Cronkite innovation chief to receive Freedom of the Press Award

March 14, 2016

Cronkite Innovation Chief Eric Newton is receiving one of the nation’s highest press-freedom honors for his work at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Newton, who joined Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication last year, and Knight President and CEO Alberto Ibargüen will receive the Freedom of the Press Award from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press during a dinner ceremony May 17 at the Pierre Hotel in New York. Eric Newton Cronkite Innovation Chief Eric Newton is the co-recipient of a Freedom of the Press Award from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Download Full Image

Ibargüen and Newton are receiving the honor for their efforts at Knight Foundation to address the evolving needs of a changing media landscape, while maintaining a commitment to the preservation and protection of First Amendment freedoms. In addition to his role at Cronkite, Newton serves as a Knight Foundation consultant. He previously worked as a top executive at the foundation, overseeing the development of more than $300 million in grants, $160 million of which went to universities for pioneering projects in journalism education.

At the Cronkite School, Newton works closely with the school’s leadership to drive new, cutting-edge ideas and initiatives at Cronkite News, the school’s multiplatform daily news operation.

Ibargüen also has played a significant role in driving innovation at the Cronkite School through the Knight Foundation’s tremendous support of the school. Most recently, during his keynote convocation speech to graduating Cronkite students in May 2014, Ibargüen announced a special $250,000 grant for ASU journalism graduates to accelerate innovation in newsrooms across the country.

Also at the awards dinner, NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw will receive the Fred Graham Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his two decades on the Reporters Committee board and his dedication championing press freedoms. Brokaw, the 2006 recipient of the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, also was a driving force in the recent establishment of the Public Service Academy at ASU, the first undergraduate program in the nation to integrate cross-sector and civilian-military experiences to develop collaborative leaders of character.

“These honorees have spent their careers defending press freedom and the right to information,” said Reporters Committee chair Pierre Thomas of ABC News. “We are honored to recognize their impact on the world of journalism and, in turn, public accountability, and look forward to an evening of applauding their work and dedication.”

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press was founded by leading journalists and media lawyers in 1970 when the nation’s news media faced a wave of government subpoenas asking reporters to name confidential sources. Today, it provides legal resources and support to protect First Amendment freedoms and the newsgathering rights of journalists. Funded by corporate, foundation and individual contributions, the Reporters Committee serves the nation’s leading news organizations and thousands of reporters, editors and media lawyers.

Arizona’s 'wet desert' to be focus of ASU lecture

March 14, 2016

Water is crucial for life as we know it, especially in the Arizona desert. For centuries our rivers were the key to making this region habitable. Today, proper stewardship of our water will make our cities sustainable long into the future.

Hilairy Hartnett, associate professor at the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the School of Molecular Sciences at ASU, will explore the natural processes and management practices that affect our water in her talk “Living in a Wet Desert: An Arizona Story” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 17, on ASU’s Tempe campus.  Hilairy Hartnett ASU senior sustainability scientist Hilairy Hartnett. Download Full Image

Hilairy Hartnett is a biogeochemist and oceanographer as well as an ASU senior sustainability scientist. Her research focuses on carbon cycling in aquatic systems ranging from urban lakes to rivers and from hot springs to oceans. As a field-going geochemist, her toolbox includes everything from duct tape to mass spectrometers.

The School of Earth and Space Exploration's New Discoveries Lecture Series brings exciting scientific work to the general public in a series of informative evening lectures, free and open to the public, each given by a member of the school's faculty once a month throughout the spring.

The final lecture in this series will be presented on April 21 by Ariel Anbar, President’s Professor and astrobiologist, and will focus on life on Earth and beyond.   

Lectures begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Marston Exploration Theater, on the first floor of ASU's Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 4 (ISTB4) (map) on the Tempe campus. RSVP to reserve a seat. Parking is available at the Rural Road parking structure just east of ISTB 4.

Karin Valentine

Media Relations & Marketing manager, School of Earth and Space Exploration