Lifeline phones should be enhanced to ensure public safety, CCLP urges FCC

Why can't many inexpensive cell phones receive life-saving emergency weather alerts? Why, unlike people in much of the world, can't Americans listen to emergency information broadcasts on their cell phones? These are not accidents or unanticipated consequences. These are the results of policies and decisions by government agencies and the U.S. cell phone industry that should be addressed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Based on a series of meetings with high level participants from government, industry and academia, CCLP filed a comment with the Federal Communications Commission on May 29, 2015, recommending that the FCC ensure that cell phone…

Reeves warns of contemporary concentration camps

USC Annenberg journalism professor, author and historian professor and historian Richard Reeves says there is no doubt in his mind that the United States could again create concentration camps like those used during the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. "If a few incidents of terrorism happen again, we could start to round up Muslims in great numbers as we did with the Japanese with no charges except for their religion, just as the Japanese had no charges except for the color of their skin and they looked like the enemy," said Reeves. "The book is a cautionary…

Russian media critic named visiting fellow

Vasily Gatov, a Russian media researcher and author based in Boston, has been named a visiting fellow with the Center on Communication Leadership & Policy. Gatov, 49, has more than 28 years of professional experience in domestic and international media. "With his impressive background in both academia and journalism, Vasily Gatov is in a position to make an important contribution to issues of the kind that CCLP tackles on a regular basis," said CCLP director Geoffrey Cowan. "We are looking forward to research, blogs and conversations that will build on his experience with new media and with the challenges…

VOA chief cites imbalance in international media

The director of Voice of America called attention to the slanted news coverage by state-owned media outlets in foreign countries during the keynote luncheon of an international policy conference co-sponsored by the Center on Communication Leadership & Policy (CCLP) on April 17, 2015. David Ensor was interviewed by CCLP senior fellow Adam Clayton Powell III at the Pacific Council on International Policy's Spring Conference. CCLP director Geoffrey Cowan, former VOA director, introduced Ensor and Powell to the more than 200 people from governmental, non-profit, academic, and private sectors who gathered at the historic and elegant California Club in downtown Los…

Fellows say political polarization is increasing

Political polarization is growing in this country, said CCLP senior fellows Matthew Dowd and Narda Zacchino at a Communication Leadership Roundtable at the new Wallis Annenberg Hall on March 23. The data, Dowd said, shows that "we're at the most polarized state that we've ever been in." Left to right: Narda Zacchino, Matthew Dowd, Geoffrey Cowan, and Geoffrey Baum Dowd and Zacchino were joined by CCLP director Geoffrey Cowan and CCLP advisory board members and senior fellows who were in town for a board meeting prior to the event, as well as staff and students from the USC Annenberg School…

LA Theatre Works to honor Geoffrey Cowan

Well-known as a best-selling author, public interest lawyer, academic administrator, government official, distinguished professor, and Emmy Award-winning producer, CCLP director Geoffrey Cowan is also a notable playwright who will be honored by LA Theatre Works to celebrate their decades-long collaboration. Cowan has worked with LA Theatre Works for 25 years on his award-winning play Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers, which originally premiered as a radio play in 1991 in front of a live audience for national broadcast on NPR and later toured the country in 2007-8, had a five week run in New York City in 2010,…

Cowan joins effort to increase university partnerships between California and Mexico

Education leaders from Mexico and California convened last week as part of an initiative to identify key areas of research collaboration in an ongoing partnership to build sustained, strategic and equal relationships between educational institutions on both sides of the border. University of California president Janet Napolitano and National Autonomous University of Mexico provost Eduardo Bárzana García chaired the inaugural meeting of the UC-Mexico Initiative Advisory Board. The two-day meeting was held in Ensenada, Mexico, on February 26 and 27, 2015. Janet Napolitano, Geoffrey Cowan, and Eduardo Bárzana García…

California and China, a model for collaboration on climate change

International leaders should build on the success of the partnership between Chinese provinces and the state of California in combating climate change, according to a new report co-authored by CCLP senior fellow Orville Schell, the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, and the Asia Society. "The latest agreement in November 2014 between the United States and China to reduce carbon emissions will help set a new course in the effort for greater international cooperation on climate change, but states, provinces, and municipalities also have a vital role to play," reads the report, titled A Vital Partnership: California and China Collaborating on…

Informal diplomacy can bring results, Cowan explains at Central European University in Budapest

CCLP director Geoffrey Cowan gave a talk at Central European University in Budapest on May 21 to discuss the famous "shirt-sleeves" summit at Sunnylands between US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, highlighting the diplomatic power of such informal meetings. Photo by CEU/Daniel Vegel. "Although the meeting between Obama and Jinping was not official, they did come to an important environmental agreement to phase out harmful hydrofluorocarbons (greenhouse gases)," reports CEU. "There's something about the importance of this kind of informal meeting and maybe we don't do enough of it," said Cowan. "It's the 'gift of time' -…