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NBC News President Steve Capus urged graduates of the Cronkite School to uphold the time-honored news values for which the school’s namesake is remembered, even as technology reshapes the industry.
“As many of you hope to launch your professional careers, I believe that quality journalism has never been more critical, and that means we need quality journalists,” Capus told about 1,500 guests and nearly 200 graduates at the Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University.
“What I’m looking for has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with character, curiosity and creativity,” he said.
Nine students earned master’s degrees and 181 earned bachelor’s degrees after completing their studies at the Cronkite School this spring.
Capus told graduates he had the opportunity to review some of their work last fall when the NBC Nightly News was broadcast from the roof of the Cronkite School. He said he was “impressed and heartened” to see “a great combination of new technology and editorial excellence” in their work.
“I couldn’t help but reflect on how proud Mr. Cronkite must have been in all that this group represented,” said Capus, who has headed NBC News for the past four years.
Student convocation speaker Maxine Park talked about the changes sweeping the industry she and her classmates are about to enter.
“It’s scary but exciting because we get to be a part of it all,” said Park, who will start her new job next month as a multimedia journalist for usatoday.com. “We can actually be a part of this change and help reshape the future as multimedia journalists, digital journalists, backpack journalists, all-platform journalists – and whatever other names they come up with for what we can do.”
Like Capus, Park emphasized graduates’ responsibility to produce meaningful journalism.
“It’s up to us to take the skills that we’ve learned here to try and impact the world in a positive way,” she said.
Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan said he is confident about the graduates’ futures.
“We know you are leaving the Cronkite School today with the intellectual and professional experience to excel in anything you choose to do,” he told the graduates. “And we are confident that you will not only succeed but help lead us in an exciting, new digital future.”
STUDENT AWARD WINNERS:
ASU Alumni Association Outstanding Graduate Award
Outstanding Undergraduate Students
Outstanding Graduate Student
Highest Grade Point Average
This award is given to students earning a 4.0 grade point average and above for eight consecutive fall and spring semesters.
Inductees into Kappa Tau Alpha Honor Society
Students represent the top 10 percent of graduating journalism students.
Student Convocation Speaker