ASU journalism students capture 22 Rocky Mountain Emmy Nominations

reporters at the Cronkite NewsWatch

Arizona State University students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication amassed 22 Student Production Award nominations in the 2014 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards – seven more than the rest of the field combined.

The winners will be announced at an Oct. 18 ceremony at the Scottsdale Fairmont Princess, hosted by the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, an association representing television professionals in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Cronkite students secured nominations in nine of 11 total categories, sweeping newscast, sports and talent, for content produced between May 1, 2013 and April 20, 2014.

“Taking home 22 nominations exemplifies the tremendous work of our outstanding students at the Cronkite School,” said Mark Lodato, assistant dean and news director. “We are extremely proud of them and look forward to seeing who wins at the awards ceremony.”

In all, 27 students were nominated, with several taking home multiple nominations, including Robby Baker, Shayne Dwyer and Chris Smith, who each received three nominations.

Five students received nominations for a senior-level documentary class, led by professor John Craft, who has taught at Cronkite for 40 years. Craft said he was impressed with the phenomenal work of his students.

“Creating a television documentary is extremely time-consuming,” he said. “It requires a tremendous commitment from the students. When I first started teaching, they thought it would be impossible to complete 30-minute documentaries in a short, three-month semester. However, our students consistently do it and win regional and national awards. We are extremely proud of their efforts.”

Cronkite News took nine nominations for work appearing on the school’s nightly newscast, which reaches 1.9 million households on Arizona PBS, and the Cronkite News website, which includes reports from digital news bureaus in Washington, D.C., and Phoenix.

Students from the Cronkite School and ASU’s School of Sustainability received a nomination in the public affairs/community service category for “Garden City,” a documentary produced in a class taught by Peter Byck, an award-winning filmmaker who jointly serves as a professor of practice at both schools.

Other nominations included student work from Carnegie-Knight News21, a national fellowship program where top student journalists from across the country conduct investigations; The State Press, ASU’s independent, student-operated news organization; and the Deaf and Hearing Network, a recently launched news broadcast produced by Cronkite students and the deaf community in Phoenix that uses sign language, captions and spoken language.

Cronkite School 2014 Student Production Award Nominees

Arts and Entertainment/Cultural Affairs

Kelly Andersen, Peter Haden and Jessica Ramirez
Cronkite School Project
“Arizona’s Legal Immigrants Often Overlooked”

Chris Smith
Cronkite School Website
“ASU Downtown Life”


Shayne Dwyer
Cronkite News
“Backyard Bike Shop”

Long Form: Fiction/Non-fiction

Noah Findling and Nick Prete
Cronkite TV Documentary Class
“Your Next Governor: The Back Door to the Highest Office in Arizona Government”

Alex Lancial
Cronkite Thesis Project
“Breaking the Spectrum”

Jake Stein and Bonnie Campo
Carnegie-Knight News21
“Marching Forward”


Elizabeth Blackburn
Cronkite News
Cronkite News April, 24, 2014 Newscast

Peyton Gallovich and Dyan Sue Kovacs
Deaf and Hearing Network
Deaf and Hearing Network Newscast

Jessica Popowcer, Elizabeth Blackburn, Sophia Thomas and Glen Anderson
Cronkite News
Cronkite News April 17, 2014 Newscast

News: General Assignment

Shayne Dwyer
Cronkite News
“Arizona MMJ Doctors”

Shayne Dwyer
Cronkite News
“Backyard Bike Shop”

Amanda Lane
Cronkite News
“Arizona Border Trash and Drug Smuggling”

Jake Stein
Cronkite News
“Recycled Wastewater: Solution or Hazard?”


Robby Baker
Cronkite News
“Florence Coach”

Public Affairs/Community Service

Chris Smith, Vianka Villa, EJ Hernandez and Aidan Cooney
Cronkite School and School of Sustainability Documentary
“Garden City”


Robby Baker
Cronkite News
“Florence Coach”

Erin Patrick O’Connor
The State Press
“Dan Fulton’s Comeback”

Erin Patrick O’Connor, Adrian Borunda and Chris Smith
Cronkite TV Documentary Class
“Let’s Roll”


Robby Baker
Anchor Reel

Gabriela Rodiles
“Gourmet Gab: On the Go”

Nick Marek
Sports Reel

Megan Thompson
Talent Reel