USC Annenberg students team up with Marketplace for Inauguration Day series

By Alex Reed
Student Writer

Journalism professor Gabriel Kahn’s business reporting class partnered with to publish a series of stories about people who were born on the Inauguration Day of past presidents.

“Inaugurations are real big sticks we use to mark time and change in our society,” Kahn said. “So finding people born on that day is one way of examining how our society has changed.”

Using social media, the students were able to track down a number of people who were born on past Inauguration Days and get their take on how the United States has changed over time and what they think lies ahead. The stories coincided with President Barack Obama's Jan. 21 Inauguration.

Whether it was a Pulitzer prize-winning author born on the same day as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Inauguration or an 18 year-old college student born on the day Bill Clinton took office, everyone expressed different opinions and concerns about the next four years. Perhaps because of their unique birthdate, though, their adamant political interest and feeling of civic responsibility was unanimous.

“I’m always emphasizing that these big, numbers-heavy stories about the economy and demographics and policy are really about people and the job of the reporter is to connect this arcane data to real-life stories in order to illustrate their significance,” Kahn said.

Read the series