Welcome from Dean Callahan

Dean Callahan congratulates a Cronkite graduate.
Dean Callahan congratulates a Cronkite graduate.

Welcome to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. The Cronkite School is a nationally recognized professional program that prepares students for careers as reporters, editors, producers, correspondents, anchors, media managers and public relations specialists. Our students go on to online media outlets, television stations, newspapers, magazines, radio stations, newsletters, public relations firms and corporate and government public relations departments.

We consistently rank in the top 10 in the annual Hearst intercollegiate journalism competition, often called the Pulitzers of college journalism, finishing first in two of the past three years. And our students have finished first in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Awards for a record fifth consecutive year. Our faculty consists of award-winning professional journalists and world-class media scholars. We are in the middle of one of the nation’s largest media markets. And each year we draw extraordinarily bright, inquisitive, passionate and diverse students from across the country.

ASU’s journalism program exploded onto the national education landscape in 1984 when the journalism school was named in honor of Walter Cronkite, the longtime CBS Evening News anchor. For more than two decades now, the person who is often called “The Most Trusted Man in America” because of his journalistic excellence and integrity has helped shape and grow the program into a national journalism powerhouse.

In 2005, we entered a new era when ASU President Michael Crow made the Cronkite School an independent college. We declared a simple yet ambitious goal: to take this excellent journalism school and make it the preeminent professional journalism program in the country. And we are well on our way.

In the first few years of independence, we have added more than 15 top journalists and scholars to the faculty, people such as former Washington Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr., former CNN anchor Aaron Brown, former Minneapolis Star Tribune Editor Tim McGuire, BET Vice President Retha Hill, former Sacramento Bee Executive Editor Rick Rodriguez and digital media guru Dan Gillmor. We launched the Cronkite News Service reporting bureau, where our best students prepare stories and news packages under tight deadlines for newspapers, TV newscasts, radio reports and news Web sites around the state. We started the New Media Innovation Lab and the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship to help develop the next generation of digital media solutions, and opened the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism. We are transforming our award-winning weekly newscast, ASU NewsWatch, into a daily show. We started a partnership with ABC News in which our top students appear on ABC programs nationally. We are the headquarters for the exciting new Carnegie-Knight News21 experimental digital media program, a consortium of 12 of the nation’s leading universities. And we have a career development center that helps our students get the best internships and jobs possible because, after all, the most important measure of a professional journalism program is where students go after graduation and beyond.

All of these exciting initiatives are happening in a spectacular new facility in the center of the nation’s fifth-largest city. Our students are learning in a new, state-of-the-art journalism building that is unparalleled in journalism education.

It is equipped with 14 digital newsrooms and computer labs, two TV studios, 280 digital student work stations, the Cronkite Theater, the First Amendment Forum and the latest and most sophisticated technology found anywhere. Student journalists are walking to cover major events at City Hall, county, state and federal agencies, and major sporting and cultural venues across Phoenix. Our partnerships with media companies around the Valley – already strong – have grown as the distance between us in most cases is now blocks instead of miles.

Even with all of these exciting new initiatives, our biggest asset remains the foundation of excellence and integrity that has been the hallmark of our school, guided by the values and standards set by Walter Cronkite.

I hope you have the opportunity to take a look through our website and stop by the Cronkite School.

Sincerely,

Dean Christopher Callahan