Quoted: Week of February 2

At USC Annenberg, we don’t just cover the news, we make it. “Quoted: USC Annenberg in the News” gathers a selection of the week’s news stories featuring and written by USC Annenberg’s leaders, faculty, staff and others.

Hello, wearables! Goodbye, privacy?

The Cincinnati Enquirer quoted professor Jeffrey Cole on the risks associated with the exploding popularity of the wearable technology industry.

Research firm Markets and Markets predicts that the wearable technology industry will grow to $11.61 billion by the end of 2020. However, security experts say the companies creating these products can't always ensure the data collected won't end up in unintended hands, or be used for unauthorized purposes.

Cole's study for the Annenberg Center for the Digital Future found that people ages 18-34 don't have much expectation of privacy. While critics argue this perspective will change by 2015, this finding will undoubtedly have an impact on the future success of the wearable technology industry.

Williams’ popularity, ratings could save his job

USA Today quoted professor Judy Muller on the ever-changing story of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams abroad a military helicopter in 2003 that has recently gotten him in some hot water. The anchor apologized to veterans earlier this week. But Williams’ misstatements have unleashed a firestorm on the Internet and social media, with some critics calling for his firing and others more tolerant of Williams’ account that it was simply a matter of ‘misremembering.’ However, Williams’ popularity and likability could work in his favor, Muller said. “Do they toss out a multi-million dollar brand after he apologized? You may find people are more forgiving than not.”

AOL and Comedian Mike Epps Take on Racism- Ever So Gently

The Wall Street Journal cited the work of professor Marcia Dawkins in its CMO Today blog on AOL’s recent unveiling of an edgy web series titled “That’s Racist With Mike Epps”. AOL debuted five episodes of the series starring comedian Mike Epps last week, with titles like “Jews Are Cheap” and “Asians Can’t Drive”. Epps said he knew the episode titles would draw attention, but says the series is aimed at exposing stereotypes, not encouraging racism. To succeed in this goal, Epps enlisted the help of Dawkins to examine the origins of various racial stereotypes. Dawkins’ background includes frequently writes on issues such as race and diversity for a variety of academic and mainstream publications.


How Much is My Browsing Worth to You? A River of Nickels

Professor Gabriel Kahn wrote an article for PBS MediaShift on the cost we actually pay for “free” digital media news. Kahn says we are paying for the overwhelmingly popular free digital news with our attention and “a disturbing amount of of personal data we offer up in a mysterious algorithmic cocktail to advertisers.” Kahn shared his personal research on how much revenue his news browsing is creating for publishers. Overall, news sites generate an estimated $5 billion in digital ad revenue, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. Kahn found his morning contribution to this total to be around six cents a morning to various publishers.

Television Academy: Creating Content for Children’s Media: What’s Next?

CNN iReport quoted professor Erin Reilly in an audio recording on the future of creating content for children’s media. Reilly says the future is all about audience engagement, citing the recent trend of including YouTube stars in children’s movies and television shows. Reilly says the future is based on characters that “are relatable and able to create an emotional connection with the audience.”

How do you solve a problem like censoring YouTube?

Last Wednesday, the European Union’s counter terrorism chief said it was up to governments to flag “terrorist-related” videos on YouTube. “This is a very human movement, where people look at something and say, ‘That is completely inappropriate for our community.’ It’s our responsibility as a community to alert YouTube,” professor Karen North told Marketplace Tech. Given the sheer number of daily uploads on YouTube and the focus on user-generated content, North says it’s impractical for Google to to monitor each upload.  While there have been suggestions of governments being more involved in this process, North says that such a development, especially in the U.S., would only result from a “long, complex negotiation.”

Movie business still a man’s world

CNN ran an op-ed by Stacy Smith and Katherine Pieper of the Annenberg School on the issue of putting women front and center in film is the exception, not the rule. Smith says this in light of the announcement of the all-female cast of the “Ghostbusters” reboot.

Smith and Pieper’s research reveals that the lack of diversity in films can be blamed by perceptions of market forces and money both in front of and behind the camera. Male leads, stories and properties are seen as more profitable, while female stories and casts are seen as a risk.

Smith says leveling the playing field for hiring is a good start to solving this problem, through modification of the NFL’s Rooney Rule. The Hollywood application of this rule would stipulate that women as well as candidates from underrepresented backgrounds must be considered or even interviewed when hiring film directors. The Washington Post also mentioned Smith’s Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative.