For me and for CCLP, this spring has been a time of exciting transitions. After six invigorating years running the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands while remaining at USC on a part-time basis, I am now happily back at USC and at CCLP where we have some important news to report. While he will remain with us as a Senior Policy Fellow, Geoffrey Baum now works full-time at Sunnylands as the Director of Communications & Public Affairs. Meanwhile, Ev Boyle, who did such great work as CCLP’s Associate Director, has an exciting new gig as leader of a new nonprofit, launched by Los Angeles tech leaders, whose mission is to channel the resources of LA's tech sector to support and accelerate the work of LA’s most impactful social enterprises. He, too, will remain connected with CCLP as a Senior Fellow. Yet, I am delighted to announce we have been joined by two very impressive new staff members, Anna Blue as junior fellow and Danielle Balderas as program assistant. Moreover, Adam Clayton Powell III has increased his role dramatically. Adam is now the Director of CCLP’s Washington Programs, where he also serves as the Project Manager of our very exciting Internet of Things (IoT) Emergency Response Initiative. As a result of Adam’s work, and thanks in large part to Vint Cerf and Google, CCLP and USC are now the official academic partners of the National Governor’s Association (NGA). You may be interested to watch Adam’s remarks to the winter plenary session of the NGA. As you know, throughout the 2016 primaries and the November Presidential election, CCLP played a major role. We toured the country with my book, traveled with student journalists to both the Democratic and Republican national conventions, authored articles and op-eds, conducted original research, and hosted over a dozen events on campus. Our work at the intersection of media, policy, and democracy has continued this spring as we have hosted thought-provoking conversations about police practice and racial justice, discussed the impact of President Trump’s executive orders on USC, and organized a viewing of President Trump’s first Congressional address. In January, CCLP helped six USC student journalists travel to the inauguration and to the Women’s March on Washington with Professor Robert Hernandez. The students reported from the two events with 360-degree, virtual reality equipment and their coverage was featured by NPR and the New York Times. In March, we hosted "Trump and the Press", an event that featured a diverse panel that included former CNN Chief White House Correspondent and CCLP Senior Fellow Jessica Yellin, representatives of the Young Turks, Fox News and Fusion, and Breitbart's senior editorat-large Joel Pollak. The event, attended by 200 USC staff and students, was recorded and broadcast via Facebook Live. In the months to come, the Center plans to continue our efforts to study the ways in which foundations fund journalism and to seek solutions to problems posed by the use of political bots in political campaigns and on social media. In partnership with Nicco Mele, Director of the Harvard’s Shorenstein Center and a CCLP Senior Fellow, CCLP will conduct a nonpartisan analysis of the first six months of the Trump presidency. Later this year, also in collaboration with the Shorenstein Center, we will be joining with nonprofit Common Sense Media to host an event on the impact of the news on children and the changing role of the media in presenting stories to a younger demographic. At the event, CCLP will release a report on the relationship
between children and the media. Let the People Rule (LTPR)came out in paperback on January 20 of this year and continues to get some wonderful reviews, including one last month from Presidential Studies Quarterly which called LTPR “a great history book.” Aileen and I had very interesting book tour visits to Austin and Denver and, later this month, I will talk about the book in Baltimore. In this post-election era, the role of primaries and popular democracy remains vitally important, as I discussed in a recent article published by the History News Network called “The Disturbing Factor that Shapes Our Attitudes About the Electoral College, Primaries and Direct Democracy”. A few weeks ago, I had the chance to join a panel organized by the U. S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. about the continuing importance of the Voice of America. I discussed the same topic in a new report published by the USC Center on Public Diplomacy called “Why the Voice of America Remains a Vital Force in the World”. We are also delighted that CCLP has been joined by a new group of terrific Senior Fellows, including Sandy Banks, Charlie Firestone, Todd Purdum, and John Markoff. Meanwhile, Susan Goelz continues to serve as office manager, while also helping out as my administrative assistant and CCLP's new budget/business analyst. You can learn about the work of our center, as well as about the work of our Senior Fellows, in the report that follows. Please do let me know if you have ideas or suggestions for our work in the months ahead. Best, Geoffrey Cowan
