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Cronkite School Lecture Series to Feature Leading Journalists, Media Executives

January 9, 2018

The executive producer of PBS FRONTLINE, the editor-in-chief of ESPN The Magazine, the CEO of Weber Shandwick and a Pulitzer-winning Washington Post investigative reporter are among the leading communications professionals headlining a speaker series this spring at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Raney Aronson-Rath of PBS FRONTLINE, Alison Overholt of ESPN The Magazine and Andy Polansky of Weber Shandwick and Carol Leonnig of The Washington Post all are part of this year’s “Must See Mondays,” a series of lectures, panels and presentations at the Cronkite School that are open to the public.

The series kicks off Jan. 22 with a panel of Cronkite faculty discussing the latest research in journalism and beyond.

“Must See Mondays” concludes on April 23 with a talk on investigative reporting from Leonnig and Leonard Downie Jr., former executive editor of The Washington Post and Weil Family Professor of Journalism. The talk is part of the Cronkite School’s Paul J. Schatt Memorial Lecture, an annual event held in honor of the longtime Arizona Republic editor who taught journalism at ASU for more than 30 years.

This fall marks the 20th semester for the lecture series, which has brought more than 235 lecturers and panelists since 2008. Participants have included Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters, national and international news correspondents, public relations executives and journalism innovators and entrepreneurs.

“Each semester, we bring some of the very best in journalism and strategic communications to our school to share their experience with our outstanding students,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. “We are excited to hear from this semester’s lineup of speakers and welcome the community to take part in the discussions.”

The public talks start at 7 p.m. in the Cronkite School’s First Amendment Forum on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus. The complete schedule is below.

Spring 2018 “Must See Mondays” Schedule

Jan. 22: “Cronkite Faculty Research – People, Press, PR”

Louise Solheim Professor Marianne Barrett, Associate Professor Joseph Russomanno and Associate Professor Xu Wu discuss the latest in journalism and communications research.

Jan. 23: “The Power of Storytelling”

Alison Overholt, editor-in-chief of ESPN The Magazine and espnW, explores the impact storytelling has in sports journalism in this discussion moderated by Brett Kurland, director of sports programs.

Jan. 29: “Future of the Olympic Games”

Anita DeFrantz, a member of the International Olympic Committee and the IOC Executive Board, discusses the impact of the Olympic Games with Victoria Jackson, sports historian and lecturer at the ASU School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies. This talk is in partnership with the Global Sport Institute.

Feb. 5: “Journalistic Transparency, Audience Growth and the Value of Public Media”

Raney Aronson-Rath, executive producer of PBS FRONTLINE, discusses the flagship investigative journalism series of PBS and the power of public media with Mary Mazur, general manager of Arizona PBS.

Feb. 12: “Speech on Campus: When Protests Turn Extreme”

Allison Stanger, a professor at Middlebury College, and Lucia Martinez Valdivia, a professor at Reed College, discuss free speech on campus with Cronkite Associate Professor Joseph Russomanno. The talk is in partnership with the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership.

Feb. 19: “Journalism in the Walter Cronkite Tradition… From Behind the Camera”

Cronkite alumnus Chris Shlemon (’83), the 2017 ITN Video Editor of the Year and member of the White House News Photographers Association, explores the power of videography with Cronkite Professor of Practice Peter Byck.

Feb. 26: “Changing the World Through Strategic Communications”

Andy Polansky, CEO of Weber Shandwick, explores the world of strategic communications with Professor of Practice Mark Hass.

March 19: “The Power and Promise of Diversity”

Associate Professor Sharon Bramlett-Solomon, Christina Leonard, executive editor of Cronkite News, and Vanessa Ruiz, director of Cronkite News Borderlands, discuss diversity in journalism with moderator Jennifer Greer, president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

March 26: “PR Lab Mentorship Lecture and Aspire Award Presentation”

Alex Thompson, vice president of brand stewardship and impact at REI, discusses the power of mentorship and presents Cronkite student Jackson Dorsey with the Aspire Award, established in honor of Enid R. Pansky.

April 9: “You’re Doing What? Cronkite Grads as Innovators”

Recent Cronkite School alumni share their experiences as media innovators with Retha Hill, director of the New Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab.

April 16: “The Limits of Objectivity”

Tanzina Vega, former national reporter on inequality and race at CNN and Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University, explores objectivity in journalism in this talk introduced by Vanessa Ruiz, director of Cronkite News Borderlands.

April 23: “Getting It Right: The Art of Investigative Reporting”

Carol Leonnig, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at The Washington Post, discusses investigative journalism with Leonard Downie Jr., Weil Family Professor of Journalism and former executive editor of The Washington Post.