PBS Newshour West scouting new set. Photo by Ellen O'Brien

New class will give Cronkite students behind the scenes look at Arizona PBS

Friday, Oct. 1, 2021


Arizona PBS and the Cronkite School have partnered to launch the first-ever class to introduce students to the state’s largest public television station. 

The “Arizona PBS Experience” is a new class that will expose students to various departments within the station, including engineering, fundraising, management, education outreach, audience services, finance, business and customer service.

The one-credit seminar runs for seven weeks and will include a variety of guest speakers, class discussions and tours of the station, which is located in the Cronkite building. Class topics will include introduction to public media; Arizona PBS’ vision, mission and strategic plan; revenue models; production and ways that students can get involved; programming content; and the role of the station’s education team.

Heather Kivatinos, Arizona PBS director of sales and media operations, said that public media allows students to be part of a process that enables lifelong learning while giving back to the community.

Julia Wallace, the Frank Russell Chair in the Business of Journalism at Cronkite and former Arizona PBS interim general manager, will teach the seminar this semester. 

“Getting students to get excited about public media early on is the goal because it is an essential part of so many communities, including Arizona,” Wallace said. 

This class will serve as a prerequisite for future practicum, internships, and a degree specialization in public media with Arizona PBS. These plans are still in the works and are dependent on the feedback provided by students and faculty as the semester progresses.

Cronkite Assistant Dean Melanie Alvarez said the feedback provided by the students will help in not only creating customized experiences for their professional journeys but also helping the public media organization progress. 

“ASU is all about innovation so for Arizona PBS, this is an opportunity to get fresh ideas from the next generation of media consumers while providing opportunities for growth and learning to students who want to make a difference,” Alvarez said.

By Tirzah Christopher