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Giving voice to young Americans

University Of Southern California : 22 May, 2007  (Technical Article)
Pop and Politics joins USC Annenberg, relaunching with a new look, focus on
Pop and Politics is a nonprofit news source and new media training center that is now based at the USC Annenberg School for Communication.

Started by journalist Farai Chideya, has provided coverage since the 1996 elections. The project has won awards ranging from “Cool Site of the Day” to being part of’s survey of the “Top 25 Who Are Changing the World of Internet and Politics.”

“The depth and breadth of USC Annenberg’s commitment to growing the next generation of journalists fit perfectly with Pop and Politics’ dual mission” of providing content for 18-to-29-year-olds and training student journalists in New Media,” said Chideya, the host of National Public Radio’s “News & Notes.”

“We look forward to bringing the vital voices of young Americans into civic discourse,” he added. “Political and cultural reporting has to be relevant to this generation in order for them to pay attention. By helping to train the next generation of journalists, Pop and Politics ensures that we reach this demographic.”

Michael Parks, director of USC Annenberg’s School of Journalism, said, “Farai Chideya is a talented journalist and a visionary who understands the power of new media to reach Americans 18-29.

“Good journalism is critical to our democracy, and we are pleased to partner with Pop and Politics to develop an important source of news and information for young voters and to provide students an opportunity to share their work with a broad audience,” Parks said.

New site features such as “Decoder” debuted with coverage of the 2006 midterm elections. According to Chideya, “This is really a test run for election 2008. We want to see what kinds of information works best, in which formats, so we can give a comprehensive nonpartisan voter guide for the next presidential election.”

Pop and Politics promotes “Content Democracy,” giving young Americans a voice in current debates. The site takes advantage of today’s technology tools to enable readers to become contributors and to express themselves on the site’s blog.

The site’s training program provides hands-on multimedia journalism training through USC Annenberg. Student work is featured on the blog and in “In Depth,” which includes longer articles and multimedia essays.

“Our work provides models for increasing news consumption among young Americans, and, in tandem, increasing voting and civic participation,” said John Tomasic, Pop and Politics managing editor.
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