Broadcast Education Association ranks ASU Cronkite School No. 1 overall


Broadcast Education Association (BEA) school rankings graphic

Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is once again the top overall school in the Broadcast Education Association’s ranking of schools based on the creative achievements of their students.

The school ranked No. 1 in the Overall Programs, Top Winning News Programs and Top Winning Sports Programs categories. It also ranked second in the Top Winning Documentary Programs. 

Cronkite also finished as the top overall school in 2022, the first year the BEA began ranking schools.

“This is really reflective of the commitment by our faculty, our staff and our students to excellence in broadcast education, and this also reflects the strength of our facilities and our curriculum,” said Dean Battinto Batts Jr., dean of the Cronkite School. “We get fantastic students from all over, and they come to participate in our program under the direction of our fantastic faculty here at Cronkite. This is a point of pride for us.”

The rankings are based on the results from the past five years of the BEA Festival of Media Arts contest, known as the preeminent international media competition focused on student and faculty creative endeavors. During that time, nearly 6,000 student creative works were submitted from more than 300 member institutions around the globe for BEA’s extensive juried process. 

In recent years, ​​the Cronkite School has dominated the contest. Cronkite won 31 awards this year, including 12 first-place prizes, marking the 13th time in 14 years that the Cronkite School has finished ahead of all other colleges around the country, including winning the most news division awards.

So, what has been the key to the Cronkite School’s success?

“It’s the hands-on experience that you get here at Cronkite through all of your classes every step of the way. From the time you come here as a freshman, you’re working with some of the best people who are in the industry,” said Nicholas Hodell, a sports journalism major who is graduating in May. 

Autriya Maneshni, a journalism and mass communication major who is also graduating in May, won four awards at the contest. Her awards included a Best of Festival prize, the highest honor at the festival. 

The Cronkite’s School’s diversity, along with the guidance provided by its professors, are among the reasons why the school is consistently among the BEA’s top schools, she said. 

“The students here at the Cronkite School are just some of the most diverse and unique students I have personally ever met. We all come from so many different backgrounds and bring so many different ideas and perspectives,” Maneshni said. “The faculty helps us refine and turn into these awesome impactful stories that we get to tell, so I think that’s a huge reason why Cronkite received this No. 1 ranking for a second time.”

The BEA rankings evaluate schools by measuring the quality and consistency of students’ creative works from one participating institution compared with others. While BEA has been systematically evaluating student work for more than 30 years, the annual rankings are based on the past five-year period of student success. 

In the 2023 BEA Festival School Rankings, winners represent 170 schools. The statistics from the previous five years are compiled and confirmed by the BEA Festival Advisory Committee, which is made up of past festival chairs and creative directors.

Written by By Sierra Alvarez

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