Communication Leadership Blog
SINGAPORE - Ordinary cell phones have emerged as a tool to combat agricultural pests.
Using the mPest Insect Sound Android mobile application, farmers take their cell phones into the field to pick up sounds of insects on their land. The sounds are analyzed to detect which insects are present; if any pests are there, farmers can use highly targeted methods to combat insects that are reducing crop yields.
Because the technology is entirely based on audio, farmers can use it at night, when visual detection of insect pests is difficult.
Use of mPest by individual farmers is just one feature of the system: It can be scaled to integrate insect data from farms throughout a region and then calculate more accurate forecasts of pest infestations throughout the region.
To make mPest available widely, the app comes in three versions, from one for advanced smart phones to another for the least expensive low-end "dumb" cell phones. There is also an intermediate version for low-cost smart phones; that version uses icons instead of more complex graphics used in the most advanced version.
Since the rise of Hollywood in the 20th century, the entertainment industry has infiltrated every aspect of our culture -- and our news outlets. From Variety to Entertainment Tonight to Perez Hilton, entertainment news has become mainstream news. But what is entertainment journalism, and how is it different from gossip?
At our February 11th forum, students asked professional journalists how to break into the industry and report on meaningful stories at a time when updates on Justin Bieber can take precedence over serious reporting.
Titled "Spotlight on Hollywood: Behind the Scenes in Entertainment Journalism", the USC Annenberg School of Journalism/Center on Communication Leadership & Policy forum featured Kirstin Wilder, VP and managing editor for Variety; Jen Garcia, senior writer at People Magazine; Mary Murphy, former Entertainment Tonight producer and USC Annenberg Senior Lecturer; and Kasia Anderson, former editor at Truthdig, The Wrap and current P.h.D student at USC.
The conversation was hosted by CCLP Director and USC Professor Geoffrey Cowan and moderated by CCLP senior fellow, author and journalist Narda Zacchino, with introductions from Annenberg Journalism School Director Michael Parks.
Narda Zacchino opened the discussion with the question, "How has entertainment journalism evolved?" Mary Murphy discussed some of her research on the entertainment industry, commenting that entertainment journalism became mainstream when "Hollywood became royalty." Kasia Anderson, who studies the intersection of politics and celebrity, added that politicians are now "bringing Hollywood to Washington", borrowing PR strategies from the entertainment industry.
The following is a press release from Baruch College:
NEW YORK, NY - February 10, 2014 - In a media landscape marred by false equivalency, have we lost sight of the existence and value of facts? How are facts identified and tested in medicine, business, law and journalism, and what can we all learn about information quality?
These were just a few of the questions that were discussed during the dynamic conference, "Truth Be Told: A Cross-Disciplinary Exploration of Finding Facts" hosted on January 30, 2014 by Baruch College and The Harnisch Foundation.
More than 170 students and professionals in the fields of law, business, media and medicine attended the panel discussion to analyze and explore the separation of fact from fiction. The discussion was moderated by Geneva Overholser, Senior Fellow, Center on Communication Leadership and Policy, USC Annenberg, who also co-directed the conference with Geanne Perlman Rosenberg, Baruch Professor and Director of the Harnisch Journalism Projects.
The panelists encompassed a group of experts who offered the audience a closer look on how each of them qualify the truth in their professional lives. Jane Aiken, Associate Dean for Experiential Education and Professor of Law at Georgetown; Margaret Sullivan, Public Editor, The New York Times; Harold E. Varmus, M.D., Director, National Cancer Institute and Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1989; and Amy Whitaker, Full-time Faculty, Art Business, Sotheby’s Institute of Arts, kept the audience engaged with their insightful anecdotes and analysis of their professions' tools for finding the truth and consideration of how the media covered the U.S. government shutdown and the national debt ceiling crisis.
WASHINGTON -- We never hear from Doha.
That was the assertion by Joie Chen, Washington anchor for Al Jazeera America at Monday's CCLP Washington Communication Leadership forum.
"I have never been to Doha," she said, "and I haven't heard from anyone in Doha."
Rejecting criticism that Al Jazeera America is an instrument of the government of Qatar, which funds the new network, Chen said Al Jazeera America should be compared to the BBC or NPR, not to the VOA or Russia Today.
"We are not in the public diplomacy business," said Chen. "We are in the journalism business."
Photojournalists are leaders in today's newsrooms, according to Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times staff photographer Barbara Davidson, a featured guest at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism/Center on Communication Leadership & Policy forum "Through Her Lens: Women & Photojournalism." The January 28 program featured Davidson, along with award-winning photojournalist and documentary photographer Marissa Roth, indigenous multimedia documentarian Pamela Peters, and award-winning photographer and author Lori Shepler.
"Back in the day, photographers were really service people in newsrooms. We were seen as the dumb ones who just head for the buffet right away, we dressed sloppily, we weren't very smart. But that's all changed," Davidson told an audience of more than 50 students and faculty. "We're actually becoming leaders in the newsroom now. The business has changed dramatically. It's much more visual-friendly now so our services are much more needed."
CCLP senior fellow, author and journalist Narda Zacchino (pictured left) moderated the conversation, with introductions from Annenberg Journalism School Director Michael Parks and CCLP advisory board member Ina Coleman.
This article was written by CCLP intern Faith Jessie, a USC Annenberg senior majoring in Public Relations.
