Quoted: Week of March 2, 2015

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.

 Beckham effect 'pretty significant' on MLS

Director of Annenberg Sports Daniel Durbin wrote about David Beckham's impact on MLS soccer for Reuters Sports. Durbin reflects on this in light of Major League Soccer's preparation to open its 20th season as well as the large effect of Beckham as he begins his sixth year with the LA Galaxy. "Beckham helped bring a higher level of visibility and much greater star power to the MLS," Durbin said. "He could and he did bring international soccer celebrity to the MLS and that was a tremendous boost for the league. The higher visibility also helped create a stage for soccer to become more popular across the U.S."

Into Space

M.A. student Kristin Marguerite Doidge had her "Into Space" story featured on radio stations KRCW and NPR. Doidge told the story of Barbara Morgan, one of the small club whose members have been rocketed into space at "unimaginable speeds". Barbara Morgan remembered her own mission on shuttle Endeavor in 2007. "Many people ask if I'm scared," said Morgan, "but you're accelerating at five miles a second, so you don't even have time to consider how fast you are actually going."

AOL's Patch couldn't make hyper-local happen; can Nextdoor?

Patch, AOL's failed attempt to create a syndicate of local journalists across the nation, was seen by many as a death knell for hyper-local news. The San Francisco Chronicle article debuted if similar service Nextdoor will be able to. "People truly do want to bring back a sense of community," Nextdoor CEO Nirav Tolia said. Professor Robert Hernandez said the new company could increase quality control for hyper-local news stories.

Classes that go off the grid help students focus

The Los Angeles Times mentioned professor Geoffrey Cowan and Annenberg Dean Ernest J. Wilson III's freshman course "The Changing World of Communication and Journalism" as an example of a better learning environment due to the course ban on technology. "Electronic equipment, even just for note taking, causes students to mentally disconnect from lectures and distracts them from class discussions," the professors said. Since he began banning devices three years ago, Cowan said, the course is "a much more rewarding experience" for students as well as professors.

Johnson's Barn, a North Dakota Institution, Plans Its Last Dance

Johnson's Barn is a North Dakota institution dedicated to providing couples with a night of entertainment through swing dancing and live bands. The owner, Mr. Johnson, discovered he had Parkinson's disease in 2012 and made the decision to put up his entire farmstead for sale. Last Friday, he planned on holding the institution's "last dance". Professor Josh Kun dedicated his New York Times article to remembering the many years of enjoyment the barn provided the community with. The Johnson Barn and the accompanying land has been owned by the Johnson family for generations. "There's no room for sentimentality in farming," Mr. Johnson said. "I want somebody to buy it and to continue to have dances. It's not so important for me but for the kids who come here. Memories when you're young are so important."

Should the news pay attention to #TheDress, runaway llamas?

On KPCC's 'Take Two' radio show, professor Karen North analyzed the role of the news media in light of recent headlines following stories of #TheDress and a pair of runaway llamas. The question at hand: should the news pay attention to these topics? North says maybe. "There are a lot of [news] topics I think are frivolous," North said. "This one I think is actually a fascinating learning opportunity for people to learn about physical perception. That said, certain topics that catch fire on social media that capture human attention tend to be outside of their realm of experience."

It's Okay To Laugh: "That's Racist with Mike Epps" Tackles the Taboo, with Humor

Professor Marcia Dawkins was mentioned in an article about the role of racial stereotypes in culture for The Fast Company. That's Racist with Mike Epps is AOL's new web series show centered around creating a dialogue based upon identifying and analyzing racial stereotypes, with humor. Dawkins will serve as an academic contributor to the show. Interspersed throughout each episode, Dawkins will offer eye-opening revelations on the origins of stereotypes.

History review: 'The Summit: Bretton Woods, 1944', by Ed Conway

Vice Dean and professor Philip Seib took readers back to 1944 with his review of Ed Conway's novel 'The Summit' in his article for the The Dallas Morning News. Conway's novel focused on the economic tactics utilized to help seal a World War II victory for the Allied powers assigned to the Bretton Woods resort. This was especially significant given the economic downturn as a result of World War I. "This is a complicated story, but Ed Conway tells it well," Seib said. "The delegates at Bretton Woods tried to create a system that would ensure lasting global economic stability. A noble goal, but as it turns out, not a particularly realistic one." Reuters also quoted Seib on the U.S. proposal to make a Cuban radio station independent.

 Spock's 'Good Mother'

In his recurring column for The Huffington Post, Norman Lear Center Director and professor Marty Kaplan reflected on the recent loss of his close friend, Leonard Nimoy. The two shared a 30-year friendship. In the article, Kaplan reflected on one particular memory from the friendship during the filming of Nimoy's 'The Good Mother'. "After all those years, having been reamed out by Leonard Nimoy remains pretty much the coolest thing about me," Kaplan said. Leonard Nimoy passed at the age of 83 on February 27th.