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Author: asciutto

Reforming J-School: A four-phased, digital-first approach

Note: Originally published May 8, 2014 At this critical moment in United States history when government surveillance, health care and immigration reform dominate the national consciousness, the American public has a great need for balanced and hard-hitting journalism. What currently exists in the form of the professional press, however, is quite far from the ideal. The digital era has led to an information overload, as anyone with access to the Internet is now a content producer. Consequentially, traditional publications of the newspaper and television mold have lost the interest of their consumers: According to a June 2013 Gallup poll, only 23…

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An open letter to the man in the mirror

“Hey now — An open letter addressed to you. Sorry for treating you wrong all this time; I didn’t think the words would ever slice open those old wounds, or that the booze would infect more than it cleansed. Time heals until it decides to stab again, and it feels like we’re bleeding out at the base of that cycle. Sorry for the hope that things would be different if you changed. You did what you could, and I’m proud of you for it. There’s a nice foundation still being poured — can’t wait to see what you build from it. Sorry for continuing to push after…

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Expanding Horizons, One Book at a Time

As you may or may not  know, I am currently a Teach For America corps member teaching 10th Grade English in Charlotte, North Carolina.  One of the greatest challenges my students face is  the incredible pressure of No Child Left Behind that is placed on low-performing schools.  This pressure is creating incredible resistance to reading in the students who need to be reading the most.  This resistance is born from the “readicide” that is occurring in classrooms across our city in schools with the highest need.  In order to pass a standardized test, students are given skill-and-drill lessons day in and…

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Social observations of urban and rural Peru

I’m four seven weeks late to write this, but I’ve come to learn that life gets in the way like that sometimes. My 10-day trip to Peru … well it was a 10-day trip to Peru. Lima, Cusco, the Andes, Machu Picchu — the story is in the pictures, and we have thousands of them. My observations, however, didn’t translate quite well to film. Lima is a magnificent city, one that often gets unnecessary flack from travelers for “being empty” of value for tourists. I disagree wholeheartedly, as the Peruvian capital is one of the greatest places I’ve had the pleasure of…

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For the sake of American investment, end the Cuban Embargo

Unless Uncle Sam is content sitting idly as foreign banks shape the future of a nation only 90 miles from American soil, it’s time for the Obama administration to put down the Bacardi and lift the Cuban Embargo. Since President Raúl Castro took the reins from his brother Fidel in 2008, the Cuban government has gradually loosened its grip on the island’s crumbling economy. The latest move toward reform came at the end of last month, when Cuba’s National Assembly passed a transformative foreign investment law aimed at boosting sluggish GDP growth.  Under the new legislation, the details of which…

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Suicide spike on LA’s Metro Blue Line

In sunny Southern California, a cloud of despair lingers above a 22-mile stretch of railroad track that runs from Downtown Los Angeles to the port city of Long Beach. The Metro Blue Line, one of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority’s six public rail transportation lines, has claimed the lives of 33 suicide victims since it began operating in 1990. Ten of these incidents have occurred in the last three calendar years, the most recent on Sept. 5, 2013. Shortly after that suicide, Metro officials held a press conference to ask the public for help. “They keep happening on…

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USC Annenberg Agenda highlights innovation from nation’s top J-School

USC Annenberg recently published the Winter 2013 edition of its biannual USC Annenberg Agenda. With a fresh, contemporary format, “Digital Media Leadership: Ideas From The USC Annenberg School For Communication and Journalism” features original content from faculty and alumni who are shaping the futures of the communication, journalism, public relations and public diplomacy fields. “USC Annenberg is a world-class institution filled with world-class scholars, writers, researchers and thinkers,” said Jeremy Rosenberg, Assistant Dean of Public Affairs and Special Events. “The information we can convey in a 40-page magazine is the tip of the iceberg.” Read more here.

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