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Sign Up Early to Gain Insight from Facebook, Reuters Pros

The line-up of speakers for’s upcoming online workshop “Social Media Marketing Boot Camp” is once again full of recognizable names. Among those participating are Morin Oluwole, responsible for strategic partner development at Facebook, and Anthony DeRosa, social media editor at Reuters.

The video presentations made by these and other industry experts, with interactive Q&A, can be watched live each week and accessed anytime thereafter by course registrants. This virtual learning track runs February 16 through April 5, and costs $499. However, if you register by tomorrow, January 18, you’ll receive $100 off the course fee for a discounted total of $399. Members of’s AvantGuild are entitled to the even lower early-bird rate of $374.

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NBCLA Staffer Named a Cronkite School Visiting Professor

Following similar stints in 2010 and 2011 by, respectively, Leslie Wayne of the New York Times and CNN’s Susan Lisovicz, NBCLA producer-editor Sharon Bernstein has been named Arizona State University’s newest Donald W. Reynolds visiting professor in business journalism. She will teach at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in the spring.

Bernstein rejoined NBC (she started her career at St. Louis affiliate KSDK-TV) after the termination of a long and illustrious career at the LA Times, where she contributed to the paper’s Pulitzer prize-winning coverage of the 1998 North Hollywood bank shootout and 2004 California wildfires. From this week’s ASU announcement:

“We’re delighted to have an editor and reporter of Sharon’s caliber to share her knowledge of business journalism with our Cronkite students,” said Andrew Leckey, president of the Reynolds Center and the Reynolds Chair at Cronkite. “Throughout her career at the Los Angeles Times, she exhibited the professionalism and investigative curiosity so important in cutting through to today’s economic realities for the reader.”

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Santa Ana Author Offers ‘Ghostwriter Certification’

Although the life story of Claudia Suzanne (pictured), which encompasses a stint as a rock’n'roll drummer, MS, and numerous west coast ups and downs, merits its own biography, she has instead made a living ghostwriting other people’s books. She also teaches a course titled Certified Ghostwriter Training.

Her next set of weekly remote classes begins August 29 and come with a price tag of $1210. That’s a lot of moula, but Suzanne’s credentials include a non-fiction bestseller, a couple of award-winning fiction tomes, and a number of satisfied student testimonials.

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Pittard Sullivan Co-Founder Heads Back to School

Billy Pittard, a well-known name in LA advertising and branding circles, graduated from Middle Tennesse State University in 1978 with a bachelor of science degree in mass communications. He went on to found mega-agency Pittard Sullivan, which thrived during the good old days, and has continued to wield a lot of influence in his fields of specialty.

Now, he’s ready to say goodbye to the bright lights of LA and impart his wisdom upon the students of his Alma Mater as the new chairman of the school’s Department of Electronic Media Communication. Degrees are currently offered in media journalism, media management, media production, photography, digital animation, and digital media.

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Sam Zell Set to Talk About ‘Ethical Boundaries’

For the past eight summers, Will Weinstein, a retired investment banker and teacher at San Francisco State University, has skipped across the Pacific Ocean to run a post-graduate summer course at the University of Hawaii, Mãnoa’s law school, titled “Ethics and Integrity in the Real World.”

This Thursday, he will close out an impressive 2011 roster of class speakers with none other than Sam Zell, for a conversation entitled “The Ethical Boundaries of Entrepreneurial Behavior.” Coming on the heels of last week’s LA Times cuts, Zell should be glad this talk is not happening at USC or UCLA. From the conversation series blurb:

Zell’s investments span industries and continents, and include interests in real estate, energy, logistics, transportation, media, and health care. He is recognized as a founding father of today’s public real estate industry after creating three of the largest real estate investment trusts (REITs) in history.

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Santa Barbara’s Unlikeliest Media Moguls

It’s been a long time coming, but the cat is now completely out of the bag with regards to, a fee-based educational website launched in 1995. The Carpinteria headquartered company was the first ever title sponsor at this year’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival and in May, got a full five minutes of on-air attention from product sampler Howard Stern.

The company’s remarkably savvy evolution from humble website and classroom beginnings in Ojai is wonderfully charted today in the Santa Barbara Independent by D.J. Palladino. Co-founder Lynda Weinman, who oversees the operation with husband Bruce Healin (pictured), went to high school in Sherman Oaks with Simpsons creator Matt Groening. Early on, she tried her hand in LA at a more conventional commercial model:

After college came retail back in Los Angeles, first a museum gift shop and then her own two clothing stores called Vertigo on Sunset and Melrose, founded on a $20,000 loan from her grandfather. “I went out of business,” she said grimly, but added, “I learned what a terrible model retail is.” There’s much less waste, she’d later discover, in cyberspace.

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Charting a Brave New Course for Business Journalism

Randall Smith, a Reynolds Center endowed chair at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, recalls how a conversation with David Cohn, founder and director of SF-LA focused, led to the spark for a new business journalism course. He wound up hashing it all out one weekend with Missouri prof Tom Stam:

Our goal was to teach our students about business and to write a lot about it. They would be exposed to the inner most workings of a company: budgets, senior executives and industry dynamics. The project would require a lot of work. Stam recruited two other business professors to help teach, and I found five businesses that either had a new idea or problem that could use help from a highly motivated student team.

Along with, Smith and Stam secured the participation of AP, Silcon Valley start-up Kachingle, the Chicago Sun-Times, and LA’s Media & Policy Center. As Smith goes on to detail, many valuable lessons were learned during this inaugural 2010 graduate course, with some of the MBA and Ph.D. students choosing to shift afterwards to more of a journalism focus.

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LA Freelancer Cracks Nieman Class of 2012

The prestigious fellowship administered by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard is the print reporting world’s oldest mid-career pit stop. It’s also a little like winning the lottery, with a chosen few U.S. and international fellows getting to attend a year’s worth of classes, seminars, and special events.

Among those making the grade for the 74th year, 2012 edition is LA based globe-trotting freelancer Samuel Loewenberg. The last featured link on his website, for New York-London medical journal The Lancet, is all about the Libyan refugee crisis. Per today’s Nieman news release, his goals during the upcoming fellowship year will be equally noble:

Loewenberg will study neglected factors in global health interventions, foreign aid reform, and the role of journalism in increasing accountability.

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USC Welcomes Ten YouTube Creators

On Wednesday, ten lucky aspiring filmmakers from around the country will begin a month-long regimen of digital media courses at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. The subsidized program, which will subsequently repeat at Columbia College in Chicago with a separate group of ten participants, found its winners via YouTube under the banner YouTube Creator Institute.

All twenty summer students now have video introductions posted at the YouTube hub, many presented with great originality in the format of a breaking newscast, a Presidential candidacy announcement, or–in the case of David Bower from Dallas–a catchy acoustic guitar ditty:

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USC Pop Culture Expert is Scripps Howard ‘Journalism Teacher of the Year’

First off, just how much fun does a university project named “The Image of the Journalist in Pop Culture” sound?

The massive database at USC’s Norman Lear Center, launched in 2000, now encompasses more than 76,000 records. The goal is to “investigate and analyze the conflicting images of the journalist in film, television, radio, fiction, commercials, cartoons, comic books, music, art, demonstrating their impact on the American public’s perception of newsgatherers.” And the man who oversees the program, Joe Saltzman (pictured), has just been voted 2010′s Journalism and Mass Communication Teacher of the Year by the Scripps Howard Foundation.

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