Photo by John Davis

USC Annenberg and KPCC bolster investigative reporting in L.A.

At a time when in-depth investigative reporting is absolutely critical, the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and Southern California Public Radio have established an initiative that will both enhance KPCC’s investigative journalism and offer real-world work experience for USC Annenberg students and recent graduates.

This pilot program, led by Visiting Professor of Journalism Mark Schoofs, begins this month. Schoofs, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who launched and led the BuzzFeed News investigative team, joined the USC Annenberg faculty in December 2018 as part of the school’s increased commitment to investigative journalism.

“Southern California deserves the very best investigative reporting, the kind that holds powerful people and institutions accountable, and serves the public interest,” Schoofs said. “KPCC’s collaboration with USC Annenberg will help us train Los Angeles’ next generation of great investigative reporters. I'm thrilled that our students will have the opportunity to work with — and learn from — fantastic journalists like Kristen Muller, Megan Garvey, Mike Kessler, and the rest of KPCC's investigations team.”

“This collaboration couldn’t come at a better time for KPCC,” said Muller, KPCC’s chief content officer. “We are investing heavily in investigative reporting, and Mark’s expertise will help elevate our ambition and impact. KPCC has a strong track record of developing early-career journalists, and we’re excited to create more pathways to professional experience.” 

Through the collaboration, KPCC will offer a 12-month internship to a USC Annenberg student who demonstrates exceptional aptitude for investigative work. The internship, which will start in May 2019, may be offered to one student for 12 months, or two students for six months. 

Additionally, current USC Annenberg students will have an opportunity to create original content and work on an ongoing investigative project for KPCC and its partner website LAist. “If a student has a story idea for publication on LAist or broadcast on KPCC, they can pitch it to me, then KPCC will have the final say on publication,” Schoofs explained. Students will be paid for their work.

“We are incredibly excited that Mark has helped establish this collaboration with a great public-media newsroom committed to in-depth reporting on Southern California,” said Gordon Stables, director of the USC Annenberg School of Journalism. “We pride ourselves on offering our students the opportunity to learn from world-class journalists in intensive classroom settings, as well as connecting students with leading news organizations.”

Stables added that the new collaboration will provide students with valuable professional experience, bring new talent and ideas into KPCC’s newsroom, and ultimately generate more of the hard-hitting investigative work Southern California has come to expect from USC Annenberg’s students, faculty and alumni, and from KPCC.


Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) is a member-supported public radio network that operates 89.3 KPCC-FM in Los Angeles and Orange County, 89.1 KUOR-FM in the Inland Empire, 90.3 KVLA in the Coachella Valley, 89.9 FM in Santa Barbara, and 89.5 KJAI Ojai in Ventura County. SCPR reaches more than 800,000 listeners and more than a million readers every month. KPCC serves the diverse communities of Southern California with award-winning local news coverage as well as the most National Public Radio (NPR) content available anywhere in the region. SCPR also features signature public radio programs from APM, the BBC, and PRI. Listeners around the globe can access a live web stream at www.kpcc.org or visit LAist.com to get the latest on local news, arts and culture. KPCC In Person, SCPR’s events and engagement platform, regularly convenes forum programs and live events throughout the region.