At USC Annenberg, we don’t just cover the news, we make it. “Quoted: USC Annenberg in the News” gathers a selection of the week’s news stories featuring and written by Annenberg’s leaders, faculty, staff and others.
The American Journalism Review recently listed a number of courses taught at USC Annenberg in an article on cutting-edge trends in digital media education. "Glass Journalism" was highlighted for its experimentation in new technology and a new medium for storytelling. With a boom in the business of sports, AJR noted that sports journalism is one of the fastest growing areas of media, and thus noted the ASCJ course "Sports and Media Technology." One of newest trends in journalism curriculum is data analysis. A new ASCJ course being offered this spring, "Connecting the Dots: Data Driven Storytelling for Converged Communication," was one such example. Data-driven stories are not the only form of analysis, however, as AJR noted the increased focus on audience analytics — including the ASCJ course "Real-Time Social Media Monitoring and Analysis for Converged Communication."
The massive Sony hack shook Hollywood for the past three weeks, and Marty Kaplan, director of the Norman Lear Center, offered insight to Politico most recently, noting that no one is safe from hackers. “This can happen to anyone, for any level of perceived infraction, or solely out of some perverse glee that people have in bringing down the powerful of pumping up the powerless," Kaplan said. "You don’t need to commit some sin in order to bring this upon you. All you need to do is have anybody who knows how to hack into servers decide that you’re the victim of the day.” Kaplan was also interviewed by the Los Angeles Times and wrote two blog posts on the subject, found here and here.
To close out 2014, NiemanLab asked media professionals to predict what 2015 will bring for the future of journalism. Professor Robert Hernandez offered his prediction, that the City of Angels will grow into "the content capital of the world." "You know it for films and TV, as well as video games. But did you know it is also the place for viral web videos?" Hernandez wrote. "YouTube, Vine, Instagram, etc. 'stars' appear to be coming from here." "Creative content people are frustrated with the industry and creating their content on their own terms."
In the latest issue of the Trojan Family Magazine, two members of the USC Annenberg community were highlighted for their commitment to the advancement of journalism. Director of the School of Journalism, Willow Bay, was interviewed by journalism graduate student Daina Beth Solomon on the "Next-Generation Newsroom." "I would love to see our graduates not just go out and change the world with their reporting, but also to change the world of journalism," Bay said. "I’d love to see the future of journalism firmly in the hands of journalists rather than technologists, who are our valuable partners, or big companies that are often our funders."
In "Care to Dance? The Future of Arts Journalism," professor Sasha Anawalt discussed how she works to keep arts journalism alive during the changing media times we live in. “Instead of competing, we need to join forces by telling stories together and sharing research around a central hub,” Anawalt said. “What better than a university to be that common ground?”
YouTube's stars shine brighter than those of Hollywood celebrities in the minds of teenagers today. Research by professor Jeetendr Sehdev was highlighted in a Businessweek article on the Fine Brothers. Sehdev surveyed 1,500 teenagers, asking them to score entertainers on different attributes like reliability and extraordinariness. The top five entertainers in the ranking were all stars from YouTube.
A recent Think & Do workshop that the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab held was noted in The Wall Street Journal's CIO Journal. The topic of the workshop was "Leveraging Engagement" and focused on exploring new frameworks for fan engagement in a variety of media, including entertainment, music and sports. Irving Wladawsky-Berger attended the workshop and subsequently wrote about what he learned for WSJ. Wladawsky-Berger concluded his blog post, stating that: "Research studies that take advantage of the technologies and data all around us — like AIL’s Leveraging Engagement — will hopefully lead to many artistic and business innovations."
Mike Chinoy, a senior fellow at the USC U.S.-China Institute and former Asia correspondent for CNN, had his new book excerpted in The Guardian. The story is that of Merrill Newman, an 85-year-old American tourist and Korean war veteran who was removed from the plane at the end of an otherwise uneventful trip to North Korea in October 2013, and held for almost two months in Pyongyang. Chinoy spoke with Newman about his experiences, resulting in "The Last P.O.W." The book's release was also covered by The New York Times, CNN, and other news outlets.
Professor and Director of the Media Impact Project, Dana Chinn, spoke with Nieman Storyboard about the need for a highly specific audience for new niche magazines to be successful. "You’re building a community, an audience who wants to be associated with each other," Chinn said. She noted that there must be a strategy to not only target the niche audience, but to engage them as well.
Research from USC Annenberg’s Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative continued to cycle through news outlets, including a guest column in The Hollywood Reporter's women in entertainment issue by MDSCI director, professor Stacy Smith. Smith wrote: "When a female director is at the helm, audiences see more girls and women onscreen. But across 2013's 100 top-grossing movies, only two were directed by women. ... A Hollywood Rooney Rule would ask execs and studio heads to at least interview women for director jobs." In the op-ed, Smith also argued that adding just five female speaking roles would create jobs for female actors without taking parts away from men, as well as the need to "put equity in the contract." "Imagine the possibilities if a few actors exercised their power contractually on behalf of women and girls," Smith wrote. "It wouldn't necessarily mean more lead roles for females, but it would create a diverse onscreen demography reflecting a population comprised of 50 percent women and girls."