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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

The Passing Of The Guard

Will Federman |
May 16, 2014 | 8:55 a.m. PDT


Former Editor-in-Chief Brianna Sacks will be joining the Los Angeles Times as a business reporting fellow. (Brianna Sacks/Photo)
Former Editor-in-Chief Brianna Sacks will be joining the Los Angeles Times as a business reporting fellow. (Brianna Sacks/Photo)

For nearly two years, Brianna Sacks has been a tireless presence in the Neon Tommy newsroom. But later today, our former editor will cross the stage, collect her graduate degree and join the Los Angeles Times as a business reporting fellow.

M{2}e @ Annenberg broke the story last week, announcing Brianna as the school's third recipient of the Carlson-Gerdts fellowship. She is in good company, with former editors Catherine Green and Ryan Faughnder the previous two recipients.

Under Brianna's stewardship, Neon Tommy has evolved into an award-winning publication and seen its readership grow significantly. Her own piece on homeless youth in Hollywood was recently a finalist for the Society of Professional Journalists' Mark of Excellence Award in Online In-Depth Reporting.

[Update: Brianna Sacks was awarded USC Annenberg's Student Journalist of the Year at her graduation ceremony on May 16, 2014.]

From her first article to her last article, Brianna's prose has always been poignant and layered. During her tenure at USC, she covered some of the biggest stories in the news cycle — pivotal events like the 2012 Presidential election, the manhunt for Christopher Dorner, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Los Angeles mayoral race, and the civil war in Syria.

And her talents were not only limited to our campus newsroom — Brianna also served as a reporter for both ATVN and Intersections. But perhaps where Brianna really shined was at Annenberg Radio News, which often served as an aural showcase for the avid storyteller:

Brianna's body of work illustrates not only the kind of standout student she was, but the kind of professional journalist she is. Her work has been published on L.A. School Reports, Global Post, L.A. Currents, Killing The Buddha and the Huffington Post. Brianna exemplifies all of the core values USC Annenberg strives to instill in its graduates, and she serves as a powerful female role model for all incoming students.

In short, she will be missed. We look forward to seeing what she does next, at the Los Angeles Times and beyond.

So long, Brianna. And thanks for all the donuts.

Reach Editor-in-Chief Will Federman here. And follow him on Twitter.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

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