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'Washington Week' moderator, Travel Channel president headline Cronkite speaker series

January 14, 2013

The moderator of PBS’s “Washington Week,” the president of the Travel Channel, a documentary filmmaker and a bureau chief for Dow Jones Newswires are among those headlining a speaker series this spring at Arizona State University.

The events are part of the “Must See Mondays” series, which brings prominent media and communication professionals to ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The series kicks off tonight with FOX 10 anchor John Hook speaking about interviewing President Obama.

Following Hook are speakers including Gwen Ifill, moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week”; Laureen Ong, president of the Travel Channel; Peter Byck, director and producer of the documentary “Carbon Nation”; Angel Gonzalez, Houston bureau chief for Dow Jones Newswires; Discovery Studios producer and Cronkite alumnus Rob Hammersley; and Poynter Institute faculty member Sara Quinn. They will speak on topics ranging from digital media and community journalism to travel writing and political reporting.

The talks, which are free and open to the public, take place from 7 to 8 p.m. each Monday of the semester in the school’s First Amendment Forum on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus. Attendees can blog about the events and share insights on the school’s blog, Cronkite Conversations, at Videos of past speakers can be viewed online at

The Cronkite School also hosts “Cronkite Night at the Movies,” a journalism-themed film series, at 7 p.m., Wednesdays, in the First Amendment Forum. Cronkite faculty and staff introduce the movies and then lead discussions after the showings.

In addition, on Jan. 17, the Cronkite School and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will host “Thinking Past the Present,” a national event at which the 2013 Knight News Challenge mobile winners will be announced. There were more than 2,500 entries for the mobile news challenge, part of the Knight Foundation’s program to encourage breakthrough ideas in news and information. Winners will receive a share of $5 million in funding and support from the Knight network.

Spring 2013 “Must See Mondays” Schedule:

Jan. 14, “Interviewing the President”
John Hook, anchor, FOX 10, KSAZ-TV, Phoenix

Jan. 22 (special Tuesday presentation), “The Making of a Documentary”
Peter Byck, director and producer, “Carbon Nation”

Jan. 28, “The Future of What It Means to Be Human – and The Prevail Project”
Joel Garreau, Lincoln Professor of Law, Culture and Values, ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and director, The Prevail Project

Feb. 4, “Journalism and the American Underclass”
Leon Dash, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and University of Illinois professor

Feb. 11, “Adventures in Community Journalism”
Mark Zusman, editor, Willamette Week

Feb. 18, “Evolution of Cause Marketing”
Scott Pansky, co-founder and senior partner, Allison+Partners

Feb. 25, “Becoming a Global Journalist”
Angel Gonzalez, Houston bureau chief, Dow Jones Newswires

March 4, “Covering the Olympics”
Featuring a panel of Cronkite student reporters

March 18, “Real-life TV”
Rob Hammersley, producer, Discovery Studios

March 25, “Visual Storytelling”
Sara Quinn, faculty member, The Poynter Institute

April 1, “Diversity and Inclusion in the News”
Gwen Ifill, managing editor and moderator, “Washington Week”
This presentation is part of ASU’s Diversity Scholar Series.

April 8, “Bricks & Bytes: Political Activism in the Social Media Age”
Merlyna Lim, Distinguished Scholar of Technology and Public Engagement and director, Participatory Media Lab, Arizona State University

April 15, “Build It, Fix It, Reimagine It – Your Business and Your Career”
Laureen Ong, president, Travel Channel

April 22, “Canada and Puerto Rico: Reporting Abroad”
Featuring a panel of Cronkite depth reporting students

Spring 2013 “Cronkite Night at the Movies” Schedule:

Jan. 16, “Cronkite:  Legend and Legacy”
Hosted by Melanie Alvarez, executive producer of Cronkite NewsWatch, and Jim Jacoby, Cronkite NewsWatch television production manager

Jan. 30, “Almost Famous”
Hosted by Andrew Leckey, Reynolds Endowed Chair in Business Journalism

Feb. 20, “Nothing But the Truth”
Hosted by Sue Green, assistant news director and broadcast director, Cronkite News Service

March 20, “The Newsroom”
Hosted by Marianne Barrett, senior associate dean and Solheim Professor

April 24, Student Showcase
Hosted by Mark Lodato, assistant dean and news director

For a full schedule of events, visit Cronkite Events at