NewsThe Power of Story in a Fractured Society: Entertainment Media & Social Change As the entertainment industry struggles to more accurately represent diverse communities on and off the screen, we must also grapple… MoreWe’re Hiring: Statistician & Project Assistant The USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center is hiring for two new positions on our research team. We conduct applied research at the intersection of media/entertainment and social change, working on a variety of health and public interest issues. We are seeking a full-time statistician/data analyst and a 60%-time project assistant… MoreLA is On – Music and Storytelling: Artists at the Crossroads Join the creative community of Los Angeles for a magical evening bridging the worlds of podcasts, lyrics and narrative. Featuring… MoreBlack Mothers Matter: Racism & Childbirth in America Hollywood, Health & Society’s panel, “Black Mothers Matter: Racism & Childbirth in America,” explores racial disparities in childbirth, and why… MoreAfrica in the Media In a major initiative to change the way Americans see Africa, the Lear Center’s Media Impact Project has released a seminal report that reveals that Americans seldom see mentions of Africa or Africans on popular television shows or in the news; and when they do, the portrayals are often negative… More
Get up to speed on the new Josh Kun book in collaboration with the LA Public Library, “The Autograph Book of L.A.: Improvements on the Page of the City,” out now from Angel City Press. Great reviews from LA Times and LA Downtown News.
Variety Names Norman Lear First-Ever TV Recipient of Creative Conscience Award
TV legend and philanthropist Norman Lear is the first television artist to receive Variety‘s Creative Conscience Award, which recognizes an individual in the entertainment world who personifies the industry’s dedication to humanitarian, cultural and charitable causes. Previous winners include Martin Scorsese, Halle Berry and Troye Sivan. Read more about the good news.
Popular Music Project director and director of USC’s Annenberg School of Communication Josh Kun sits down with Annenberg Masters in Public Diplomacy student Jose Castillo to discuss music as a tool for social change, South-South music diplomacy and the sounds of the U.S.-Mexico border. This is the first episode of Jose’s resonance: A Sound and Music Diplomacy podcast. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST.
“Why is it that a network gets to monetize our election? It’s a financial transaction between democracy and the media industry. Politics has effectively merged with entertainment, because both these entities are in the attention-capture business.” – Marty Kaplan, Lear Center director
Middle East Media Initiative, or MEMI, is a Hollywood training and mentorship program launched in 2018 at the USC School of Cinematic Arts to boost the careers of Arabic TV writers and producers from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. Made possible through a grant from the U.S. State Dept. and backed by the USC Norman Lear Center and American embassies in Egypt, Lebabnon, UAE and Saudi Arabia, the program hosted 17 Arabic media creators —10 writers and seven producers — at the USC campus last summer. READ the complete Variety article about MEMI.
BlogWhy Designing for Impact Can Lead to New Jobs in Journalism & New Ways of Working Journalists are good with messes. Problems make for interesting stories with lots of layers, complicated characters and usually thick narrative drama. Designing for impact, however, sometimes means sweeping the mess aside and clearing a path to action. We talk about information needs; this need is for information that helps me… MoreI Remember ‘Aunt Carol’ Channing This originally appeared in the Forward and is republished with permission. This temple is going to the dogs,” said the congregant making her way to a seat, to no one in particular but loudly enough for half the sanctuary to hear. “The nerve of them! Bringing in a Carol Channing… MoreNews Media Should Democratize Presidential Debates — Not Monetize Them This originally appeared in the Forward and is republished with permission. The CBS board may have fired Les Moonves for misleading them about sex, but he did call it straight about money, media and politics. “Trump’s run may not be good for America,” he told a conference of investment bankers in 2016, “but it’s… MoreThe Straight Line From 5,000 Trump Lies To 11 Jews Murdered In Pittsburgh “There must be no tolerance for anti-Semitism in America,” Donald Trump told the Future Farmers of America following the mass murder in a Pittsburgh synagogue at a Sabbath service — the same Trump who said that some of the neo-Nazis chanting “Jews will not replace us” in Charlottesville were “very… MoreThe Suicide Epidemic Is A Symptom Of Our Sick Body Politic This originally appeared in the Forward and is republished with permission. I would love to believe in petitionary prayer. Especially when life and death are at stake, a God who hears my supplications would be deeply reassuring. Despite my skepticism, I never pass up a chance in shul to say… MoreTrust #PlaidShirtGuy To End Trump’s Nightmare Reign This originally appeared in the Forward and is republished with permission. I was wondering if I was reading too much into the near-convergence of Sen. John McCain’s funeral; Labor Day, the traditional kickoff of the campaign season; and Rosh Hashanah, the start of the Jewish holidays of repentance and renewal.… More