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Cronkite School podcast is No. 1 on iTunesU

April 28, 2011

A new podcast series produced by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is the most popular selection of Apple’s iTunesU.

The series, “Journalism in the Digital Age,” contains episodes of an ongoing Cronkite speaker series in which journalism leaders discuss critical issues facing the news media. The podcast series garnered more than 44,000 plays and nearly 20,000 downloads during the week of April 10-16 alone.

The most popular episode was “Investigative Journalism in a Nonprofit Newsroom,” in which Paul Steiger, editor-in-chief, CEO and president of ProPublica, the national investigative reporting nonprofit, was interviewed by Leonard Downie Jr., Weil Family Professor of Journalism at the Cronkite School and former executive editor of The Washington Post, for the Must See Mondays speaker series in the school’s First Amendment Forum. Apple reported that 29,284 people played the podcast during the week of April 10-16 and 11,716 downloaded it – the most of any iTunesU offerings.

The podcast series is one of many ways by which the Cronkite School distributes content in new media formats. Videos of the speaker series are available on the Cronkite School’s website. The school also maintains popular Twitter and Facebook accounts. And Cronkite News Online, an outlet for the reporting done by the school’s professional immersion programs, has its own mobile phone app in development.

“We teach our students to think about new media distribution models, so it’s only fitting that the school models the same innovation,” said Liz Smith, outreach director for the Cronkite School. “The Must See Mondays speakers are national experts in their area of journalism, chosen to speak because they have valuable insights to offer on important issues in the fast-changing field of journalism. The podcast is one way that the Cronkite School is making these ideas available to an even larger audience who can benefit from these experts’ knowledge using the power of social media and the Internet.”

This week’s podcast features citizen media expert Dan Gillmor, director of the school’s Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship, speaking about his new book, “Mediactive,” and the unique ways through which he has chosen to make it available to a digital-age audience.

Previous podcasts include talks by Susan Lisovicz, former CNN Wall Street reporter and Reynolds Visiting Professor in Business Journalism, on covering the financial industry during the boom, bubble and collapse; Marcia Parker, West Coast editorial director at AOL/Patch Media, on how covers communities across the nation; and

David Boardman, executive editor and senior vice president of The Seattle Times and, talks about the role of investigative and public-service journalism in today’s media.

Listeners can play, download and subscribe to the podcast. Those who subscribe will receive updates each time new episodes become available. To subscribe, go to