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Journalism professor honored at Rocky Mountain Emmys

October 08, 2012

The Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences inducted John Craft, a professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, into its Gold Circle Society.

The Gold Circle Society honors those who have at least 50 years of service to the television industry and have made meaningful and significant contributions to the field, with the majority of service in the Rocky Mountain Southwest. Inductees come from various disciplines within the industry, including broadcast journalism, engineering, editing, production, photography, promotions and sales.

Craft was honored at the NATAS Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards Saturday evening at University of Phoenix Stadium.

“This is a wonderful recognition of the extraordinary impact John Craft has had on the field of broadcasting and hundreds of ASU students over the decades,” said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan. “John's protégés are now industry leaders in the Valley, across the country and around the world.”

Craft has taught broadcast journalism at ASU since 1973, teaching courses in broadcast production, direction, station operations, announcing and documentary production as well as telecommunication management courses. He is curator of the Cronkite Gallery and was Cronkite’s director of graduate studies for more than a dozen years.

He is the lead author of “Electronic Media,” a textbook on American electronic media, and a major contributor to a second textbook on corporate video.

In addition to his teaching and scholarly research, Craft has produced, directed or otherwise contributed to numerous television programs. His award-winning documentary programs on Route 66 have had international distribution and been broadcast on public television stations in nearly 80 of the top television markets in the U.S.

Craft also has served as a media consultant for some of the country’s largest corporations and many public school districts. He established a video services unit for Samaritan Health Services of Arizona (now Banner Health) and went on to develop patient education television systems for several other hospital corporations in the Southwest.

Craft, who holds a PhD in mass communication from Ohio University, began his career at public television station WOUB-TV in Ohio, where he had production credits on many nationally distributed television programs as director of staging and lighting for the station. Prior to coming to the Cronkite School, he taught media courses at Ohio University and the Hancock County branch of West Liberty State College in West Virginia in addition to working in instructional media.   

Craft has been active in service to professional organizations at the local, regional and national levels throughout his career. He served two terms as a national trustee of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and was a member of the board of governors of the Rocky Mountain Southwest chapter of NATAS for nearly 20 years. Craft also was on the board and served as president of the International Television Association. He has been active in the Broadcast Education Association, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the Visual Communication Association.

“I am very honored and humbled to have been inducted into the Gold Circle Society of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences,” Craft said. “I certainly was not thinking 50 years in advance when I applied for my first jobs in television and later education, but my career path has been very rewarding, and I cannot imagine having done anything else. I want to offer my sincere thanks to all of those throughout the years who have made my success possible.”

NATAS is a membership organization dedicated to advancing the art and science of television. It represents television professionals from every discipline in the field. The Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of NATAS, serving Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and El Centro, Calif., was founded in 1959. 

In addition to the Gold Circle Society, NATAS awards Emmys each year to reward excellence in professional broadcasting.