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Anita Luera, a long-time journalist and past president of the Arizona Latino Media Association, is the first director of high school journalism programs for the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
Luera will oversee an expanding array of high school programs, including national training institutes for high school journalism teachers and students. She also will lead the school’s outreach programs to high schools around the region that are working to develop and improve their journalism programs.
“The Cronkite School has a rich tradition of working with young high school journalists, and in the past few months we have vastly expanded those programs,” said Dean Christopher Callahan. “We are extremely pleased to have Anita, a terrific journalist with deep roots in our community, to serve as our first director.”
Luera will focus much of her outreach on minority populations, which are underrepresented in today’s professional newsrooms.
The position is made possible in part by a new grant from the Scripps Howard Foundation.
For the past three years, Luera has served in leadership roles at Valle del Sol, one of Arizona’s largest non-profit, community-based organizations offering counseling, substance abuse, support services and leadership development programs. She is in charge of leadership development and runs the Hispanic Leadership Institute, providing leadership development for Latino professionals working in business, education and non-profit organizations in Maricopa County.
Luera also brings to the position 27 years of television news experience. She served as community relations coordinator at KPNX-TV, the NBC affiliate in Phoenix, for seven years, during which time she organized and produced such community projects as the KPNX and The Arizona Republic Season for Sharing holiday fund drive, the Walk to End Domestic Violence and the 12 News Car Seat Check Up.
Prior to that, she was the producer of KPNX’s award-winning 5 p.m. news broadcast.
Before joining KPNX in 1992, Luera was the first woman news director at a Phoenix television news station, running the news department for Spanish-language Univision affiliate, KTVW-Channel 33. She also served as news producer at KTSP-TV, now Fox 10.
Luera holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Cronkite School. She returned last year as a faculty associate to teach a class in public relations.
She is current treasurer and past president of the Arizona Latino Media Association and, for the past eight years, has helped plan and coordinate that organization’s annual high school journalism workshop at the Cronkite School. She led the planning of the first Spanish-language news-style workshop for Arizona journalists working in Spanish-language media.
Luera serves on the board of Valley Leadership, a leadership development program for Arizonans involved in public and community service, and the ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus Community Advisory Committee. She is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and was the planning chair for the NAHJ convention that brought 2,000 Latino journalists to Phoenix in 2001.
She is a past board member of Arizona Saves, the ASU President’s Minority Advisory Council, the Multicultural Advisory Committee of the Great Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau, the First Amendment Coalition, the Walter Cronkite School Endowment Board and the City of Phoenix’s 2005 Census Complete Count Committee. She was a 2005 ASU Morrison Institute Community Fellow.
Luera is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2004 Valle del Sol’s Profiles of Success Rosa Carrillo Torres Humanitarian Award, a 2004 National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle Award, the 2001 YWCA Tribute to Women Communicator Award and a 1995 Emmy award for Journalistic Enterprise Newscast Production as well as awards for Best Newscast in 1994 and 1984 from the Arizona Associated Press Broadcasters.
Luera was born and raised in Phoenix, where she and her husband raised two sons.
The Cronkite School hosts the Donald W. Reynolds High School Journalism Institute, a two-week fellowship program for 35 high school journalism instructors from around the country; the Summer Broadcast Institute, a program for high school students funded by the Arizona Broadcasters Association, the Scripps Howard Foundation and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; and the Summer Journalism Institute, a print program sponsored by Phoenix attorney Tom Chauncey.