Sandy recently moved from Berkeley to Los Angeles, where he took a position as Visiting Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at USC. He feels lucky to have great colleagues and is already enjoying teaching.
In May, 2008 Sandy traveled across the U.S. to give lectures and readings in a 12-city tour linked to the founding of Israel and the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. ”The 60th anniversary is a moment for us to look deeply at the history of both sides,” he said. “A lot of us grew up knowing the history of only one side – what I call the ‘Leon Uris/Exodus’ version of history, of the heroic birth of Israel out of the Holocaust. Far fewer people know that the War of 1948, which the Israelis “The War of Independence, is labeled the Nakba, or Catastrophe, by Palestinians. I believe it’s not possible to understand what’s happening in the region now without understanding the depth of history and trauma for both sides.”
Past projects include Working, (January 2007- June 2010) a regular feature on Marketplace, public radio’s daily show about business and economics. Inspired by Studs Terkel’s classic 1974 book Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do, the series consists of intimate, sound-rich portraits of workers in the global economy. Sandy is also faculty advisor and editor for the FRONTLINE/World Fellowship program , designed to nurture new voices in international reporting and widen the spectrum of stories available to the public, using this award-winning PBS Web site as a publishing platform for outstanding work from a new generation of journalists.
Sandy Tolan and his students at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism launched a powerful (and disturbing) multimedia series about hunger in California. “Hunger in the Golden State” is a collaborative effort of the Annenberg School and California Watch, a project of the Berkeley-based Center for Investigative Reporting.
The series will run in California newspapers (including The Los Angeles Times), on radio stations (through KQED’s statewide public broadcast, The California Report), and in online news outlets, such as KPCC.org.
Thirteen Annenberg graduate students interviewed dozens of state and local food bank officials, as well as Californians who struggle with food shortages every day. The reporting unearthed new numbers that show that hunger is rising at an unprecedented rate in the Golden State. Nearly one in eight people in California has asked for food assistance in the last year and food banks and social services are overwhelmed.
The stories explore food waste, nutrition in schools, the fraying food safety net, and ways to help Californians fighting to ward off hunger.