Neon Logo

Neon, a new student-run digital magazine, launches

Senior broadcast journalism major, Sean Myers, left, and journalism graduate student, Erika Klein, right, sit at the Neon desk in the Annenberg Media Center.
Photo: Olivia Mowry

Black ink. Minimalist. Small-scale. Junior Jordan Winters’ photo essay focuses on the millennial tattoo culture and aesthetic, including portraits of USC students paired with reflections on why they chose to get inked.

Her thought-provoking post is part of a new USC Annenberg student-run digital magazine called Neon that launched this month. 

“We created Neon because we felt there was a need to curate the authentic voices of students and to capture the complexity of our generation,” said Winters, who is double majoring in broadcast journalism and political science and co-editor of Neon. “We wanted to add another dimension to Annenberg Media’s breaking news coverage and daily operations.” 

She said the student team designed Neon as a space for animators, photographers and writers to put their passion projects to the forefront. Their aim is to produce quality, in-depth content that includes features, investigative opinion pieces and photo essays with heavy visual storytelling. Stories will focus on youth culture, and everything from technology, social issues, and art critiques to the politics of daily life.

“The content is going to be witty, very social media savvy, and hopefully funny,” Winters added. 

“The goal is to give students ownership and create a site with a look and feel different from the main Annenberg Media homepage,” said Laura Davis, assistant professor of professional practice of journalism and digital news director. 

The Media Center’s web developer, Jenn de la Fuente, was responsible for building the site and continues to oversee the students’ involvement.

Senior broadcast journalism major, Sean Myers, left, and junior broadcast journalism and political science major, Jordan Winters, right, are integral to the Neon development.

“I knew all the students, and was excited to become involved with this project, as it was fresh, fun and vibrant, and it was a chance to build something from scratch,” de la Fuente said. 

Senior broadcast journalism major Sean Myers comes from a web development background, and is one of the co-editors and designers of the magazine’s layout. His focus was to ensure Neon was cross-platform for mobile and desktop. 

“We built it from both a back-end utilitarian coding perspective and from an ethos side,” Myers said. 

Both Davis and de la Fuente provided guidance about display and function to Myers, along with fellow designer James Tyner ‘19, Annenberg Media’s managing editor of digital storytelling.

For de la Fuente, working with the students to launch Neon has been invigorating. She tries to give them space, especially when it comes to the editorial process. “They’re driving the bus –– so to speak,” she said. 

The highlight so far, for Winters, has been building Neon from the ground up. “The beauty of writing and creating content is that it speaks to you as much as it does to the people that read it.”