Communication Leadership Blog

GenX: Misunderstood and Underestimated - Guest Post by Mike Brooks

By CCLP Staff | April 18, 2014 0

The 2008 financial crisis had--and continues to have--varying impacts on the generations.

Baby Boomers, many approaching or reaching retirement age, simply have their eye on getting over the finish line. Millennials, just starting off financially and with little to no assets or liabilities, have seen their financial lives stall before even getting started. GenX however has the most difficult road of all.

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Geneva Overholser Discusses Pulitzer Prizes, NSA surveillance reporting on PBS NewsHour

By Elizabeth Krane | April 15, 2014 0

Geneva Overholser, former USC Annenberg Journalism School Director and now a senior fellow at USC Annenberg's Center on Communication Leadership & Policy, was featured on PBS NewsHour in an interview with anchor Gwen Ifill on the Pulitzer Prize awards for coverage of the NSA's extensive surveillance programs broken by the release of classified documents by Edward Snowden.


The Pulitzer board's decision to award the Prize to the The Washington Post and The Guardian has fueled the debate over where journalists should draw the line when reporting on national security and government surveillance.

Overholser said in the interview that although the debate won't be settled any time soon, "I do believe this is an extremely important affirmation of this important work."

"Can reporters ever be considered accomplices in a case like this, and is it something that even factors into your thinking?" asked Gwen Ifill.

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Adam Powell

Cell phones used as medical instruments in Africa, Asia; US may change regulatory policy

By Adam Powell | April 14, 2014 0

Cell phones are being used as medical instruments in underdeveloped nations, extending highly cost-effective health care to underserved villages and rural areas.

A team led by Daniel Fletcher, a Bioengineering Professor at the University of California at Berkeley has developed inexpensive conversions of cell phones into medical instruments, using clip-on lenses that cost one dollar or less. Fletcher's team has on-the-ground tests in Cameroon screening for parasitic worm infections and in Thailand screening for retinal diseases.

"By attaching a simple set of lenses to a Nokia phone borrowed from my sister," wrote Fletcher, "we were able to image blood cells, malaria parasites and the bacteria that cause tuberculosis." Indeed, according to Fletcher, these images are "similar to those captured on our $150,000 research microscope."

In an interview, Fletcher told me cell phone images are perfectly adequate for a range of diagnostic tests, which can be performed very quickly.

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Todd Purdum Discusses New Book on Civil Rights Act at CCLP

By Elizabeth Krane | April 11, 2014 0

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a ground-breaking law in the United States' history that paved the way towards ending discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex or religion.

On Thursday, April 10, the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy hosted a reception and book signing with veteran political reporter Todd Purdum, whose new book, An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, details the fascinating story behind the passage of the Civil Rights Act.


July 2, 1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act as Martin Luther King, Jr., and others, look on.

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David Westphal

Startups wonder: When will they stop the presses?

By David Westphal | April 9, 2014 0

"Most U.S. print newspapers will be gone in 5 years." - USC Center for the Digital Future, Dec. 14, 2011

"We'll continue to have a newspaper 7 days a week for many years to come..." - Mark Thompson, CEO, New York Times, March 26, 2014

So how many more years will newspaper presses keep rolling?

I know. This is a bit of a fool's errand. It's impossible to know. But it's also an important question - both a marker of the media revolution's course and an imponderable that news startups wrestle with as they imagine their futures.

I found myself revisiting this question recently as bad news continued to spill out of the newspaper industry.


Image: "Press Room - Topeka Capital Journal - 18 September 2008" by Marion Doss

First there was the surprise closing of Digital First Media's Thunderdome Project - a digital initiative that had drawn some of the industry's top new-media talent, and that was seen as a possible way forward for newspapers.

Two days later the Newark Star-Ledger announced it was eliminating 25 percent of its newsroom, along with additional positions throughout the newspaper.

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Adam Powell

US initiative for 50,000 African leaders detailed at CCLP forum

By Adam Powell | April 8, 2014 0

WASHINGTON - 50,000 young African leaders have responded to a new Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

The YALI program was the focus of Monday's CCLP lunch forum here, featuring the people who will be managing the program.

Bjornlund,  Warner.JPG

Left: Britta Bjornlund, Branch Chief, Study of the U.S. Branch Bureau of Educational and Cultural Program U.S. Department of State. Right: Joyce Warner, Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff, IREX.

500 of the leaders will be told next week that have been selected to come to Washington this summer, according to Joyce Warner, Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff of IREX, which is managing the program. The 500 will represent every sub-Saharan country.

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CCLP and The California Endowment Host Conference on Mobile Technology for Community Engagement

By Elizabeth Krane | April 2, 2014 0

In partnership with The California Endowment, the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy hosted the Get Mobile Forum on April 2nd, a conference that brought together local community organizations to explore how mobile technology can empower communities and increase civic engagement.

