European researchers Laura Basu (L) and Nadine Strauß (R) are at USC Annenberg this fall.
USC Annenberg / Brett Van Ort

M{2e} hosts two visiting research fellows in the fall

Two European scholars are calling USC Annenberg home this fall as Visiting International Research Fellows in the Media, Economics & Entrepreneurship (M{2e}) program.

Laura Basu and Nadine Strauß will be taking classes with Annenberg professors Christopher Holmes Smith and Gabriel Kahn while working on research projects about media and the world of finance.

Basu is a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the School of Journalism, Media and Culture at Cardiff University, where she is writing a book about the twists and turns in the media coverage of recent  financial crises. Strauß is a Ph.D. candidate in Corporate Communication at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research at the University of Amsterdam, where she studies the interrelation of news media, the stock market, and financial networks.

Strauß recalls that it wasn’t easy to find  a university to visit that included both adequate resources and people aligned to her research.

“I was reaching out and looking on websites where people are doing the same research,” Strauß said. “I found Christopher and Gabriel and wrote them an email with my inquiry and asked them if they were interested. And I got here.”

While at Annenberg, Strauß will conduct a survey with investors, financial journalists and investor relations professionals to find out how they perceive the relationship between media and stock market crises. She said her background aligns with Smith’s expertise.

“I’m coming from quantitative background and Chris is more critical,” Strauß said. “It's very nice to have this exchange with different perspectives to see where we have the same viewpoint on things and where we differ.”

Basu, from the Cardiff School of Journalism, said she hopes to make connections with other colleagues and share research. Her project looks at how news coverage of the economic crisis has mutated over time, starting with the 2008 financial crisis and moving on to the Great Recession and the Eurozone crisis.

She is writing a book based on her research and, like Strauß, is looking forward to working with like-minded researchers and mentors at Annenberg.

“I'm excited to get a U.S. perspective on this stuff because it's extremely important to the global economy. I have been immersed in the European context, so it’s really nice to get this new perspective,” Basu said.

Both will present their research and findings to Smith, Kahn and others at Annenberg Research Seminar: M{2e} Research Presentations on October 31.

For Smith, the International Research Fellowship is about creating a community of scholars at Annenberg. Smith said that, in addition to their own presentations, Basu and Strauß will be able to attend other events at Annenberg, like the M{2e} and the Financial Communications Society present: “Branded Content in Financial Marketing” on October 25.

“Between that conference with senior executives from the most significant financial brands in the region, to teaching classes in this area—and both their projects deal with this area—it’s a sweet spot,” Smith said.

He said visiting fellows lend “gravitas and intellectual credibility” to a program like M2{e}.

“We want our program to foster open mindedness. We are all about promoting a kind of collegiality of ideas,” Smith said.