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Eight/KAET Features Cronkite South Africa Project

May 23, 2009

A student reporting project in South Africa is the subject of a half-hour television news magazine produced by students in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and narrated by former CNN anchor Aaron Brown.

The special airs on Eight/KAET’s “Eight World” program (Cox 88) Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. It also is featured on the public television station’s Web site.

“South Africa: At the Crossroads of Hate and Hope” opens with scenes from South Africa and an introduction from Brown, who explains how 10 Cronkite students traveled to Johannesburg last summer as part of a reporting class taught by Cronkite Associate Professor Carol Schwalbe. They documented the lives of people displaced by xenophobia and strife, visiting refugee camps, schools, soup kitchens, orphanages and poverty-stricken townships.

The students produced dozens of stories, video, photos and slide shows that were published on the Cronkite Zine, the school’s student-produced Web magazine. Their work has been honored in the Hearst Journalism Awards, the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Awards, the Webby awards and the Robert Novak Collegiate Journalism Award.

Susan Green, broadcast director for Cronkite News Service, who accompanied the class to South Africa, served as executive producer of the news magazine. Student Jen Wahl served as producer and editor. Student reporters included Wahl, Carolyn Carver, Emily Graham and Amber Dixon.

The project was made possible by a generous grant from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, an Illinois-based foundation that has been a major supporter of Cronkite photojournalism and depth reporting projects.