Arizona’s PBS Station Airs Two Cronkite Projects

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Eight/KAET-TV, the Arizona PBS station that reaches 1.3 million viewers each week, will air two specials created by students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. “Children of the Borderlands: Divided Families” airs Sunday, May 4, at 4 p.m. on Eight. The 30-minute special focuses on the stories of families who are divided by the U.S.-Mexico border. Dozens of advanced Cronkite students made more than 30 trips to the border, other parts of Mexico, California and all across Arizona to tell the stories of these families. The project, which was funded by a grant from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, also produced 23 news feature stories that have appeared in newspapers and news Web sites across Arizona, nearly a dozen TV news reports and a soon-to-be released magazine featuring photojournalism essays. The borderlands project was directed by Assistant Dean Kristin Gilger, faculty associate and former Arizona Republic reporter Robert Sherwood, Cronkite TV News Director Mark Lodato, former Arizona Republic reporter Robert Sherwood, and Cronkite News Service Directors Steve Elliott and Sue Green. Senior Amanda Soares was the lead producer for the TV special. Meanwhile, Eight will air “The Best of Cronkite NewsWatch,” a 30-minute compilation of the best stories from Cronkite NewsWatch, the award-winning three-nights-a-week live newscast that airs on cable TV stations across Arizona, include ASUtv. Cronkite NewsWatch, under the direction of Lodato, sends student journalists across the Southwest to find compelling stories that impact the lives of Arizonans. “The Best of Cronkite NewsWatch,” which is hosted by CBS5 news anchor Catherine Anaya, will air Tuesday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m. on Eight. It is extremely rare for student productions to air in a major media market such as Phoenix, which is the nation’s 12th largest. Packages by Cronkite students also air on ABC15 and MSNBC. “We are extremely fortunate to have the great support of General Manager Greg Giczi and the entire Eight team,” said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan. “Thanks to their efforts, our students’ extraordinary work can be seen by all Arizonans.” Cronkite students regularly win the top awards in collegiate journalism. Last year Cronkite students finished first place nationally in both the Hearst awards and the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence competition. Earlier this month, Cronkite broadcast news students completed a first-place sweep in all nine television categories of SPJ’s regional competition. “The work of the Cronkite School students, in addition to being excellent quality, brings a different lens, a younger lens, to further diversify our perspective on issues,” Giczi said. “They are quite talented and insightful.” Eight, which has been operated by ASU since 1961, reaches more than 80 percent of Arizonans. It is among the most-viewed public TV stations per capita in the nation.