Quoted: Week of April 6, 2015

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. The stories are listed in chronological order, the most recent story appearing first.


Neon Tommy editor slams Blendle and micropayments on Medium; Blendle hits back

USC Annenberg student and Neon Tommy editor-in-chief Will Federman was quoted in Poynter for his Medium post on the micropayment model. Federman cited Dutch startup Blendle, which takes stories from various news outlets and charges users mere pennies to get the full story. The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal have signed on to the service, but Federman is not impressed. "The pay-per-song model isn’t even the preferred business model for music consumers anymor," Federman wrote. "People are no longer paying per song, they’re paying for a license to listen to every song on every device. The music industry, like the news industry, is in a free fall. Why are folks so keen on this idea again?"


Musings on the Media

New Music Box's article on the relationship between the media and the new music community included commentary from professor Tim Page, a Pulitzer Prize-winning critic. "Sometimes, something that you don’t respond to the first time, you may respond to differently" on future hearings, Page said. Page also elaborated on a technique he teaches to his own journalism students at USC Annenberg, which is to use statements such as "on a first hearing, it seemed..." to provide a description and preliminary judgment upon hearing new works for the first time.


Obama's Immigration Plan Equals Positive Results for Students

A collaborative report compiled by researchers at USC and UCLA suggests that children of undocumented immigrants have lower standardized test scores and cognitive abilities than children whose parents are documented. The report claims that children of illegal immigrants experience this disparity due to decreased academic focus caused by the threat of deportation and the possibility of being separated from their family. Lead author, professor Roberto Suro believes that Obama’s executive order to postpone the deportation of undocumented immigrant parents will grant their children the opportunity to focus on academic prospects. "Reasonable minds can differ on whether there is blame to attach to the parents," Suro said. "There is no reasonable case to be made for punishing their children. Yet, every day they are being punished."


Welcome to the Era of Purposeful Viewing

Professor Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future, was noted in an Adweek article on how the Golden Age of TV is all about viewer empowerment. Cole has succinctly summed up the state of television as: "No one watches crap on TV anymore," according to the article.


Starbucks' college plan a branding win?

Branding expert and USC Annenberg professor Jeetendr Sehdev was quoted on Fox Business about Starbucks' decision to expand its free college plan. Starbucks will be offering full tuition reimbursement for a four-year online degree from Arizona State University, up from the two years it first offered. "I think that audiences today are incredibly savvy," Sehdev said. "We have high authenticity detectors. Millennials in particular have been raised in an environment where they have been marketed to." "This is very much a mutually beneficial relationship and it should be stated as such," he continued.


Here's What Happened When A Troubled Liquor Store Also Started Selling Fresh Produce

USC Annenberg student Jordyn Holman first reported on Century Liquor’s transformation into Century Market in December 2014. Her story, which was originally published on Intersections South L.A., appeared on the Huffington Post earlier this week as part of the "What's Working" initiative. In her article Holman explores how the liquor store, previously considered a public nuisance, revamped its business by deciding to sell fresh produce. The store now helps the community by serving as a local source for nutritious fruits and vegetables.


Cultural Cartography: Connecting Kinetic Communities with Dance Map LA

Dance Map L.A. aims to unify and reenergize the dance community and make it more visible through data collection and visualization. Though the survey numbers from nearly 500 respondents indicated that the dance community is fractured and dancers are not interacting with each other enough, the data cannot help but excite Sasha Anawalt, executive producer of Dance Map L.A. and director of USC Annenberg Masters School of Arts Journalism. "It's up to the journalists to take this information and build a story from it," Anawalt said. "Interview people. Find out what's really going on. Watch this as it changes."


Periscope phone app gives millions a way to live-stream their lives

A new live-streaming app for the iPhone, Periscope, was launched last week and has been making waves in the United States, but competition is tough. Other live-streaming apps like Meerkat and websites such as Livestream and Ustream are fighting for a piece of the same cake. "No one really knows what sort of live streams are going to catch on," professor Jeetendr Sehdev said.


Multifaceted Music Critic Andrew Porter Dies At 86

Andrew Porter, a renowned music critic, scholar, and opera translator passed away on April 3. Porter is perhaps best known for his two-decade stint as music critic of The New Yorker. Professor Tim Page, former music critic of The Washington Post, said that his style of critique was a departure for The New Yorker. "Some thought perhaps the scholarship sometimes overtook the criticism because he included so much background information," Page said. "He really changed the definition of the gig in that he really examined music in great detail and taught you a lot about music."


Are Laptop Requirements a Forgone Conclusion or a Burden on Students?

A survey in 2014 found that 90 percent of college students own laptops and 86 percent own smartphones, driving  journalism schools to mandate laptop ownership. A PBS article put forth USC Annenberg as a school that embraced the forecast that device ownership would increase in the future by ensuring that the new Wallis Annenberg Hall would be able to support the trend. "We see students investing in these devices themselves, so we should take advantage of these devices on campus while providing a robust digital infrastructure," James Vasquez, associate dean of facilities and technology, said.


America and Iran: An Opportunity for Public Diplomacy 

Vice Dean Philip Seib's latest column for The World Post focused on the Iran nuclear agreement and the opportunity it creates for improving Americans and Iranians' cultural understanding of each other. Seib wrote about the need to accelerate existing efforts by the United States and other nations reach out to the Iranian people through measures such as academic and cultural exchange programs that effectively break down stereotypes. "If people understand each other's culture, relations between their countries are less likely to be shaken by animosities rooted in ignorance," Seib wrote.