Watch videos of each presentation and see more event photos at the Get Mobile Forum website.


Jerlene Tatum from EYCEJ shakes hands with Mari Lopez from Vision y Compromiso, Inc.

Over thirty invitees attended the forum on Wednesday, April 2 at The California Endowment for a day packed with presentations, Q&A sessions, mobile app demos and networking opportunities.

Dr. Robert K. Ross, President and CEO of The California Endowment, introduced the conference by stressing the importance of finding practical solutions. "It's not about the next killer app," Dr. Ross said. "The problem is not a lack of innovation... It's when something works, how do we scale it in a sense that a community can benefit from it in a meaningful way?"

CCLP Director Geoffrey Cowan agreed with Dr. Ross, adding that the Get Mobile Forum "is about empowering people to work together to make a difference in their own lives."


Dr. Robert K. Ross and Professor Geoffrey Cowan share a laugh.

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Advisory Board Member Gary Pruitt to be Honored with Constitutional Champion Award

By Elizabeth Krane | March 31, 2014 0

Thumbnail image for Pruitt-Gary-2012.jpgCCLP Advisory Board Member and Associated Press CEO Gary Pruitt will be honored by The Constitution Project at their 7th Annual Constitutional Gala on April 24th in Washington, D.C. The bipartisan legal watchdog group will celebrate Pruitt's leadership in standing up against government intimidation of the media. Tickets to the Gala are available for purchase at The Constitution Project's website.

The Constitutional Champion Award honors Pruitt's commitment to fighting for the constitutional principles of the First Amendment. When the Department of Justice secretly collected phone records for editors at The Associated Press in May 2013, Pruitt called it a "massive and unprecedented intrusion," demanding that all records be returned and all copies destroyed. "We regard this action by the Department of Justice as a serious interference with AP's constitutional rights to gather and report the news," said Pruitt.

As The Huffington Post reports, "Pruitt's swift and unequivocal response to the government's excesses triggered a firestorm of support for the AP position.... As a result, President Obama directed the Justice Department to substantially revise its policies. The new guidelines announced last month came out of that process."

Before joining the Associated Press, Pruitt was the former CEO, president, and chairman of the board of the McClatchy Company, one of the largest newspaper companies in the United States. But before heading the McClatchy Company, Pruitt started out as a First Amendment lawyer. Throughout his long career in both law and journalism, Pruitt's passion for press freedom has not gone unnoticed.

Latonero explains role of big data in fight against trafficking at NYU summit co-sponsored by White House

By Elizabeth Krane | March 17, 2014 0

Research director Mark Latonero gave a presentation today at The Social, Cultural, & Ethical Dimensions of "Big Data", speaking about his research at CCLP on technology and human trafficking. Hosted by The Data & Society Research Institute in partnership with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and New York University's Information Law Institute, the event brought together leaders from government, academia, and industry as part of the Obama Administration's efforts to better understand the implications of big data for privacy and public policy.


White House counselor John Podesta introduces the "big data" summit.

Latonero discussed how networked technologies like chat rooms, online classified ads, and social media offer researchers vast amounts of data to analyze, which can help identify both traffickers and victims. Organizations like USC, Microsoft Research, the White House, and Google are all working on data-driven approaches to fight human trafficking. For example, machine learning algorithms can help analyze classified ads to predict whether they're advertising a real job opportunity or serving as part of a human trafficking scheme.

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Top sports journalists share career insights at CCLP forum on Women & Communication Leadership

By CCLP Staff | March 13, 2014 0

This article was written by CCLP intern Faith Jessie, a USC Annenberg senior majoring in Public Relations, and CCLP web editor Elizabeth Krane.

Women are still fighting to break into sports journalism, an industry that has historically been dominated by men. According to a study done by the Women's Media Center, 90% of sports editors are male. The 2012 Associated Press Sports Editors Racial and Gender Report Card gave an F grade for gender representation in sports columnists and editors.

But as NFL Network host Lindsay Rhodes pointed out, "We're all proof that if you work hard and you're persistent, you'll find your way." Rhodes was among the five women working in sports journalism who joined our March 11 panel discussion "Off the Bench: Women & Sports Journalism".

Rhodes, a two-time Emmy winner for sports reporting, was joined by Janis Carr, sports writer for The Orange County Register; Robyn Norwood, sports writer and the only woman president of the US Basketball Writers Association; Kari Van Horn, producer and content editor for Yahoo Sports; and Jill Painter Lopez, twice named one of the top ten US sports columnists by the Associated Press Sports Editors.

The conversation was hosted by CCLP Director and USC professor Geoffrey Cowan and moderated by CCLP senior fellow, author and journalist Narda Zacchino, with an introduction from Annenberg Journalism School Director Michael Parks.

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