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Cronkite School Lecture Series Brings Leading Journalists and Communicators to ASU

January 21, 2016


Kevin Merida
ESPN's Kevin Merida headlines this semester's "Must See Mondays" lecture series, featuring leading journalist and communications professionals from across the country.


Kevin Merida, the former Washington Post managing editor who is the editor-in-chief of ESPN’s new site “The Undefeated,” headlines a showcase of top-flight communications professionals speaking this spring at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Cronkite’s “Must See Mondays” speaker series will feature Merida, who leads ESPN’s new site focusing on the intersection of race, culture and sports, as well as USA Today’s media columnist, the former president of the world’s largest public relations agency and two Pulitzer Prize winners.

The series starts Feb. 1 with a discussion on storytelling from the U.S.-Mexico border with Cronkite Borderlands Initiative Professors Alfredo Corchado and Angela Kocherga and concludes April 25 with National Geographic Society Fellow and photographer Chris Rainier, who will explore visual storytelling.

The spring 2016 semester marks the 16th series, which has included numerous Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters, national television correspondents, editors of major newspapers, journalism innovators and entrepreneurs and public relations experts. More than 160 lecturers and panelists have participated in the series since 2008.

“‘Must See Mondays’ offers a rare opportunity for our students and the public to hear from leading journalists and communicators,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. “The lecture series has become an important part of our learning environment, and we are excited to welcome these tremendous speakers.”

The free public lectures start at 7 p.m. in the First Amendment Forum of the Cronkite School on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus.


Spring 2016 “Must See Mondays” Schedule

Feb. 1 (special 6 p.m. start): Southwest Borderlands Initiative Professors Alfredo Corchado, former Mexico City bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News, and Angela Kocherga, former border reporter for Gannett Co., will discuss “Borderlands: The New American Narrative” with moderator Richard Ruelas, reporter for The Arizona Republic and a Cronkite faculty associate.

Feb. 8: Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and best-selling author Thomas E. Ricks will present “Why I Fear We Will Lose Our Next War,” with an introduction from Daniel Rothenberg, co-director of the ASU Center of the Future of War, and Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. The talk is part of the annual Paul J. Schatt Memorial Lecture.

Feb. 15: Former President and CEO of Edelman U.S. Mark Hass, senior adviser at Teneo Strategy, will explore “Strategic Communications and Reputation in a Digital Context.”

Feb. 22: USA Today media columnist Rem Rieder and Cronkite Innovation Chief Eric Newton will discuss “Safeguarding Quality Journalism in the Digital Age.”

Feb. 29: Carnegie-Knight News21 Executive Editor Jacquee Petchel and Weil Family Professor of Journalism Leonard Downie Jr., former executive editor of The Washington Post, along with News21 fellows, will present their investigation, “News21 Weed Rush.”

March 14: ESPN Senior Vice President Kevin Merida, editor-in-chief of “The Undefeated,” will examine “Race, Sports and Media” with ESPN baseball reporter Pedro Gomez. They will be introduced by Brett Kurland, Cronkite News – Phoenix Sports Bureau director.

March 21: The Cronkite Public Relations Lab will host the annual PR Lab Mentorship Lecture and Aspire Award presentation, established in honor of Enid R. Pansky. The event will feature Ashleigh Gardner, head of content at Wattpad, and include an introduction from Cronkite Associate Professor and Public Relations Lab Director Fran Matera.

March 28: Cronkite New Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab Director Retha Hill and students will present “Telling Stories with Virtual Reality.”

April 4: Benoit Wirz, director of venture investments at Knight Foundation, will explore “Investing in the Media Frontier,” with an introduction from Newton.

April 11: Southwest Borderlands Initiative Professor Rick Rodriguez and Cronkite students will discuss their multimedia reporting project, “Reporting Abroad: From Nicaragua to Europe.”

April 18: Cronkite Associate Professor Joseph Russomanno will present “Facebook and the First Amendment,” with an introduction from Ballard Spahr LLP Partner and Cronkite Endowment Board President David J. Bodney.

April 25: National Geographic Society Fellow and photographer Chris Rainier will present “Photographing the World in the 21st Century,” with an introduction from Cronkite Associate Dean Kristin Gilger.