Logo: University of Southern California

MacNeil-Lehrer Partners with IMSC to Make News Newer

IMSC will explore 3D, immersive sound and even haptic reporting tools to expand vocabulary of journalism

February 01, 2006 —

Powell: “We are delighted to work with such a distinguished partner,”
 MacNeil-Lehrer Productions and the University of Southern California have formed a long-term partnership to pursue research and development of Next Generation Journalism technologies.

The project will explore immersive, interactive, three-dimensional audio and video formats and tools for recording, production and transmission of news and information. The technologies will be deployed initially for a new daily in-school news program, the.News, now being developed by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions (MLP).

The research will be conducted at the Integrated Media Systems Center (IMSC), the U.S. National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for multimedia, located at USC's Viterbi School of Engineering.

“Journalism, especially for the young, must take advantage of emerging technologies” said Dan Werner, executive producer for special projects at MLP.  “We are extremely pleased by this opportunity to team up with the IMSC which is a leader in research efforts to more effectively transfer information in the digital age.”

The project will build on recent milestones in IMSC's decade-long research in immersive media, including its GeoDec family of visualization technologies introduced in 2005 and IMSC's immersive audio-video Internet transmissions of symphony and chamber music concerts.

“We are delighted to work with such a distinguished partner,” said Adam Clayton Powell III, Director of IMSC. “This will combine our laboratory's longstanding multimedia research with the Viterbi School Serious Games Initiative, an investigation of interactive media for applications including education, health care and emergency preparedness.”

The project will be a collaboration among several engineering disciplines represented at IMSC and the journalism expertise of USC's Annenberg School for Communication.

MacNeil Lehrer Productions produces The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, which airs weeknights on more than 300 local PBS stations, as well as other programs for public, commercial and cable television. Other recent television programs produced by MLP include Do You Speak American?, Robert MacNeil's journey across America to look at why Americans speak the way we do; Debating Our Destiny: A History of Presidential Debate; LadyBird, a profile of LadyBird Johnson. MLP is also the leading force behind the By the People a local-national journalism-civic engagement project.

About IMSC: The Integrated Media Systems Center at the University of Southern California's Viterbi School of Engineering is the National Science Foundation's exclusive Engineering Research Center for multimedia and Internet research. IMSC pursues cross-disciplinary program of research, education, outreach, industry collaboration and technology transfer. IMSC has developed such unique immersive technologies as 3D face modeling and animation, immersivision panoramic video technology, and immersive audio. Major progress is also being made in haptics (touch-related technologies), data compression and wireless communications. Details at http://imsc.usc.edu/