Arizona newspapers and television stations could be getting some of their news next year from students at the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
While the state’s news media rely primarily on their own staffs for local coverage, many subscribe to wire services, such as Knight Ridder and The Associated Press, for coverage of national and international issues.
The dean of the Cronkite School, Christopher Callahan, hopes the state media will add another wire service to their list of news sources next year: The school’s state capital news bureau.
Callahan said he is working with a search committee to find leaders for the bureau, where students will get handson experience reporting on state issues, court cases, interviewing government officials and examining and requesting public records.
The students will write stories for publication and record footage and interviews for broadcast.
The Cronkite School recently launched a nationwide search for a news print director and a broadcast news director for the bureau, which ultimately will be based at the school’s future home in the downtown Phoenix campus.
The directors must be bilingual in English and Spanish.
The two news directors would connect with Arizona editors and broadcast producers to support the program, which would be similar to a Washington, D.C., student news bureau that Callahan ran for the University of Maryland — his previous employer.
Several media outlets in Maryland and Washington supported that program, paying about $200 yearly. No fee has been set yet for the ASU service.
Students in the Cronkite School program will have to prove themselves ready for the bureau by finishing basic and intermediate writing and reporting courses, Callahan said.
Each student will work two days or more per week in the bureau.
Faculty members directing the bureau will edit and check copy for accuracy, fairness and content. They’ll also work closely with news editors and producers who subscribe to the service, Callahan said.
The news “has to be extremely high quality,” he said. Stories will reflect “the quality of the student but also the quality of the Cronkite School. It’s our reputation.”
The Cronkite School Capital News Bureau will:
• Give aspiring journalists experience investigating and developing stories.
• Provide stories to print and television-radio news media around the state by January 2007.
• Involve up to 35 studentreporters per semester.
• Cover state government, courts and other news.