New conversations at Annenberg

by Willow Bay
Dean and Walter H. Annenberg Chair in Communication

Today, we have unprecedented opportunities to connect, communicate and access information. Yet many of us feel less connected and less informed. At this moment of profound and, at times, destabilizing change, USC Annenberg’s mission has never been more urgent. 

As you have probably heard me say before ... our world has been rewired. And no one left us a user’s manual. 

One of the most critical ways I believe we can lead the way forward is by expanding USC Annenberg’s presence in the public square to create new opportunities for conversation, dialogue and debate. 

Over the past year we have been the center for numerous wide-ranging and important discussions, including those around diverse voices in entertainment and media; the rise of bots and the radicalization of rhetoric; race in the fashion industry; athletes as activists; and ethics and equity in the digital age. 

These are more than conversations; rather, they represent our deep engagement with the issues — scholarly and professional — and the meaningful connections we are forging with experts and industry partners. 

After surveying readers last year, we learned that you are eager for us to position you at the heart of these discussions, too. In fact, 86 percent of you want this magazine to deepen and strengthen your relationship with USC Annenberg. You also want to know how your fellow alumni are innovating and impacting their fields, how our students are connecting what they learn in the classroom to the real world, and how our faculty are uncovering and advancing vital new knowledge. 

We have completely reimagined this magazine — in content and design — to offer you a twice-yearly “user’s manual” you can rely on for insights around the challenges and opportunities of our day. 

I want us to do more than be part of the conversation. I want us to lead the conversation. Through USC Annenberg Magazine, we hope to demonstrate how our USC Annenberg community is answering our founder Walter H. Annenberg’s charge to use communication to understand the great changes before us.