Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication offers its students various programs to help them succeed in whichever news career they choose to follow.
“People walk in and say this is like a real newsroom. It IS a real newsroom,” says Paola Boivin, a professor of practice at the Phoenix Sports Bureau and digital director at Cronkite News.
She emphasized the many opportunities Sports Journalism students are offered with teams like the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks nearby. Cronkite’s relationship with the Arizona Cardinals also helps students find more events to cover.
“I think this was an important Must See Monday because I’m a freshman and I think this will help in the future,” said audience member Edwin Perez. “I’m in Sports Journalism and I think what Paola said was big for me.”
Boivin was one of the five Cronkite professors who spoke at the weekly Must See Monday event held in the school’s First Amendment Forum on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. Cronkite’s assistant dean, Rebecca Blatt, moderated the event.
The presentation titled, “Launching Your Career with Cronkite Professional Programs,” offered information about the various opportunities students receive when they participate in the professional programs the school offers. The speakers mentioned how students can create meaningful, relevant content and obtain skills they can take to different areas.
Jessica Pucci, the director of Cronkite’s Digital Audience programs, mentioned examples of students whose journalism skills were landing them various job offers.
“One student had newsrooms fighting over her because not only could she create animated Snapchat content, but she knew how to measure its performance and optimize that content to grow and engage audiences,” says Pucci.
The school is also home to Cronkite News, the largest news organization operated by a journalism school in the world. It has bureaus in Phoenix, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and offers Cronkite Noticias, for Spanish-speaking reporters and audiences.
Christina Leonard, the executive director of Cronkite News, spoke about how the news program gives students the chance to do various jobs such as being on air, anchoring, reporting weather, working the cameras, helping behind the scenes and managing social media.
“I think what makes Cronkite News unique is the level of attention that we can give,” said Leonard. She described how the school wants its students to succeed and professors will do anything they can so that students achieve that success.
Cronkite’s New Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab sets itself apart from other programs invents new ways of storytelling by using the latest technology to their advantage.
“We look at everything from creating news games to create augmented reality and virtual reality,” said lab director Retha Hill.
Fran R. Matera, the director of the Public Relations Lab, explained how the lab focuses on telling the stories of other people. Her program is working with the federal government and do research with focus groups to convey the lifestyle of families.
“The program seems to connect the dots of everything learned at the Cronkite School,” says Matera.
Toward the end of the presentation, Rebecca Blatt mentioned the importance of getting involved in a professional program as soon as possible in order to build on more experiences.
Hill gave a closing statement in which she said “Cronkite can take you to places you haven’t been before.” She mentioned the importance of bringing skills to smaller towns and making a difference for the people in the community.
The presentation informed its audience that journalists should not limit themselves on what career they want to follow.
“Internally, I’ve been having a conflict between choosing broadcast or investigative journalism and their presentation about having many different programs to choose from helped guide me into what mindset I should be in,” says Nicole Shinn, a freshman at Cronkite.