TheWrap and USC Annenberg Name 1st Reporting Fellowship Recipient

In celebration of its 15th anniversary as the leading independent source of entertainment news coverage, TheWrap is pleased to announce a new reporting fellowship in partnership with USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

The recipient of the first TheWrap Reporting Fellowship is Tess Patton, who will receive her bachelor’s in journalism from USC Annenberg this month and will join the TheWrap newsroom for a full year beginning June 2024.

“While many in the news media are scaling back, TheWrap remains committed to the future of journalism, and nurturing the next generation of reporting talent. We are thrilled to launch this fellowship program in collaboration with USC,” said Sharon Waxman, CEO and editor-in-chief of TheWrap. “This initiative comes at a moment where the credibility and business model of news is under unprecedented stress. We believe that fact-based, human reporting is essential to the audiences we serve, and the first step is rigorous, hands-on training.”

The fellowship provides a talented, rising journalist with hands-on experience in editorial mastery, production techniques, and news-gathering skills essential for success in today’s competitive digital journalism environment.

“Establishing this fellowship with TheWrap is a dynamic example of how USC Annenberg is continuing to build professional bridges between academe and industry,” said USC Annenberg Dean Willow Bay. “We are committed to empowering the next generation of journalists by providing them with the tools and opportunities they need to succeed in today’s ever evolving media landscape. This fellowship not only provides invaluable newsroom experience for Tess, but also reinforces our commitment to fostering excellence in journalism.”

Raised in Alabama, Tess Patton just concluded her year term as the executive editor of Annenberg Media. Over the course of the past year in this role, she has overseen protest coverage on campus, navigated issues of equity and inclusion both in coverage and internally, and coordinated cross-platform collaboration between a newsroom made up of over a 100 student leaders and around 300 contributors.

Tess moved to Los Angeles in the fall of 2020 during the height of the pandemic. While classes were remote for the entirety of her freshman year, she took on a second major in journalism to accompany her existing theatre major.

Based in TheWrap’s Los Angeles office, Tess will work full-time as a reporter covering a broad range of stories. She will receive daily assignments and training to develop her reporting, writing, research and multimedia skills alongside TheWrap’s industry-leading journalists. Tess joins TheWrap newsroom starting June 10.

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