Cronkite School kicks off Super Bowl reporting class

As the Valley of the Sun prepares to host next year’s Super Bowl, Arizona State University students will cover news and events leading up to the big game for professional media outlets as part of a special sports journalism experience at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Up to 20 students will produce Super Bowl-related multimedia content for FOX Sports Arizona, The Arizona Republic and azcentral during the fall semester. Cronkite assistant dean and news director Mark Lodato said students will report on issues impacting Arizona, such as business, tourism, the economy and safety.

“This class offers our students a unique opportunity to cover the most-watched event in the world, and have their work highlighted by commercial media outlets,” said Lodato, who leads Cronkite’s new sports journalism program. “It’s an excellent resume builder that they’re not going to find anywhere else, and will provide Arizonans with important news content.”

Cronkite faculty associates with significant sports reporting experience will teach the class. Greg Boeck, a longtime USA Today sportswriter, covered eight Super Bowls during his 37-year sports writing career. Brett Kurland, an Emmy Award-winning sports television producer, has spent more than 15 years working on shows for almost every major national sports television network, including ESPN, CBS and FOX.

Students will produce several multimedia packages for broadcast and online outlets, similar to Cronkite’s popular spring training reporting class, where students cover Major League Baseball’s Cactus League. They also will create multimedia content for school news outlets, such as Cronkite News Service, an immersive professional program in which students produce stories in newsrooms, and Cronkite NewsWatch, a live, student-produced news broadcast that reaches 1.4 million households.

“This class will give Cronkite students yet another outlet to learn about television production,” said Brian Hogan, FOX Sports Arizona senior vice president and general manager. He said the new class expands the network’s tremendous partnership with the Cronkite School. This includes FOX Sports University, a sports marketing class; “SportsWatch 101,” a sports magazine program; cooperation on the “Suns Live” pre- and post-game shows; and an internship program that has produced many media professionals.

“We look forward to working with Cronkite students to develop innovative ways to cover Super Bowl XLIX and all that goes into executing one of the world’s most-watched events,” said Carrie Watters, The Arizona Republic’s West Valley editor.

The Super Bowl reporting class marks the latest addition to Cronkite’s growing sports journalism program. Launched in October 2013, the new program offers unparalleled opportunities with more than a dozen sport media classes and countless professional experiences. The program also features a Southern California sports bureau where students can receive real-world reporting experience in the nation’s second-largest city.