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Arizona PBS Election Night Coverage to Feature 100-plus Cronkite News Reporters

November 7, 2016

Arizona PBS will have the largest local media presence in the state on Election Day with more than 100 Arizona State University students from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication reporting from Phoenix, the Arizona-Mexico border, New York and Washington, D.C.

Arizona PBS will feature national coverage from PBS NewsHour as well as in-depth local analysis from Arizona Horizon and reports from Cronkite News, the student produced news division of Arizona PBS. The coverage kicks off with the Cronkite News newscast tomorrow at 5 p.m. followed by Arizona Horizon on Arizona PBS (8.1). Also on election night, the Cronkite School also will participate in a Electionland, a groundbreaking national project to uncover voter suppression.

PBS NewsHour will bring election results from across the country starting at 6 p.m. on Arizona PBS (8.1) and continuing through the evening. Cronkite News will share reports on local races and issues, or Arizona Horizon host Ted Simons will talk with local experts and political consultants about the election.

Cronkite News coverage also will be featured on Arizona PBS World (8.3) starting at 8 p.m., with spot analysis from Arizona Horizon. After 10 p.m., Simons will lead a special Arizona Horizon on the presidential race as well as on local contests, including the elections for U.S. Senate and Maricopa County Sheriff, among others.

Online, Arizona PBS will share in-depth election reporting from across the state on the Cronkite News website at cronkitenews.azpbs.org. Cronkite News also will livestream reporting on Facebook at facebook.com/cronkitenewsonline.

“We are deploying all of our resources to provide critical in-depth news and analysis on election night,” said Cronkite School Dean and Arizona PBS CEO Christopher Callahan. “Arizonans will have more access to the quality reporting they have come to expect from the PBS NewsHour, Cronkite News and Arizona Horizon.”

More than 100 student journalists at Cronkite News, under the direction of Cronkite School faculty, will be covering all of the major races in the state, reporting from dozens of polling locations and the Democratic and Republican watch parties, as well as from the border in Nogales. They also will be reporting from New York near the headquarters of the two presidential candidates as well as from the nation’s capital at the Cronkite News Washington Bureau.

The Cronkite School also is taking part in Electionland, an innovative initiative to track and cover voting problems during the election. Electionland partners include ProPublica, Google News Lab and USA Today Network, among others. The Cronkite School is one of only 13 journalism programs participating in the initiative.

As part of Electionland, 27 Cronkite students will be using advanced social listening software to monitor social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to find people voicing voting suppression. Students will attempt to locate and confirm these reports and share these issues with reporters across the country to shine a light on the problems. They will be responsible for monitoring Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

“This is a groundbreaking attempt to blanket the entire country with social listening and social media verification to identify voter suppression,” said Ethics and Excellence Professor of Practice Jessica Pucci, who is leading the Electionland team at the Cronkite School. “We have a team of students dedicated to uncovering instances of voter suppression in Arizona.”

In the months leading up to Election Day, Arizona PBS has been at the forefront, hosting the only U.S. Senate debate between Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick and Republican John McCain with The Arizona Republic. In addition, Cronkite News produced two major statewide polls on the presidential and local elections with The Arizona Republic and ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy.

As the news division for Arizona PBS, Cronkite News includes a nightly newscast that reaches 1.9 million households in Arizona, news bureaus in Phoenix, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., and an online site, cronkitenews.azpbs.org, that features in-depth multimedia stories on issues important to Arizonans.