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.
Daniel Suarez is the first full-time Mexican driver in a NASCAR national series. Professor Daniel Durbin — who also serves as director of USC Annenberg Institute of Sports, Media, and Society — told the Daily Bulletin that Suarez is bringing NASCAR the opportunity to reach a more diverse and larger audience. “Greater diversity always means a greater target audience for any sport and, ultimately, the long-term health of a sport relies on building new and more diverse audiences,” Durbin said. “This is a potential win all around for the sport if they handle it well.” Durbin said Suarez and NASCAR now need to share his story to help build both the driver and the brand's fan base.
Professor Robert Hernandez was on KPCC's AirTalk discussing Periscope and Meerkat, two new video-streaming apps that could change the field of live news. "Behind-the-scenes, genuine, exclusive access type of perspective to a potential presidential candidate is going to be very much in play," Hernandez said of potential news uses for these streaming apps. He also noted that politicians, businesses and others have even more potential to bypass press conferences and break news directly to the public. Society has already subscribed to the idea of live-casting day-to-day life, from Instagrams of brunch to Vines of conversations. Hernandez mentioned the statistic that 91 percent of Americans have their mobile phone within arms reach 24/7. Whether it be a live-stream of brunch or citizen journalism, we're primed to use our mobile devices at a moment's notice.
The International Business Times (IBT) recently reported that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie petitioned the auto dealership that sponsors the "Ask the Governor" show to loan a Corvette to station news director and host Eric Scott. IBT reported that neither Christie nor Scott responded to questions about the ethics of the situation. Media ethics experts said it raises questions, including professor Marc Cooper. "Because Christie hasn't had a news conference with local reporters in months, it makes the 'Ask the Governor' controversy even more troubling," Cooper said.
A Variety article cited the recent explosion in popularity of radio plays. While consumers have been listening to these audio theater productions on NPR for years, the amount of star power joining the trend is seeing a massive increase. The 40th anniversary gala of the L.A. Theatre Works this past Wednesday celebrated the industry's success. Professor and president of the Annenberg Foundation Geoffrey Cowan recently joined the trend as a first-time playwright with his production of "Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers". Despite words of praise from everyone to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Cowan was skeptical on lasting popularity for the production. "This is a play that started in a classroom and wound up traveling all over the United States, and then even making its way to China," Cowan said.
Research by professor Stacy Smith and the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative (MDSCI) was featured in The Daily Beast's story on female filmmakers. While the article cites the increase of female presence in Hollywood since the late nineties, progress seems to have come to a screeching halt for the film industry. Despite making up 50.8% of the U.S. population, a measly 17% of women hold director, writer or producer positions. Headed by Smith, MDSCI published a study titled "Gender Bias Without Borders" in 2014. The study analyzed films from the ten "most profitable territories internationally." The study found that the lack of female presence in the film industry extends far beyond U.S. borders. Averaged together, the abroad figures found women making up only 7% of directors, 19.7% of writers and 22.7% of producers.
Professor A. Michael Noll was quoted in a Smithsonian Magazine story on forgotten works by artist Nam June Paik. The Smithsonian Museum acquired the Nam June Paik archive in 2009. Since then, museum researchers have been working tirelessly to catalogue materials accumulated by the artist deemed the "playful father of video art". One find by researchers included a Bell Labs punch card, the company responsible for running the program for a 1967 Paik exhibit. The punch card featured Noll's name, a former Bell Labs programmer. Noll monitored Paik's visits to the company during this exhibit, but was surprised to find his own name featured in the archive. "I was surprised when printouts with Paik's name along with mine in the Smithsonian archive," Noll said. "I gave him a short introduction to a programming language ... The challenge back then was that programming required thinking in terms of algorithms and structures. Paik was more used to handiwork." Paik's exhibit will be featured at the Smithsonian Museum from April 24 through September 7.