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‘Frontline’ Investigations Producer Chosen as new Howard Center Executive Producer

June 12, 2019
Lauren Mucciolo

Lauren Mucciolo, an award-winning director and producer for PBS “Frontline,” will be the new executive producer at the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at Arizona State University.

Mucciolo has produced, co-produced or directed numerous investigative documentaries for “Frontline,” BBC’s Storyville, Panorama and Current Affairs programs, and Channel 4 in the United Kingdom. Most recently, she produced and co-directed a “Frontline” documentary on sex trafficking in America, which tells the story of underage girls trapped in the sex trade from the perspective of a special investigative unit of the Phoenix Police Department.

Mucciolo, who also worked with students at the City College of New York for 12 years in media production and program development, will hold the faculty rank of professor of practice. She joins the Howard Center, based at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, on Aug. 5.

“Lauren is such a gifted visual storyteller,” said Maud Beelman, executive editor of the Howard Center. “Her documentary productions for ‘Frontline’ and previous work with students make her the perfect choice for this important new job.”

The Howard Center, created through a generous donation from the Scripps Howard Foundation and named in honor of news pioneer and media executive Roy W. Howard, will be home to a new cadre of investigative student journalists who will produce investigations in partnership with national and regional news organizations. The Center will be the capstone experience for students enrolled in Cronkite’s first-in-the-nation master’s degree devoted exclusively to investigative journalism.

The degree program will teach technologies, storytelling techniques and research methods that tap into a wide array of other fields, such as law, business, medicine, the arts and social sciences.

"I couldn't be more excited to bring my experience as a documentary filmmaker to the new Howard Center,” Mucciolo said. “It will be an honor to work with Maud, Cronkite's exceptional faculty and these first-rate students to produce groundbreaking and important multimedia journalism."

Mucciolo is a three-time Emmy nominee who has won two Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards and a Best Director award from the Royal Television Society, among other honors.

In addition to being proficient in three languages – English, French and Spanish – she has taught courses in television and filmmaking to high school and college students. She earned a master’s degree in liberal arts from CUNY and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mucciolo joins a team of award-winning investigative journalists who make up the faculty of the Howard Center at the Cronkite School. They include:

  • Beelman, former U.S. investigations editor for The Associated Press, deputy managing editor of The Dallas Morning News, and founding director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
  • Sarah Cohen, former data editor of The New York Times and The Washington Post, who is now the Knight Chair in Data Journalism at the Cronkite School
  • Leonard Downie Jr., former executive editor of The Washington Post who serves as Cronkite’s Weil Family Professor of Journalism
  • Jacqueline Petchel, former Miami Herald and Houston Chronicle investigations editor who leads Cronkite’s Carnegie-Knight News21 program
  • Walter V. Robinson, former editor of The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team who is the school’s Edith Kinney Gaylord Visiting Professor in Investigative Journalism.

“We’re honored to welcome Lauren to the Howard Center at the Cronkite School,” said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan. “Her professional experience, as well as her teaching and leadership skills, will be an important part of our work developing the next generation of great investigative journalists.”

About the Scripps Howard Foundation
The Scripps Howard Foundation supports philanthropic causes important to the E.W. Scripps Company and the communities it serves, with a special emphasis on excellence in journalism. At the crossroads of the classroom and the newsroom, the Foundation is a leader in supporting journalism education, scholarships, internships, minority recruitment and development, literacy and First Amendment causes.

About the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
The Cronkite School is widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier professional journalism programs. Cronkite champions a “teaching hospital” model of journalism education in which students create professional content under the guidance of top professionals. Cronkite News, the student-powered, faculty-led news division of Arizona PBS with news bureaus in Phoenix, Washington and Los Angeles, produces a daily newscast for the station. Cronkite emphasizes programs that experiment with new forms of audience engagement, digital interactivity, in-depth information gathering, revenue models and storytelling.