Sports journalism focus expanding at Cronkite School
Arizona State University, responding to an increase in both student and industry interest in sports media, is expanding its sports journalism programs and opportunities at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
The school’s newest initiative is a partnership with cable sports network FOX Sports Arizona. Beginning Nov. 4, the network will produce its pre- and post-game shows for all Phoenix Suns road games during the 2012-2013 NBA season from Cronkite’s Sony Studio on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus.
Students will be able to apply for internship opportunities with the FOX Sports Arizona show, allowing them to work side by side with seasoned sports producers on both the editorial and production sides in their own building.
The school also announced that it will be offering a new studio production class focused on sports starting in the fall 2013 semester. That class also will be involved with the production of the pre- and post-game shows. In addition, students will have use of the newly designed FOX Sports Arizona anchor desk in the Sony Studio for TV classes.
“This is a great partnership,” said Cronkite assistant dean Mark Lodato, who is leading the school’s sports media efforts. “FOX Sports Arizona will be able to tap into the energy, passion and innovation that our students bring to the building each day, while our students will have an unparalleled opportunity to learn from and work with top-flight professionals right in their own building.”
Brian Hogan, senior vice president and general manager of FOX Sports Arizona, added, “We are very appreciative to have Arizona State University partner with us on this exciting initiative. This adds to our foundation as the home of unmatched local sports television programming and allows us to team with the Cronkite School for another opportunity that supports and educates tomorrow’s television professionals.”
The announcement comes just a few days before award-winning sportscaster Bob Costas comes to Cronkite to receive the 29th annual Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism. And on Friday, members of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” broadcast team will visit the Cronkite School to participate in a showcase panel at Cronkite Day, the school’s alumni celebration. Mike Tirico, play-by-play commentator for “Monday Night Football,” will broadcast on ESPN Radio from Cronkite’s radio studios that morning.
The new initiatives add to a wide array of sports media opportunities that has been growing in recent semesters. This past summer, a team of Cronkite students traveled to London to cover the Summer Olympics. Last spring, another group of students covered spring training of four Major League Baseball teams – the Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners – for the leading online newspaper outlets in those markets.
Other sports-related coursework at Cronkite includes sports reporting for Cronkite NewsWatch, the school’s 30-minute nightly newscast, courses in sports writing and sports and the media, and FOX Sports Creative University, a class on sports marketing and campaigns.
In addition, a number of extracurricular opportunities are available through Cronkite’s partnerships with professional sports media organizations. Students can become contributors for ESPNU, work in paid production positions with the new Pac-12 Network and participate in SportsWatch 101, a student-created, 30-minute magazine-style TV show that produces in-depth features on athletics and athletes for FOX Sports Arizona.
There also is a robust series of student-led sports initiatives, including play-by-play coverage of ASU athletics on The Blaze, the campus radio station; sports reporting at The State Press, the university’s independent daily newspaper and website; Sun Devil Sports Night, a sports program that airs on ASUtv; and the Walter Cronkite Sports Network, a student-run broadcasting organization that offers play-by-play and production opportunities.
Cronkite students have participated in more than 100 sports-related internships from summer 2011 through this past summer.
“The opportunities in sports media are growing, and the interest in the field among our students is growing just as fast,” Lodato said. “With these new programs, the Cronkite School has become a national leader in sports journalism and communication education.”