel to Capitol Hill to let them vent,” he wrote in the article.
"And if Obama hadn't personally heard how enraged they are by Senate Republicans, and how galled they've been by the White House's clueless kumbayas, then he might not have come to his senses at last in his weekly address on Saturday, when he drove a stake through the heart of the post-partisan vampire that has possessed him since his election," he continued.
Kaplan also wrote an August 2 article titled "The Best of All Possible Americans" for the Huffington Post.
"James Madison famously explained in Federalist 51 that because men by nature are not angels, the Constitution distributes power among the branches and levels of government via the ingenious checks and balances that protect individuals from the tyranny of despots and the injustice of majorities. Unfortunately, this gives equal power to states containing a few hundred thousand people and states containing tens of million of people," he wrote in the article.
Read the July 19 Huffington Post article
Read the Jewish Journal article
Read the August 2 Huffington Post article
Kun speaks at session of the 2010 ATHE pre-conference event, REDCAT
Journalism professor Josh Kun was invited to speak on a special “Celebrity/Borderlands” session of the 2010 ATHE pre-conference event “Economy of Appearances: Performing Los Angeles” from August 2-3.
The 8th annual pre-conference will bring together scholars and artists to consider performance and its modes of appearance.
Kun will also be speaking at a REDCAT event with Mexico City artist Laureana Toldeo on August 17. He will be taking part in a post-show discussion and Q-and-A after the screening of the Toldeo’s documentary “The Limit.”
Kun also co-organized a concert at The Skirball Cultural Center, part of the exhibition “Jews on Vinyl,” which he co-curated. The August 19 event “Jews on Vinyl Revue” was produced by the Idelsohn Society.
Reeves writes articles on a congressman, Obama, and city of Bell
Journalism professor Richard Reeves penned a July 14 article titled “Congressman takes the heat” for the MetroWest Daily News.
“Rep. Brad Sherman, a Democrat from the 27th District of California in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, is a congressman who is obviously not afraid of his constituents. Many are these days, but Sherman takes out advertisements in local newspapers urging people to come and reason with (or yell at) him at ‘Town Hall’ meetings,” he wrote in the article.
He also wrote a July 20 article for RealClearPolitics titled “Obama So Far: Good Job!”
“If you happen to think Obama is a reasonable man, you are impressed that he can survive at all in the current political context. His presidency and campaigns are and will be about a fundamental American question: What is the role of government?” he wrote.
“Personally, I think the guy, the president, is doing a pretty good job in ominous times. I will repeat that if any pollster wants to call,” he continued.
Reeves also wrote a July 28 article titled "For whom Bell toils..." for The Dedham Transcript.
"Only 9,000 Bell residents are Bell voters. Therein lies a problem. Four years ago, because of corruption in two of Bell's neighboring cities - more than 80 separate cities make up what we call Los Angeles - the state Legislature passed a law capping municipal salaries. Bell's city fathers called a special election to create a new city charter removing state salary restrictions. Of course, they didn't put it that way. 'Salaries' were never mentioned," he wrote.
Read "Congressman takes the heat"
Read "Obama So Far: Good Job!"
Read "For whom Bell toils.."
Seib writes book review on Golden Gate (The Dallas Morning News)
Director of the Center on Public Diplomacy Philip Seib penned a book review on Golden Gate by Kevin Starr on July 25 for The Dallas Morning News.
“University of Southern California professor Kevin Starr is the greatest contemporary historian of California, and in Golden Gate he presents a brief, lyrical tribute to one of his state's greatest icons – the bridge he calls ‘a triumph of engineering and a work of art,’” Seib wrote.
“Starr eloquently makes his case that the Golden Gate is not just a bridge. It embodies, he writes, ‘a beauty at once useful and transcendent. It emanates a music of mathematics and design and offers enduring proof that human beings can alter the planet with reverence, can mend or complete their environment for social purposes.’ This bridge's story is well worth a book,” he continued.
Read the review
Sigal pens two articles for The Guardian
Journalism professor emeritus Clancy Sigal wrote a July 24 article titled “The future is female. And Republican” for the Guardian UK.
“But outside the movieland bubble, an upsurging counter-revolution in gender politics means that more and more women, and rightwingers at that, have become a fact of American political life. This is especially true of anti-feminist but gender-proud Republican women who, led by ‘mama grizzly’ Sarah Palin, are coming on like gangbusters,” he wrote in the article.
“This upsurge in Republican feminism of a brutal sort exalts mommyhood but ignores issues that most directly affect women. We're lightyears away from yesteryear's GOP women's clubs, the Goldwater and Reagan conservative ladies, who, on occasion, championed the Equal Rights Amendment but then allowed the movement to slip into the hands of theocrats and pistol-packin' mamas,” he continued.
Sigal also wrote a July 13 article titled “America: hooked on war and getting poorer” for the Guardian UK.
“As a people we Americans are hooked on a permanent war economy that only here and there, in drips and drabs, creates immediate jobs while undermining any long-term possibility of recovery. The good news is that contracts for new unmanned Predator drone bases have been awarded to deprived areas of South Dakota, Wisconsin and Missouri, much to the local citizenry's joy. Some stimulus,” he wrote.
