Corporation for Public Broadcasting awards grant for regional journalism collaboration in sustainability

September 13, 2017

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has awarded five public media stations, led by Arizona PBS, a grant to establish a regional news collaboration to enhance and expand coverage of sustainability issues.

Arizona PBS, a member-supported community service of Arizona State University based at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will serve as the lead station of the Regional Journalism Collaboration for Sustainability. Big globe, small globes Arizona PBS, a member-supported community service of ASU, received a Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant to establish a regional news collaboration to enhance and expand coverage of sustainability issues. Download Full Image

The partnership, comprised of public television and radio stations in key western cities, will produce multimedia reports on four important sustainability issues: water, renewable energy, climate change and urbanization. Joining Arizona PBS in the reporting partnership are PBS SoCal and KPCC Southern California Public Radio in Los Angeles, KJZZ radio in Phoenix and Denver’s Rocky Mountain PBS, which includes five TV stations and KUVO radio.

“Collaboration is a force multiplier; together stations can do more and innovate faster to provide the local journalism that is part of the bedrock of public media’s valued service to our country,” said Kathy Merritt, CPB senior vice president, journalism and radio. “We’ve seen the importance of our investments in collaboration when, for example, stations in the Texas Station Collaborative were better prepared to serve their communities throughout the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.”

The RJC for Sustainability will be a single news entity comprised of 20 journalism professionals. This includes the hiring of a full-time executive editor who will lead the RJC (Regional Journalism Collaboration) from Arizona PBS. Each of the stations also will provide one journalist dedicated to sustainability coverage.

“This generous grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will enable us to cover some of the most critical challenges of our time,” said Arizona PBS CEO and Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. “Sustainability matters to everyone, and the Regional Journalism Collaboration for Sustainability can spur civic engagement on issues of political, economic, cultural and social importance.”

The RJC for Sustainability will produce broadcast and digital news content that helps the public better understand the complexities of water, energy, climate and urbanization issues. “As these issues become hot topics for debate, serious journalism is required to keep the public aware and informed,” Callahan said.

The content will be shareable across the five partner stations and will be available to national public media programs, including NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered,” “Marketplace” and “PBS NewsHour.” The initiative also will experiment with new forms of digital video to provide better coverage of sustainability issues.

The RJC for Sustainability includes an oversight committee, charged with setting the strategic vision for the collaborative. Joining Callahan are KPCC President and CEO Bill Davis, KJZZ Vice President Jim Paluzzi, PBS SoCal President and CEO Andrew Russell and Laura Frank, president and general manager of news at Rocky Mountain PBS.

Since 2009, CPB has invested more than $32 million to help launch 29 local and regional news collaborations, creating 127 newsroom positions supporting the collaborations. This included the funding of Local Journalism Collaborations, multimedia centers that cover particular issues such as energy. CPB-funded LJCs include EarthFix based in the Northwest and Fronteras in the Southwest.

Regional Journalism Collaborations were established by the CPB to increase high-quality original and enterprise journalism through reporting partnerships between multiple station newsrooms in a state or region. The RJC for Sustainability received a 27-month CPB startup grant of $691,854.

As the lead RJC station, Arizona PBS has great access to expertise on sustainability issues. ASU is home to the nation’s first school of sustainability, which offers transdisciplinary degrees and research on real-world solutions to environmental, economic and social challenges. ASU also is the home of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, the hub of university’s local and global sustainability initiatives.

Communications manager, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication


ASU global studies student presents work at APSA conference

September 13, 2017

Mia Armstrong is a senior at ASU majoring in global studies and journalism. With the assistance of the Global Studies Travel Grant offered by the School of Politics and Global Studies, Armstrong was able to attend the annual American Political Science Association (APSA) meeting.

Armstrong co-presented a paper on the U.S. military’s handling of sexual assault cases. They analyzed military disposition of cases dispositions using data from U.S. military bases in Japan. Download Full Image

As part of the Junior Fellows program, Armstrong has been working with political science Professor Carolyn Warner for nearly two years on this project.

“I've been able to learn a lot from Dr. Warner,” Armstrong said. “Not only on the subjects that we've researched, but also on the process of doing research — how you gather data, conduct interviews, write articles for journals and attend academic conferences.”

Once she returned from the conference in San Francisco, Armstrong shared some of her experiences:

Question: What were some of your takeaways from completing this research?

Answer: The military justice system is an incredibly complex system. Because I'm interested in a career in law, it has been really interesting to dive into the complexities of a legal system independent from the civilian system most of us are familiar with. Additionally, this research sparked the idea for my honors thesis, which I'm conducting on media coverage of military sexually assault, a topic which blends my two majors (global studies and journalism).

Q: What was it like presenting your work?

A: It was incredibly difficult for us to condense what we had been researching for two years into a ten minute presentation! Beyond that though, it was unbelievably rewarding to be able to share our research and to get feedback from other researchers from around the country and the world. Moreover, attending the conference gave me lots of ideas of the different paths I can potentially take after finishing my undergraduate degrees.

Q: What advice would you give someone who was looking to have a similar experience?

A: Don't be intimidated! Conferences like the APSA can be overwhelming, especially as an undergraduate. But the truth is that everyone there is there because they want to learn and share — as long as you want to learn and share as well, you'll have a great experience!

For those who are interested in gaining research experience, approach your professors! My involvement in this project started with me sending a cold email to Dr. Warner during the fall of my freshman year because I read about her research on the SPGS (School of Politics and Global Studies) website and was really interested in it. SPGS professors are doing amazing work; don't be afraid to ask how you can get involved.”

Matt Oxford

Manager of marketing and communications, School of Politics and Global Studies