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Cronkite Public Insight Network Bureau to Receive ASU President’s Award for Innovation

April 9, 2015

 Cronkite PIN Bureau
Public Insight Network Bureau Chief Rebecca Blatt (center) holds a meeting with Cronkite students Sophia Mayberry and Dominick DiFurio.

An innovative professional program at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication designed to help news organizations strengthen community engagement is receiving a prestigious award from Arizona State University.

The Cronkite School’s Public Insight Network Bureau, led by Professor of Practice Rebecca Blatt, has won the President’s Award for Innovation, an honor that recognizes significant contributions to ASU through the development of cutting-edge projects and programs. Blatt, her team of students and partners from American Public Media will accept the award from ASU President Michael M. Crow during a ceremony April 14.

Supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and APM, the PIN Bureau provides an immersive learning experience in which students collaborate with professional journalists across the country. Students use APM’s Public Insight Network, a database of more than 215,000 news sources, to connect journalists with diverse audiences to produce coverage that is more personal, relevant and inclusive.

Launched in January 2014, the PIN Bureau gives students the chance to develop ideas to attract new media clients and grow revenue sources. Students hold paid positions or earn academic credit in the bureau.

“The Public Insight Network Bureau is at the forefront of reimagining journalism and how we teach students in a rapidly changing profession,” said Cronkite School Dean and University Vice Provost Christopher Callahan. “Rebecca has done a tremendous job instilling our students with valuable reporting and entrepreneurial skills for today’s media jobs.”

Under Blatt’s leadership, the PIN Bureau has forged relationships with more than a dozen media organizations, including CNBC and The Center for Public Integrity. The bureau also played an important role assisting the award-winning Carnegie-Knight News21 investigation into gun rights and regulation as well as a Cronkite-produced television documentary on heroin that reached more than 1 million viewers in Arizona.

“This honor recognizes the talent and leadership of Cronkite students, who have driven innovation at the PIN Bureau,” Blatt said. “It is also a testament to the vision of our partners at American Public Media, who recognized the value that student enthusiasm and insight could bring to this endeavor.”

The PIN Bureau is one of a growing number of immersion programs available to Cronkite students. The others include a nightly television news broadcast that airs on Arizona PBS, digital news bureaus in Washington and Phoenix, sports bureaus in Los Angeles and Phoenix, a strategic public relations agency, an entrepreneurial digital innovation lab, a business reporting bureau and a newsgathering and a digital production and design bureau.

The Public Insight Network Bureau

Cronkite School Faculty
Rebecca Blatt, PIN Bureau chief, professor of practice
Kristin Gilger, associate dean

Cronkite Students
Dominick DiFurio
Darby Fitzgerald
Tess Homan
Courtland Jeffrey
Yihyun Jeong
Rachel Lund
Wynne Mancini
Sophia Mayberry
DiAngelea Millar
Agnel Philip
David Ryan
Samantha Shotzbarger
Brooke Stobbe

American Public Media Partners
Joellen Easton, business development manager, PIN/APM
Linda Miller, director, network journalism and innovation, PIN/APM