Read "The future is female. And Republican"
Read "America: hooked on war and getting poorer"
Smith attends workshop in South Africa, leads discussion at Annenberg Center’s Summer Institute
Communication professor Christopher Holmes Smith was an invited participant in the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism (JWTC) at The University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa from July 18-28.
This year’s event was themed “Techniques of Capital: Property, Self-Creation and Politics and Precarious Times.” Smith also contributed to the JWTC blog, a response to Arjun Appadurai’s keynote paper, “Charismatic Financialism: Weberian Thoughts for the Age of Risk.”
JWTC is “an independent platform for critical social analysis based at the University of the Witwatersrand. It is intended for intellectual stimulation, exchange and sustained interaction around the work of noted scholars in the humanities and social sciences, and the emerging fields of critical legal and science studies."
Also, Smith led the discussion on “Entertainment Media and Public Diplomacy” on July 28 as part of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School's 2010 Summer Institute, an intensive two-week course with diplomats and NGO representatives from around the world.
Suro pens op-ed on Arizona's immigration law
Journalism professor Roberto Suro penned an August 1 article for the Washington Post titled "In the fight over Arizona's immigration law, everybody loses."
"Arizona's immigration law was never going to solve the problem of illegal immigration," Suro wrote. 'That is not its purpose. Instead it is an invitation to a shootout in which there will be no winners. It is more of a provocation than an attempt to enact policy, and as a protest against Washington's failure to fix a broken immigration system, it resonates."
"The relentless focus on catching people who aren't supposed to be here is bad enough; a long marshals-vs.-sheriffs shootout is a dangerous distraction. No matter what kind of new immigration system you want to build, lawsuits over who handles traffic stops won't get you very far," he finished.
Read the article
Tolan’s piece on Palestinian musician (NPR), “California Dreamers” series airs on KQED
Journalim professor Sandy Tolan created a piece for NPR titled “Ramzi's Story: Laying Down Stones, Picking Up Instruments” on July 10 which aired on NPR’s weekend edition. Tolan’s piece is about a Palestinian musician who is opening up music schools all over the West Bank.
“In 1988, a photographer in the West Bank snapped a photo of a scrawny 8-year-old with tears in his eyes, hurling a rock at an Israeli tank. The photo symbolized the rage and frustration of the intifada. More than 20 years later, that boy, Ramzi Hussein Aburedwan, has grown up to become a visionary musician,” wrote Tolan.
“Aburedwan is now a respected violist and the founder of music schools in Palestinian towns and refugee camps,” he wrote.
“Nowadays, Aburedwan is busy opening up music schools called al-Kamandjati, Arabic for ‘the violinist,’ which teach both European and Arabic classical music. He's already opened 10, including one in Lebanon, with headquarters located in a renovated stone building in the heart of Old Ramallah,” he continued.
Also, a four-part series on “California Dreamers” from Tolan’s Spring 2010 radio class will air over four consecutive weeks on KQED’s state-wide radio broadcast, The California Report. The first piece aired on July 23, titled “California Dreamers: Eric Kan” by Neila Jamee. Lauren Whaley, CJ Dablo and Emilie Mutert will be featured on the site. Tolan’s journalism graduate class was a collaboration with The California Report.
Winston participates in panel on Proposition 8
Knight Chair in Media and Religion Diane Winston participated in a July 21 panel that discussed a new survey stating that one-in-five Californians think that passing Proposition 8 is a “good thing” for the state.
Winston served on the panel along with Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute, Daniel Cox, Director of Research of Public Religion Research Institute, and Madison Shockley, Pastor at Pilgrim United Church of Christ.
The panel, held in the Crocker Room at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel, discussed the survey of over 3,000 Californians and examined the role of religion on attitudes about LGBT issues.
Jeffrey Cole and CDF study on consumer’s thoughts on print vs. web news (NY Times, Editor & Publisher, MediaPost, LA Weekly, NY Times)
Center for Digital Future study on paying for social media featured (Mashable, Time, LAObserved, TheWrap, NY Times)
Cooper on newspaper editorial pages (Las Vegas Sun)
Cowan on Harman buying Newsweek magazine; Daniel Schorr (WSJ- subscription site, LA Times)
Gilbert on internet addiction in youth (Bloomberg Businessweek, AOL News)
Hollihan on “Climategate”; digital billboards (SF Chronicle
Jenkins on Comic-Con, "Inception" (Kansas City Star, G4, LA Times)
Kaplan on social and political messages in movies and TV (NY Times)
Kun on latest ways to get and store music, feature on Black Sabbath exhibition (Marketplace, SF Sentinel)
Overholser on journalism objectivity (KPCC)
Reeves mentioned as speaking at Air Force Association Conference, on the White House’s inability to reach the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Shreveport Times, NY Times, The Examiner)
Adjunct Zachary on entertainment site RadarOnline (LA Times)
Annenberg’s poll on Proposition 8 mentioned (Fresno Bee)
Neon Tommy’s coverage of Comic-Con assault featured (LA Times, Voice of San Diego)
Norman Lear Center's list of 10 good things about TV featured (Variety)
Center for Health Reporting story featured (Oroville Mercury-Register)