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Anita Luera, an award-winning journalist who has played a pivotal role in the advancement of Latinos in the news industry, was inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication today.
Luera, a board member and past president of the Arizona Latino Media Association who graduated from the Cronkite School in 1977, currently directs the Cronkite High School Journalism Institute. She manages a range of programs and outreach efforts that expose students to journalism and support high school journalism programs around the state. Much of her effort is focused on reaching groups that are underrepresented in the news industry.
“Anita Luera represents the very best of the Cronkite School,” said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan. “Her enthusiasm and passion for journalism have helped create a significantly stronger and more diverse news industry here in the Valley and beyond. We are thrilled to welcome her into the Hall of Fame.”
Luera was inducted into the Hall of Fame during ALMA’s High School Journalism Workshop held at the Cronkite School each spring. The workshop attracts students from all over the state for a day of hands-on learning during which students produce multimedia reports in English and Spanish. They are guided by Cronkite faculty and ALMA members who work in media.
Before coming to the Cronkite School in 2007, Luera worked in the Phoenix news market for 27 years. She was the first female news director of a Phoenix television news station, managing the news department for Univision Arizona, KTVW-TV. She also was a news producer at KTSP-TV, now Fox 10, and community relations coordinator and news producer at 12 News, KPNX-TV.
At Cronkite, Luera modernized the Summer Journalism Institute, the school’s annual high school summer camp, by moving the curriculum from a print to a digital-first focus. She also played an important role in the launch of additional high school summer camps in sports journalism and media innovation.
Luera regularly travels to high schools across the state as well as to regional and national high school conventions around the country. She reaches an estimated 2,500 students a year, introducing them to journalism as a potential career and encouraging them to attend college.
“I just love coming to the Cronkite School every day,” Luera said. “Going out to the high schools is a blast. To get to know young people and share something that you’re very passionate about is special.”
Luera is a former president and a longtime member of ALMA, which promotes a stronger media industry through diversity initiatives that deepen the scope, coverage and understanding of the Latino community. ALMA is the Phoenix chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2004 Valle del Sol’s Profiles of Success Rosa Carrillo Torres Humanitarian Award, a 2004 National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle Award, the 2001 YWCA Tribute to Women Communicator Award, and a 1995 Emmy award for Journalistic Enterprise Newscast Production.
She is the 48th inductee into the Cronkite Hall of Fame, joining Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times reporter Julie Cart, CNN International’s Becky Anderson, Arizona Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall and Bushtex CEO Adelaida Severson, among others.