Research and Programming at the Center 2016-2017 Election and Inauguration Programming Last summer, CCLP launched our “Politics, Power, and the Press” initiative, a series of conversations that discussed the 2016 Election and its aftermath. As part of the series, CCLP sent six students to Washington, D.C. to attend the Inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington. Our “Politics, Power, and the Press” programming also included a screening of President Obama’s farewell address, a dean’s forum on the effect of President Trump’s executive orders on USC, and a showing of President Trump’s first Congressional address. This past March, the series culminated in an engaging event on the relationship between President Trump and the press. CCLP hosted the event in partnership with the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics and the event was attended by around 200 USC students and staff. You can read about the event on our blog and see the Facebook live video of the night on Facebook. Sarah Collins, one of the students that traveled to the Inauguration with the support of CCLP, reflects on her experience below: Four other journalism students and I covered the presidential inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington in collaboration with The New York Times and NPR’s 360 video units. The students are members of JOVRNALISM, a group that creates virtual reality (VR) journalism under the leadership of Annenberg professor Robert Hernandez. Working with such esteemed media outlets and witnessing history were both the chances of a lifetime. Using our Samsung provided Gear 360 cameras, we captured the excitement and energy of the nation’s newest president. The New York Times Daily 360 “A Nation Divided at Inauguration” video that we worked on, for example, cuts between scenes of people cheering as President Trump is sworn in to crowds wearing pink pussy hats protesting on the main streets of Washington. Inside of the VR headset, I felt as if I was in the middle of the action and I felt all of the raw emotion. Watch our New York Times piece “A Nation Divided at Inauguration” here. Watch our NPR pieces here and here.
The Internet of Things (IoT) CCLP Director of Washington Programs Adam Clayton Powell III recently launched a new official partnership, between CCLP and the National Governors Association (NGA), on emergency response preparation and the Internet of Things (IoT). The partnership kicked off on February 26, when Adam Clayton Powell III presented at the 2017 National Governors in Washington on the cybersecurity threats associated with the Internet of Things. Adam discussed the multidisciplinary IoT initiative that CCLP began last year. A month later, Adam and the Washington team hosted a follow-up, invitation-only dinner and roundtable with representatives from the technology industry, national and state government, the philanthropy world, and academia. To read more about the new partnership with the NGA and about the March roundtable, check out the CCLP blog.
CCLP Director of Washington Programs Adam Clayton Powell III spoke at the winter plenary session of the National Governors Association, where he discussed emergency response preparation related to the Internet of Things.
How are children's issues covered by the media? How do children interact with the media? Later this year, CCLP will partner with incoming Annenberg Dean Willow Bay, nonprofit Common Sense Media, andHarvard University's Shorenstein Centerto host a meeting with stakeholders about the ways that children’s issues are covered by the media. The meeting will focus on the psychological impact of the news on children and the credibility of traditional news sources in the eyes of American youth. Led by new CCLP board memberJim Steyer and Senior Fellow Nicco Mele, the initiative was kicked off this March, with a two-day conference at Harvard University (read more about the Harvard University conference here). The project is accompanied by aninvestigation, by Common Sense Media, into news and America’s kids. The concluding report from the investigation, which discusses issues such as whether or not children can spot fake news, how different sources of news are trusted by children, and how children most often get their news, will be presented at the upcoming CCLP conference.
Political Bots: How Are They Influencing Elections and Political Discourse? CCLP is exploring problems and potential solutions related to social media bots and their impact on elections and democracy. Bots are fully automated accounts that are programmed to deploy messages, blurring the line between truth and disinformation. CCLP Senior Fellow John Markoff set forth some of the concerns associated with political bots in his November article for The New York Times, “Automated Pro-Trump Bots Overwhelmed Pro-Clinton Messages, Researchers Say”.
Comprehensive Survey of the First 100 Days of the Trump Presidency In partnership with the Shorenstein Center and with support from Campaign Solutions President Becki Donatelli, CCLP and the Annenberg School will prepare a study on the ways in which the press covered the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency. Once the report is finished, we expect to host a public discussion about the report's findings in Washington, D.C., as well as at Harvard University and at USC.
