The Tommys, which are sponsored by the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation, are designed to recognize and honor the outstanding work done at some of the more than 700 student organizations on campus.
Neon Tommy senior news editor Callie Schweitzer (B.A. Print Journalism '11) said the Neon Tommy concept itself is innovative, but the student journalists' determination brings the online news source to a top level.
“I think it’s the passion behind all of our stories and also the risk taking and the boundaries that we’re crossing," Schweitzer said. "Our stories really go a step beyond what a lot of the other LA media are doing. Our swine flu story is proof of that. The story really put a face on the disease in our area. We found that in some cases, family members didn’t even know their loved ones had died from swine flu.
“What makes us unique is that we’re completely online and we’re in the Annenberg School," she continued. "A lot of people are saying university publications are going to be leading the way in the media because of what’s happening with journalism nationwide, and I think Neon Tommy is a great example of the work that can be done by students on a premier level.”
About Neon Tommy
Neon Tommy is a Web-only, Los Angeles-based news source sponsored by the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism through Annenberg Digital News. Its visitors depend on Neon Tommy to cover crucial stories that would otherwise fall by the wayside, and to provide meaningful context in a cluttered media landscape. The fleet of reporters is a powerful presence throughout Los Angeles and across Southern California, with selective coverage of national and international events.
Neon Tommy takes particular care to avoid redundancy with other news outlets; the work is fresh and unique, telling stories that other outlets are not. When another outlet has the story, Neon Tommy points its visitors there.
Neon Tommy is innovative and iterative, pushing the boundaries of storytelling on the Internet. It throws dated, inaccurate, and misguided news paradigms out the window. It employs a variety of platforms and technologies to create engaging experiences for our visitors. It represents the future of digital news.