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SPRING 2011 

What's new at the Norman Lear Center
MartyYou can't make this stuff up. Donald Trump's flirtation with a presidential bid broke the border between politics and entertainment. Sarah Palin's bus tour blurred the boundary between news and entertainment. And now the coverage of Anthony Weiner's Twitter sexting begs to be a case study of Marty Signaturedigital infotainment. Clearly there's plenty of grist for the Lear Center's mill. Below you'll find highlights of our work during the first half of the year. Tell us what you think on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or send an old-fashioned (!) email to  
Martin Kaplan
Director, The Norman Lear Center
2011 Walter Cronkite Awards   
Ifill CoppsThough the Internet is an important source for news, most Americans still put local TV news at the top of their list. The Cronkite Awards shine a spotlight on correspondents, producers and managers of local TV stations committed - often against long odds - to excellence in campaign and political coverage. One national program is also honored: this year it was PBS' NewsHour, and Gwen Ifill accepted. The day began with a winners' panel, Making Great Political Coverage, and FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps gave the keynote.


Watch the panel discussion and award ceremony here and see the winning entries


How To Be Interdisciplinary 
Creativity & Collaboration VideoTo get a feel for the USC-wide conference on Creativity & Collaboration in the Academy that the Lear Center organized, have a look at this short animated film we produced. It made its debut at TEDxUSC 2011. The C&C conference looked at best practices and barriers to research spanning disciplines and employing new technology.   

Watch the Creativity & Collaboration Animation

Read the report on the conference by David Bollier
Visit the project website 
Think of Entertainment Differently 
BrainThe largest USC alumni chapter - Newport-Irvine - kicked off its 2011 Distinguished Speaker series by inviting Lear Center director Marty Kaplan to explain what the Lear Center studies and how it goes about it. His talk ranged from the story of the Tower of Babel and neurobiology to 24 and "enhanced interrogation."

Watch video of Kaplan's presentation
The Impact of Social Media
TED Women BlakleyThe Lear Center's Johanna Blakley has given a series of talks over the last several months about women's dominance of social media platforms and the transformative impact that will have on traditional media industries and global popular culture. A video of her talk at TEDWomen was posted on this spring. She concentrated  Johanna Fashion 140on social media's impact on the TV industry in a talk she gave in Australia, and the

fashion industry was her focus at Lincoln Center.


Watch her TED video
Read her op-ed in the Sydney Morning Herald  

Addiction: Fact & Fiction 
AddictionHollywood, Health & Society convened a panel at the Writers Guild of America featuring compelling stories about addiction - from substance abuse to treatment and recovery.

Panelists included recovered addicts, medical experts, specialists in drug and tobacco policy, and TV writers who have turned stories about addiction into top-rated television shows.

Watch video of the panel
Read the transcript
Breast Cancer: Why Me?Why Me
Breaking a longstanding taboo on broadcast TV, in 1974 Annenberg Journalism Professor Joe Saltzman produced the first documentary on breast cancer.

Saltzman - director of the Lear Center's Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture project - recently screened the documentary and took part in a panel that also featured the director of the Center's Hollywood, Health & Society program, Sandra de Castro Buffington.

Watch video of the documentary and panel discussion
Read the transcript of Saltzman's remarks 
Cronkite Awards
Creativity & Collaboration
Kaplan in Orange County
Blakley on Social Media
Addiction Panel at WGAW
Breast Cancer Documentary

South Africa 150

Tales From the Field 

Hollywood insiders will share compelling stories from research trips to South Africa and India, where they learned about global health challenges like human trafficking, HIV/AIDS, TB, child-headed households, city dump dwellers, and much more.


June 14, 2011  

Writers Guild of America 

Invitation Only 



Designers in the Attention Economy
Johanna Blakley will discuss the increasingly important role that designers play in the current media ecosystem, where attracting and holding attention has become an artful end in itself.

June 23, 2011
Conversations at
Stuart Karten Design
Marina del Rey, CA
RSVP here


Boyle Heights & The Music of Democracy

Join Josh Kun, director of the Lear Center's Popular Music Project, for a multimedia lecture exploring the rich musical and cultural history of Boyle Heights.

August 4, 2011
8-10 p.m.
Grand Performances
Los Angeles

More information

Everett M. Rogers Award

The Rogers Award for Achievement in Entertainment Education will recognize exceptional creativity in the practice of entertainment education designed to benefit society, or outstanding research and scholarship that has illuminated the processes or effects of entertainment education.

September 27, 2011
USC Annenberg School
Room 207
Los Angeles

More information

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