Foundation-Funded Journalism At CCLP’s fall 2016 board meeting, the Center decided to follow up on a study that CCLP and the Shorenstein Center conducted almost a decade ago on the opportunities and issues connected with foundation funding of the news. The earlier report was published in 2010 and written by Geoffrey Cowan and CCLP Senior Fellow David Westphal.
The Smith Richardson Foundation Project: Forging National Identity With the support of a grant from the Smith Richardson Foundation, CCLP Senior Fellow Orville Schell is writing a book on the ways in which historical memory has had an impact on policy in China and elsewhere. Once his book is completed, CCLP will be organizing a series of discussions on the topic that will be coordinated by John Cooke, former Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs at the Walt Disney Company. A sneak peak of Orville’s study is available here, published the Wall Street Journal under the title of “China’s Once and Future Democracy”.
Updates from the Washington, D.C. Office On March 15, Geoffrey Cowan made a visit to Washington, D.C., where hemade the case for the continued relevance and importance of Voice of America and international broadcasting during this Trump administration at a meeting of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. Based on his experience as Director of Voice of America (VOA), Professor Cowan talked about VOA’s history and how the American public continues to use it as a source of credible, authentic news. Adam Powell also continues to host our bimonthly Washington DC CCLP lunch forums, which have attracted audiences of 70-80 people to discussions and debates about public diplomacy and U.S. foreign policy. Many of the lunch forums have been broadcast by C-SPAN. To view a listing of upcoming forums, which will include talks by Gary Knell andScott Rauland, please see the CCLP events page.
Updates from Our Fellows Sandy Banks, Charlie Firestone, Todd Purdum, and John Markoff Join CCLP as Senior Fellows CCLP is delighted to announce that four new Senior Fellows joined our team this past summer and fall of 2016: Sandy Banks, Charlie Firestone, Todd Purdum, and John Markoff. In her 36 years at the Los Angeles Times, Sandy Banksserved as a reporter, editorial writer, assistant metropolitan editor and director of the newsroomâ€™s diversity efforts. She was part of the team awarded the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. In addition to her work in print, she is a popular public speaker and has been a frequent guest on CNN, PBS, NPR, the BBC and talk radio, providing commentary on a wide range of political and social issues. To learn more about Sandy and her background, check out our websitehere. Charlie Firestone is Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program and a Vice President of the Aspen Institute. This program focuses on the impact of new technologies on democratic institutions and the development of communications policy models and options for the public interest. Prior to his positions with the Aspen Institute, Firestone was Director of the Communications Law Program at the University of California at Los Angeles. To read more about Charlie Firestone, check out our website here. Todd Purdum is a senior writer at POLITICO and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. He was formerly with The New York Times, where he worked for 23 years, covering politics from city hall to the White House. He also served as diplomatic correspondent and Los Angeles bureau chief. During the 2016 presidential election, Purdum wrote extensively about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and the legacy of Barack Obama. You can read more about his upcoming book and his work here. John Markoff, a journalist in residence at the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at the University of California at Berkeley, recently retired from The New York Timesâ€™ science and technology beat. During his 28 years at The New York Times, Markoff was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team for Explanatory Reporting. To learn more about his portfolio and his prize-winning stories, check out his bio on our website here.
Our Fellows in the News and Media “How to Save CNN From Itself”, an article by Senior Fellow Jessica Yellin, was published inThe New York Times this past January. Two seminal pieces by Senior Fellow Kirk Johnson were recently published in The New Yorker: “A Temporary Reprieve for Some Iraqi Refugees” (February 2017) and “A Yazidi Refugee, Stranded at the Airport by Trump” (January 2017). Early this year, a piece by Visiting Fellow Vasily Gatov called “From Soviet to Russian Media Managers,” which discusses how elements of the Soviet system of managerial and ideological control are obstinately persistent in Russian media today, was featured by in Volume 2, Issue 1 of Russian Politics. Senior Fellow Morley Winograd co-authored a piece with Michael Hais titled “President Obama, the Millennial Whisperer”. The article was published by the Los Angeles Times. Faculty Fellow Diane Winston recently published a piece in the Spring issue of Tricycle magazine called "Two Sides of the Same Coin: Teaching Spirituality and Religion to Millennials".
