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Cronkite School Announces New Sports Journalism Degrees

November 24, 2014

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University will offer two new degrees in the fast-growing field of sports journalism beginning in fall 2015.

The Arizona Board of Regents last week approved new bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sports journalism. The proposal for the degrees is now pending final approval from the University Senate, with action expected on Dec. 1.

“Student interest in sports media and sports journalism is tremendous and growing,” Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan said. “Our new degree program will make Cronkite the first major journalism school in the country to offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sports journalism.”

The Bachelor of Arts in Journalism is a four-year, 120-credit-hour program featuring classes in sports reporting, videography, photojournalism and ethics and diversity, among others. The Master of Arts in Journalism is a one-year, 36-credit-hour program in which graduate students take advanced courses in multimedia sports reporting, data journalism, ethics and media law as well as high-level electives such as depth reporting and broadcast reporting.

Both undergraduate and graduate students also will participate in sports bureaus located in Phoenix and Los Angeles, working under the guidance of sports professionals and gaining real-world experience covering professional and intercollegiate sports for news organizations.

Cronkite faculty teaching in the new program include: Phoenix Sports Bureau Director Brett Kurland, an Emmy-winning sports journalist and multimedia entrepreneur; LA Sports Bureau Director Tom Feuer, an Emmy-winning FOX Sports executive producer; Tim McGuire, the Frank Russell Chair for the Business of Journalism and the former editor and senior vice president of the Minneapolis Star Tribune; Senior Research Professor Doug Anderson, a former sports editor and retired dean of Penn State’s College of Communications; and Assistant Dean Mark Lodato, an award-winning television reporter and anchor, who leads Cronkite’s sports journalism program.

The new degrees build on Cronkite’s robust sports journalism program, which includes courses in which students have reported on the Super Bowl, the Summer Olympic Games and Major League Baseball Spring Training. Students benefit from Cronkite’s partnerships with top national and regional sports journalism organizations, including ESPN, Sports Illustrated, NFL.com, MLB.com, Pac-12 Networks, FOX Sports Arizona and Arizona Republic Sports.

The Cronkite School already has a strong contingent of graduates working at major sports newsrooms, including ESPN, NFL Network and FOX Sports. Alumni also run live sporting events for ESPN, FOX, CBS and Univision and work for NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL teams.

“Sports journalism is the fastest-growing sector of the news media industry, with continued growth on all platforms,” Lodato said. “Our new degrees will give students unparalleled preparation and experiences for careers in sports journalism.”