by Willow Bay
Dean and Walter H. Annenberg Chair in Communication
Our ability to listen has never been more important than it is today. To listen actively, looking for information and insight. To listen critically for what’s not being said as much as for what is. To listen with compassion and empathy.
In a world where so many are shouting to be heard, where anger and frustration are no longer simmering beneath the surface but driving our public discourse, where so many still go unheard, that skill of listening is absolutely crucial to restoring our shared humanity.
So, last year, when we reimagined the alumni magazine, we began by listening to you. We learned that, above all, you want this publication to deepen and strengthen your relationship with USC Annenberg. With that as our primary aim, we created meaningful content and crafted an innovative design to provide new and better ways of connecting you with our local, national and global network of scholars and practitioners.
And, then, we listened again. We heard from many of you, like Trish Reynales (MA, print journalism, ’89), who said, “Wow. Came home after a long day, sat down on the sofa, read the magazine straight through ... a rarity.” Not only did the issue engage you, it also reinvigorated and reinforced your bond with the school and with each other. Our peers also took notice, recognizing the Fall 2018 issue with three Awards of Excellence from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
This feedback serves as a powerful reminder of how important it is to connect with our community in all that we do. For our Spring issue, this served as our point of inspiration, with feature articles centered around how USC Annenberg is reimagining civic life, reaching across Los Angeles to invest in programs for the public good, and exploring new modes of storytelling that provide platforms for all.
With each issue, we will continue to listen, and hope you — our community — will stay connected with us, whether it’s with a conversation, an email, a tweet or a quiet moment on your couch.