Recent and Upcoming Books by Our Fellows Senior Fellow Morley Winograd plans to release his latest book, which details the relationship between millennials and housing, in October through MIT Press. Senior Fellow Irshad Manji is writing her next book, to be published by St. Martin's Press in Fall 2018, with the working title Don't Label Me: How Diversity Can Grow Up — And Why It Needs To. Faculty Fellow Philip Seib’s latest book, The Future of Diplomacy, was published by Polity, and his forthcoming book, As Terrorism Evolves: Media, Religion, and Governance, will be published later this year by Cambridge University Press. Senior Fellow Matthew Dowd had a new book released this March titled A New Way: Embracing the Paradox as We Lead and Serve. Senior Fellow Todd Purdum has plans to release a biography about musical theater writing team Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II under the title “Rodgers and Hammerstein” in 2018. Senior Fellow Derek Shearer will publish a collection of his articles and columns from 20072016, including his recent article on Trump’s emerging foreign policy, under the titleAmerica and the World in the Age of Obama. Senior Fellow Kirk Johnson has a second book, about the natural history heist of the century, planned for publication by Viking Press in the spring of 2018.
Research and Education by Our Fellow Faculty Fellow Thomas Hollihan will deliver a lecture about viral deception for the German Army and NATO Command at a conference on Russian Disinformation campaigns this spring. For a full list of our senior, faculty, and visiting fellows, please visit our website.
Updates from Our Team Ev Boyle, CCLP Associate Director, Leaves CCLP Our Associate Director Ev Boyle recently departed CCLP to lead a new nonprofit, launched by Los Angeles tech leaders, whose mission is to channel the resources and expertise of LA's tech sector to support and accelerate the work of LA’s most impactful nonprofits and social enterprises. Ev, who started as a graduate student research fellow in 2011, has been a driving force at CCLP and a passionate evangelist for the Annenberg School for over five years while leading a number of research initiatives, classes, and events on-and-off campus. Ev launched Civic Tech USC and was the lead researcher on CCLP's initiative for more open government data in LA County; he and his partner-in-crime Susan Goelz led CCLP's 2016 trips with USC students to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions; for three years he co-taught COMM 579: Entrepreneurship and New Media; he launched and remains the adviser to the Annenberg Graduate Student Representatives, a student-led group representing more than 700 USC Annenberg grad students that won USC's Graduate Student Government award for "Best Student Group;" and he organized countless events and planned diverse programming for students on campus including, most recently, our Trump and the Press panel featuring leading journalists from CNN, Breitbart, and other outlets. We will miss Ev's enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit, but are thrilled that he will remain part of the Annenberg and CCLP families as a senior fellow at our center.
Program Assistant Announcement In May, Danielle Balderas will receive her Master’s in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied women’s and gender history, politics, and social movements. While at UNC, Danielle wrote a master’s thesis on conservatism and women’s studies entitled Making Trouble in Women’s Studies. She has previously worked in journalism and photography, and produced a documentary photography project on Hispanic immigrants in North Carolina. Danielle worked as a journalist at Independent Voter Network covering the 2014 elections. Danielle will be working for CCLP remotely until June.
Junior Fellow Announcement This spring, we welcomed Anna Blue, our Junior Fellow. Anna graduated from Stanford University with interdisciplinary honors after completing her thesis with the Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. She previously worked at the US Department of State, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the Flora Family Foundation, and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Anna was selected as the winner of a Forbes content call for Next Generation Leaders â€“ she wrote a piece on the impact of immigration policies on the economy. She can be reached email@example.com.
A huge thank you to the USC Annenberg School, as well as to our CCLP advisory board. We recently welcomed three new board members: Jim Steyer, Greg Weingarten and John Rogovin. Look out for more exciting updates from CCLP after our board meeting this upcoming fall in New York.
Thank you for another year of your support for the Center on Communication Leadership and Policy. If you have any questions or comments, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please check us out on Facebook and Twitter, where you can find our most recent work and updates.