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Waits for Arizonans at Motor Vehicle Division Offices just got more informative.
The Arizona Department of Transportation is displaying local news headlines produced by Arizona State University students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on waiting room monitors at select MVD locations.
ADOT receives the headlines from Cronkite News, the Cronkite School’s multiplatform daily news operation that includes 15 full-time faculty editors and hundreds of student journalists. The initiative is part of an ADOT pilot program featuring new monitors that integrate the number calling system for MVD services, driver safety programming videos and a local news crawl.
According to ADOT spokesperson Tim Tait, the video screens previously displayed national news headlines from Reuters. He said ADOT decided to switch to Cronkite News because of the in-depth local coverage.
“We are always interested in content that will resonate with our local audience,” Tait said. “We certainly believe the news produced by ASU students at Cronkite News will enhance the customer viewing experience.”
Cronkite News headlines are currently being displayed as a pilot project at five MVD locations on more than a dozen new monitors. The locations include Apache Junction, Scottsdale, Sierra Vista, Tucson and west Phoenix. ADOT projects to expand the new program to 30 statewide locations with a total of 56 screens assuming a successful pilot program as defined by cost effectiveness and positive response by the public.
The efforts to transmit the local news headlines to ADOT were led by Mike Reilley, director of the Cronkite News digital production team. Under Reilley’s guidance, students serve as Web producers and multimedia specialists for Cronkite News.
Reilley said the real-time headlines displayed at MVD locations include the top stories from the Cronkite News website on business, sustainability, border, consumer, education and legal issues, among other topics. He said the news crawl also spotlights the Cronkite News website address and Twitter handle so people waiting can access more information on their mobile devices.
“Hundreds of thousands of people move through ADOT’s MVD locations per year,” Reilley said. “The new monitors with the Cronkite News crawl allows Arizonans to stay informed on the latest news from across the state.”
Cronkite News is the news division of Arizona PBS. It features a nightly television news broadcast, digital reporting bureaus in Phoenix, Washington and Los Angeles, a business reporting bureau, an entrepreneurial digital innovation lab, a digital production bureau and a newsgathering and civic journalism bureau.
The Arizona Department of Transportation is a multimodal transportation agency serving one of the fastest-growing areas of the country. ADOT is responsible for planning, building and operating a complex highway system in addition to building and maintaining bridges and the Grand Canyon Airport. A major component of the organization is the Motor Vehicle Division, which provides title, registration and driver-license services to the general public throughout the state of Arizona.