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Univision Arizona, the state’s most-watched Spanish-language television station, is now broadcasting Cronkite Noticias, a 30-minute news program produced by bilingual Arizona State University students on important Latino community and statewide issues.
The newscast, created by ASU students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, broadcasts on select Saturdays on Univision Arizona or UniMás from 5-6 p.m. The latest newscast will air this Saturday, Nov. 18, on Univision. Cronkite Noticias students also occasionally contribute stories to Univision Arizona’s nightly newscast, which airs throughout the state.
Launched in January, Cronkite Noticias is a multiplatform Spanish-language news operation at the Cronkite School, where students produce digital and broadcast news stories under the guidance of faculty. Cronkite Noticias is made possible by the Raza Development Fund, the largest Latino community development financial institution that is dedicated to generating economic growth and opportunities for Latino families across the country.
Students in Cronkite Noticias provide critical news coverage to the Spanish-speaking community in Arizona through the newscast as well as the multimedia website cronkitenoticias.azpbs.org. Recent stories have included the shortage of Latino teachers in the state as well as the psychological impact of deportation on families.
Faculty Associate Valeria Fernández, a veteran multimedia journalist who leads Cronkite Noticias, said the program offers students significant opportunities to launch careers not only in Spanish language media but also skills that make them culturally sensitive bilingual reporters.
Cronkite senior Jackie López, who was raised in Chihuahua, Mexico, covered some of the issues surrounding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as well as other stories focusing on arts and culture for Cronkite Noticias. Most recently, she traveled to the Towers Jail in Phoenix to cover a three-day food strike protest among Maricopa County jail inmates over the quality of meals.
López, who hopes to work in Spanish language media after graduation, said the experiences she is receiving producing both digital and broadcast stories is invaluable.
“You really get exposed to a lot,” she said. “I definitely enjoy the interviews and getting to know people.”
Cronkite Noticias is part of a growing constellation of classes and immersive professional experiences available to Cronkite students interested in Latino and borderlands issues.
Cronkite News, the student-staffed, professionally led news division of Arizona PBS, features a Borderlands Bureau in which students cover border and immigration issues in English under the guidance of award-winning borderlands journalists.
Cronkite Professor of Practice Vanessa Ruiz, the former lead anchor of 12 News in Phoenix who now leads the Cronkite News Borderlands Bureau, also provides guidance and support to the Noticias students as they prepare their newscast for Univision.
Ruiz, who also has been an anchor for Telemundo and TV Marti, said Cronkite Noticias is a truly unique program, where students gain valuable experience while making a difference in the community.
“Arizona is ground zero for a lot of the hot-button issues the country is talking about, not just on a local level but a national level,” Ruiz said. “And these students are getting the opportunity to get out there and really talk to people from all kinds of neighborhoods.”
Ruiz added that the students are pushing the limits of journalism. Recently, they started to produce a short newscast on Facebook Live at facebook.com/cronkitenoticias.
López said she has enjoyed the camaraderie with her fellow students in Noticias and the experiences she has received producing a broadcast that airs on Univision Arizona.
“It’s amazing because I grew up with my family watching Univision, so for us it’s a big deal,” she said. “Whenever we know we’re going to be on there, everybody will call everyone (in my family). It’s nice to be able to show people what we do here at school.”
Source: Most-watched Spanish Language station in Arizona is based on NSI average impressions among persons two-plus in total day (Monday through Sunday 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.) during 2017 YTD (January to October 2017). Comparison of Spanish TV stations’ viewing exclusively in Arizona (Phoenix and Tucson DMAs).