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ASU launches major new sports journalism program

October 24, 2013

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is launching a major new sports journalism program, featuring a Southern California bureau, that will give Arizona State University students unparalleled preparation for careers in sports media and communications through courses, internships and immersive professional programs.

As part of the new program, the Cronkite School is significantly expanding its already extensive sports journalism offerings at its state-of-the-art facility on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus, and is opening the Cronkite Sports bureau at the ASU California Center in Santa Monica.

The Cronkite School is adding three new full-time professors to the program, one of whom will work year-round with advanced journalism students at Cronkite Sports in California. Students at the bureau will produce TV packages and multimedia sports content, partnering with local, regional, and national TV and digital sports networks.

“Our students’ interest in sports journalism and strategic sports communications continues to grow at a rapid pace,” said Christopher Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School. “The new sports journalism program at Cronkite will give ASU students extraordinary hands-on preparation for careers as sports reporters, producers, anchors and public relations practitioners.”

In Phoenix, students will have access to new educational and professional opportunities. Cronkite is expanding its Major League Baseball spring training reporting course, through which students cover MLB teams for major metropolitan news organizations and other national news outlets, such as, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The San Diego Union-Tribune and The Arizona Republic. Plans are underway for students to provide in-depth coverage of Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The sports journalism program also will include more courses on sports reporting and writing, photojournalism, sports video production and strategic sports communication. Cronkite students already benefit from the school’s professional partnerships with FOX Sports, Pac-12 Networks, ESPN, and many others. Each year, students do nearly 100 sports-related internships, working at some of the largest media outlets and sports organizations.

Mark Lodato, assistant dean, will lead the new program. Since joining the Cronkite School in 2006, he has established new partnerships with leading media corporations such as FOX Sports Arizona, NBC News, ABC News and others.

“The sports journalism landscape is changing quickly across every platform,” Lodato said. “This expanded program will ensure that Cronkite students are among the most-qualified sports communicators in the country, able to take advantage of unprecedented partnerships with top-tier commercial sports media outlets.”

The sports journalism program is the latest immersion program in which students can obtain real-world professional experience. Others include: Carnegie-Knight News21, an investigative multimedia reporting initiative that sends students around the country to report on topics of national significance; Cronkite NewsWatch, a live, four-day-a-week, student-produced news broadcast that reaches 1.4 million households; Cronkite News Service, an immersive professional program in which students produce stories in newsrooms in Phoenix and Washington, D.C.; the New Media Innovation Lab, a program where journalism, engineering, design and business students create cutting-edge digital media products; and the Cronkite Public Relations Lab, a professional program that allows students to develop PR strategies and campaigns for real clients.