Johanna Blakley is the managing director at the Norman Lear Center, a research and public policy institute that explores the convergence of entertainment, commerce and society. Based at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Johanna performs research on a wide variety of topics, including media impact measurement, cultural diplomacy, and politics and entertainment. She has two talks on TED.com and speaks frequently in the U.S. and abroad about her research. She is co-principal investigator, with Marty Kaplan, on the Media Impact Project (MIP), a hub for collecting, developing and sharing approaches for measuring the impact of media. MIP seeks to better understand the role that media plays in changing knowledge, attitudes and behavior among individuals and communities around the world. Their recent work includes analyzing depictions of Africa, immigration and race in US media, and conducting research on the relationship between political ideology and entertainment preferences. The MIP team also provides research and evaluation for three State Department cultural exchange programs: American Film Showcase, Global Media Makers, and the Middle East Media Initiative. Johanna received a PhD in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she taught courses on popular culture; at USC, she developed and taught masters courses on transmedia storytelling. Before arriving at the Lear Center, Johanna held a variety of positions within the high-tech industry, including Web producer and digital archivist at Vivendi-Universal Games.

Experience

  • –present
    Managing Director and Director of Research, The Norman Lear Center, University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism