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Radio show offers a taste of Italy from Downtown Phoenix

May 08, 2013

Two students from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication are brushing up on their Italian, honing their broadcasting skills and globalizing their education thanks to a new internship offered through the School of International Letters and Cultures at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus.

Jesus Yanez-Reyes and McCall Hoerz have combined their love for Italian with their professional interest in broadcasting through an internship sponsored by The Italian Language Program in collaboration with KASC (The Blaze) AM radio station, where they host “Buongiorno Italia.”

Broadcast from the Cronkite School building at 555 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, the show is the brainchild of Antonella Dell’Anna, an Italian instructor for the School of International Letters and Cultures.

“I wanted to create something for students that made them think and look beyond the textbooks and classroom,” Dell’Anna said. “When you understand Italian people, the land, their customs, what’s important to them, then students truly comprehend the language.”

“Buongiorno Italia” is a half-hour show dedicated to Italian news, culture, and music. Interview subjects include Italian officials, transplants and community residents who live in the Phoenix Metropolitan area as well as ASU students who have traveled to Italy.

Phoenix native Yanez-Reyes says he originally enrolled at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff where he wanted to major in hospitality. He changed his mind a semester later when he wanted to pursue journalism. He says he knows now he made the right choice and the internship has given him confidence in several areas, including language, culture, geography and critical thinking.  

“We scour a lot of Italian newspapers and websites and have to translate the words into English and then present it in our own words to our audience,” Yanez-Reyes said. “This exercise forces us to not only know and understand the language but what’s important to the people. The newspaper level of their language is different than the level we’re at in the classroom, which forces us to learn other words.”

Yanez-Reyes said through research and first-hand interviews, there are some major differences between Americans and Italians.

“Italians aren’t as focused on work as Americans are, and they look at their quality of life in terms of meaningful social interaction rather than money. Food is a big part of their culture. It’s a way to show hospitality and an opportunity to interact with one another,” Yanez-Reyes said. “Italians say they cherish their ability to walk out onto the street and to have a conversation with someone, even a complete stranger, and have a meaningful conversation.”

Hoerz, a freshman, who hails from Wauwatosa, Wisc., said she contemplated the University of Southern California Los Angeles, University of Southern California and the University of Miami, Fla., but ASU had always been her top choice.

“I knew ASU had the best program for what I wanted to do and in the end, it was a very easy choice,” Hoerz said. She added the internship not only gives her valuable insight into the Italian culture but much needed experience behind the microphone.

“Because I am a journalism major, one of my classes required me to go on the Blaze and read items live on the air. My first time was nerve-wracking and I was not very good,” Hoerz said. “Now that I’ve been on the air for almost an entire semester, I’ve got the jitters out of the way. This is also an experience I can put on my resume and say I did it live on the air, and I now have the clips to prove it.”

“Buongiorno Italia” is broadcast at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays from September to December and February to May every semester. Listen for the show on station 1330 AM or online at

The Italian Language Program at the Downtown campus in collaboration with KASC, is currently accepting internship applications for fall 2013 to fill two 1-3 credit internships (ITA484). To apply email a resume and cover letter to before June 15, 2013.