Must See Mondays will address Race and Inclusion, Changing Newsrooms, Presidential Election

Friday, Aug. 21, 2020


By Lisa Diethelm

Must See Mondays, hosted at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, will address the upcoming and current events of 2020, including diversity in the newsroom, discussions on race and inclusion, and the presidential election in November.

While typically held in the school’s First Amendment Forum, the Fall 2020 Must See Mondays will be available to students and faculty members remotely over Zoom. Despite the remote change, Interim Dean Kristin Gilger said the scheduled panelists for the events cover changes in media coverage and the workplace.

“We had a plan for Must See Mondays this fall and when it became clear that we really needed to focus on issues of equity and inclusion, we blew up the schedule and started over. I think the lineup is the strongest we’ve ever had,” Interim Dean Kirsitin Gilger said. “We’ll be talking about the changing workplace, race and identity in sports, the changing notions of journalistic objectivity, how to report on diverse communities and more. We have a highly diverse and accomplished group of speakers from the ranks of our own alumni and faculty, as well as from all over the country who can speak to the issues that matter.”

Guest speakers range from a variety of faculty members like ASU football coach and Cronkite Professor of Practice Herm Edwards and Weil Family Professor of Journalism Leonard Downie Jr., to working journalists and alumni, such as Matt Barrie, anchor of SportsCenter and studio host for ESPN College Football, who will be inducted into Cronkite’s Hall of Fame on Sept. 29 during the Must See Monday.

“This semester’s Must See Monday lineup reflects a renewed mission for our Cronkite Experience to be truly representative of our students, staff, faculty and alums,” Assistant Dean Melanie Alvarez said.

The semester’s first Must See Monday, “Young Alumni and the Changing Workplace” opens the semester with Cronkite alumni’s different experiences for their first years on the job. The panel will be moderated by Vanessa Ruiz, the director for Cronkite News – Borderlands, director for Diversity Initiatives, and anchor and host for Arizona PBS, on Aug. 24.

The following Must See Mondays will cover race in sports as well as media, the future of journalism, the coronavirus pandemic, politics and more throughout the Fall 2020 semester. Some events will also cover reporting on disability and business, as well as how different public relations strategies, like strategic communications and company branding, are changing with newsrooms in 2020.

“Thanks to the work of our Cronkite Events team, we are bringing an inspiring group of nationally recognized and diverse voices from across journalism and mass communications professions to tackle issues of race and identity in our society,” Alvarez said. “One week after Election Day, we will gather the national presidents of AAJA, NABJ, NAHJ, NAJA and NLGJA for a Debrief on Diversity following this historic political cycle.”

“We’ll also highlight the amazing work of our own Len Downie and foster conversations with our young alums as they face a changing industry when it comes to newsroom demographics, mission and the ideal of objectivity. And our spectacular research faculty and doctoral students will get the spotlight in a special session on Public Perception and the Pandemic,” she said.

Must See Mondays will be from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., and will be held on the same Zoom link.

“Students can expect rich and insightful conversations in these virtual one-hour events. I hope students come with questions, an open mind and a willingness to learn about the new worlds we are navigating in this challenging time for our industry, our society and our country,” she said.