Director, School of Journalism, Clinical Professor of Communication and Journalism


Communication (BA)
Journalism (BA)
Public Diplomacy (MPD)


(213) 740-2759


ASC 303

Office Hours

T/Th 9:30 – 11 a.m.

More Gordon




American Studies
Changing News Industry
International Media
Media Policy
Political Communication
Public Argument
Public Diplomacy
Student Affairs

Center Affiliation

Annenberg Innovation Lab
Center on Public Diplomacy

Gordon Stables is an experienced academic administrator and faculty member who is currently serving as the director of the School of Journalism. A clinical professor with appointments in both the School of Communication and School of Journalism, Gordon has been a member of the Annenberg faculty since 2002.

Appointed by Dean Bay as the director of the Journalism School, Gordon is responsible for the supervision, management and guidance of Annenberg programs in Journalism and Public Relations. In this capacity, he works closely with the school’s faculty to help guide the school’s research, teaching and service initiatives. His priorities include helping the school to stay engaged with changing professional and academic norms of Journalism and Public Relations practice. His current research interests focus on the future of public news and media.

Drawing upon his previous experience as the Annenberg School’s associate dean for Student Affairs, Gordon also prioritizes engaging each aspect of Annenberg programming to help each student maximize their USC experience. At Annenberg student affairs include Advisement and Academic Services for undergraduate and graduate students), Career Development, International Programs and Civic Engagement.

He teaches a number of courses. Gordon embraces innovation in his classroom at USC as well. His teaching explores a range of approaches to the study of public argument. He teaches a rotation of courses that explore rhetoric, argumentation, debate, political communication, political deliberation, propaganda rhetoric, and global media.

Gordon also has extensive experience with global education. From 2007–17, Gordon directed the International Communication Studies (ICS) program. ICS is Annenberg’s oldest international program and it provides students with an opportunity to travel across Europe and North Africa and meet with executives from a wide range of communication, journalism and public relations professionals. Past programs have visited the BBC World Service, the OECD, Vatican Radio and TV, independent journalists in Turkey and the Czech Foreign Ministry. Today he supports bringing those kinds of innovations into a range of Annenberg programs.

Gordon joined the USC faculty in 2002 as the faculty director of Debate and Forensics for USC’s nationally recognized Trojan Debate Squad. Gordon served as the director of Debate and Forensics until 2017, and under Gordon’s direction, the Trojan Debate Squad has developed into a program with emphasized intercollegiate competition, community debate programming and initiatives to adapt debate to new media environments. Under Gordon’s direction, the USC debate squad extended several national records for intercollegiate competition and is the only university to qualify for the National Debate Tournament every year since 1964. Gordon also encouraged the squad’s partnership with the Los Angeles Metro Debate League (LAMDL), a partnership of the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues that helps to expand debate in Los Angeles public schools.

Gordon has served as a leading voice within the intercollegiate debate community for a number of years. He is a previous president of both the American Forensics Association, the professional association for intercollegiate speech and debate instructors, and the Cross Examination Debate Association. He was actively involved in each of the major policy debate organizations, including serving as the western regional representative to the National Debate Tournament for a decade. He also co-chaired the last National Professional Debate Conference, which sought to develop an agenda for the next century of policy debate. He also served the co-editor of Contemporary Argumentation and Debate. He also served as the chair of the Topic Selection Committee for the Cross-Examination Debate Association from 2008–14. This committee is responsible for submitting proposals and ultimately framing the season-long intercollegiate topic for all intercollegiate policy debate. He has written numerous topic papers, including the paper that was selected for the 2011-12 national, considering the role of democracy assistance as a response to the Arab Spring.

Gordon’s outstanding contributions have been recognized through numerous service awards. In 2011, Gordon became the youngest debate professional (and only the 3rd person ever) to be recognized with the highest career service awards from both national debate organizations.

Gordon is also active with outside professional argumentation consulting. He has worked with several television productions of debate events and provides news commentary for political campaign debates. He has been involved in the planning, judging or implementation of public debates in a number of settings, including with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Presidential Learning Center, The Environmental Protection Agency, the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of Natural History, UCLA's Hammer Theater, General (Ret)Tommy Frank's IDebate Initiative, the TNT program King of the Nerds.

Course Titles

  • The Changing World of Communication and Journalism (ASCJ 100)
  • Rhetoric and the Public Sphere (COMM 311)
  • Argumentation and Advocacy (COMM 322)
  • Public Deliberation (COMM 323)
  • The Rhetoric of Ideas: Ideology and Propaganda (COMM 370)
  • Censorship and the Law: From Press to Cyberspace (JOUR/COMM 371)
  • Forensics (Debate) Laboratory (COMM 380) 
  • Studies in European Media (JOUR/COMM 482)
  • Political Campaign Communication (COMM 489) 
  • Advocacy in Public Diplomacy: Argumentation and Debate (PUBD 509)