The Los Angeles Chapter of the PRSA kicked off 2014 with their annual "State of the State of PR" event last week.
CCLP managing director Geoffrey Baum (pictured left) was selected to moderate the panel, which aimed to explore the new challenges and opportunities facing PR pros in 2014.
The event, hosted at the Luxe City Center Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, attracted PR professionals from all over Los Angeles as well as PRSSA student members.
Guests were treated to an evening of hors d'oeuvres, drinks, and conversation. The intimate setting of the candlelit balcony area overlooking LA Live gave guests a chance to relax for a bit while enjoying the company of their colleagues.
After the mixer, guests moved into the ballroom for the panel discussion.
Panelists included (pictured above, center) Dave Barthmuss, Executive Director of Regional Communications (West) for General Motors, Shell Amega (right), VP of Communications for the California Science Center Foundation, and Leslie Unger (left), who led PR for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses.
PRSA President Erik Deutsch welcomed guests to the event and introduced Baum who engaged the panelists and then invited questions from the audience.
The panelists shared inside experiences ranging from how they run their PR teams to how technology, specifically social media, is playing a huge role in their offices.
Barthmuss shared insights into GM's "Drive Thru Finals" campaign, where GM went to college campuses to promote Chevy. Amega discussed her experience of coordinating many aspects of the Space Shuttle Endeavour's trip to the Science Center. Unger gave us a look inside of how The Academy Awards handles press.
Many questions were answered during the allotted time for the panel, but the panelists stayed after the event to personally greet guests and share more information.
Over 100 students attended the State of the Union watch party hosted by the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy (CCLP) and the USC Unruh Institute of Politics.
See more State of the Union photos on Flickr.
- KTLA video interview: Local College Students React to State of the Union Address -- Chris Wolfe Reports
- Annenberg TV News: Students React to State of the Union
- Daily Trojan: Annenberg hosts panel for State of the Union
- USC News: State of the Union coverage attracts Trojans to USC Annenberg
- Neon Tommy: College Republicans And Democrats On Obama's State Of The Union
After President Obama's speech, we had a discussion and Q&A session with Dan Schnur, CCLP senior fellow and USC Unruh Institute Director (on leave); Bill Simon, co-founder and co-chairman of William E. Simon & Sons, LLC; Sarah Herald, USC College Democrats president; and Jack Merritt, USC College Republicans speakers' director.
The panel was moderated by Kerstyn Olson, interim director of the USC Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, and Jonathan Wilcox, a former gubernatorial speechwriter and president of Multiplicity Media.
The panel answered student questions on topics ranging from Guantánamo Bay to gun control. Dan Schnur commented on the lack of any mention of the debt crisis, saying that the deficit wasn't a big issue this year simply because "neither party wants to talk about it."
The Daily Trojan asked students what they thought about the panel discussion, reporting that "the panel capably tackled the tough issues."
Political science student Annie Wanless commented, "I thought it was interesting that they were all on the same page. It speaks to the neutrality of the speech this year." Music industry student Eric Dubbury said, "They did a very good job addressing some very challenging topics that generally aren't easy to address without substantial research and data."
USC Annenberg's School of Journalism and the Center on Communication Leadership & Policy present a series of conversations focused on women and leadership in journalism. Hosted by CCLP Director and USC Professor Geoffrey Cowan and moderated by CCLP senior fellow, author and journalist Narda Zacchino, these discussions will explore the opportunities and challenges encountered in digital media, sports journalism, photojournalism and punditry.
Our January event features Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times staff photographer Barbara Davidson, award-winning photojournalist and documentary photographer Marissa Roth, indigenous multimedia documentarian Pamela Peters, and award-winning photographer and author Lori Shepler. Annenberg Journalism School Director and Professor Michael Parks will chair this program.
What are the challenges of telling stories through photography? How have the changes in technology affected photojournalism? What does it take to pursue a career in photojournalism? Our panelists will share their experiences in the field and answer audience questions.
Join us in the Geoffrey Cowan Forum, ASCJ 207, on January 28th, 2014 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm. Lunch will be served. Please RSVP at email@example.com.
CCLP's ongoing collaborative series "Historians, Journalists, and the Challenges of Getting It Right" continued this week with panels presented at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association. The conversations, organized in partnership with USC Annenberg's Norman Lear Center, opened with a session on the topic "The Art & Craft of the Obituary."
The discussion, which was covered by C-SPAN, explored collisions and collaborations between the journalists who write obituaries and the historians who study them. (Watch C-SPAN's video of the event.)
Moderated by Lear Center director Martin Kaplan, panelists included former New York Times political correspondent Adam Clymer, Washington Post obituary editor Adam Bernstein, and Janice Hume, journalism department head at the University of Georgia, and author of Obituaries in American Culture.
CCLP executive in residence Jeffrey S. Klein and visiting CCLP researcher María José Vázquez Schaich published a paper in Observatorio Journal titled "Entrepreneurial journalism education: where are we now?" The study investigated how entrepreneurial skills are taught in journalism schools around the globe, exploring trends in the courses' objectives, the challenges faced by lecturers, and how these pioneering courses are integrated into each school's curriculum.
Klein and Vázquez have worked together in the past to write a case study examining the viability of online community news sites. After studying how the fundamental changes in the media industry are forcing news outlets to explore new revenue models, Klein and Vázquez next turned their attention to studying how journalism schools are tackling the challenge of preparing students during this age of rapid innovation.