California Latino journalist organization relocates to ASU


August 3, 2012

CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California, the nation’s oldest regional association of journalists of color, is relocating to Arizona State University’s newly opened California offices in Santa Monica in affiliation with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“CCNMA is pleased to have found a new partnership with such a prominent program as the Cronkite School,” said Julio Moran, executive director. “We look forward to developing joint projects that further our mission of developing Latino journalists, diversifying our nation's newsrooms and ensuring that news coverage of Latinos is fair and accurate.” Download Full Image

The announcement of the move comes on the same day that CCNMA is being inducted into the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ Hall of Fame at the UNITY Journalists convention in Las Vegas. The event is the quadrennial gathering of the four national journalism organizations comprising the UNITY coalition – NAHJ, the Asian American Journalists Association, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and the Native American Journalists Association.

“We’re so honored to be able to partner with ASU,” said CCNMA President Yvette Cabrera. “We couldn’t think of a more appropriate partner as we move forward.”

Cabrera said the organization is looking forward to the opportunity to expand its reach to Arizona and the Southwest.

“We’re excited that we’re going beyond (California’s) borders,” she said.

Founded in 1972 in Los Angeles as the California Chicano News Media Association, CCNMA provides educational and financial assistance to journalism students, offers development opportunities to media professionals, helps media outlets increase the diversity of their newsrooms and ensures accurate and fair news coverage of communities of color.

CCNMA has awarded more than $800,000 in scholarships to more than 800 Latino students pursuing careers in journalism since 1976. The association also operates professional development workshops and seminars, an awards program and the West Coast’s largest annual job fair for journalists of color. CCNMA, which had been located at the University of Southern California, has 300 members and chapters in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and Bakersfield/Fresno.

The Cronkite School, named in honor of the longtime CBS News anchor in 1984, prepares the next generation of journalists in both the time-honored fundamentals embraced by Cronkite and the multimedia skills necessary to thrive as journalists in the digital age. The school recently received ASU’s inaugural College Award for Contributions to Institutional Inclusion in recognition of its efforts to advance diversity and inclusion at the institutional level.

Cronkite programs include Cronkite NewsWatch, a nightly newscast on Arizona PBS; the regional multimedia news provider Cronkite News Service; the New Media Innovation Lab; a Spanish-language newscast in partnership with Univision in Phoenix and a borderlands in-depth reporting program led by former Sacramento Bee Executive Editor Rick Rodriguez. The school also works closely with the Arizona Latino Media Association on a variety of high school and professional initiatives and operates the Cronkite High School Journalism Institute led by former ALMA President Anita Luera.

“We’re delighted to enter into this partnership with CCNMA, which has been one of our field’s great leaders in efforts to diversify our nation’s newsrooms and its news products,” said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan. “We’re looking forward to working with Julio Moran and the CCNMA board on new projects and initiatives to continue to grow that outstanding work.”

Reporter , ASU Now

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Explore Gale Crater in your browser


August 6, 2012

A large mosaic of THEMIS images showing Gale Crater, the landing site for Curiosity, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover, is now available for would-be Martians to explore using their web browsers.

Gale Crater is 154 kilometers (96 miles) wide and it contains a 5-km (3-mi) high mound of layered sediments, which is a primary target for Curiosity. The mound is dubbed Mt. Sharp by scientists, who estimate the crater formed by a massive impact 3.5 to 4 billion years ago. Gale Crater image mosaic Download Full Image

THEMIS is the Thermal Emission Imaging System, a multiband visible and infrared camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter.

The mosaic, a product of the Mars Space Flight Facility in ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration, is at: http://jmars.mars.asu.edu/maps/gale/gale.html. This page also includes a link to download a .PNG copy of the whole image. (Caution – with a file size of 325 MB, downloads will be slow.)

The Gale Crater mosaic is woven together from 205 individual images, the vast majority of them THEMIS visual-wavelength images. (A few small holes were filled temporarily with images from the Context Camera (CTX) on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.) Such THEMIS images reveal details as small as 60 feet (18 meters) in size.

Because all the mosaic's images were taken before Curiosity landed, the rover is naturally not in the scene. In addition, although Curiosity is the largest payload ever sent to the Martian surface, the 10-foot-long rover is too small to be seen by THEMIS.

"The THEMIS images were taken throughout the whole mission," says Jonathon Hill, the Mars researcher at ASU who assembled the mosaic. "A lot of them were taken recently, after we started specifically targeting Gale when it became one of the possible landing sites. But other images go back nearly to the beginning of the mission in 2002."

In all, he says, it took about two and a half weeks to put it all together. "The thing that made it take so long was that when you blow the image up that big, or when you zoom in that much, any misalignment of the images becomes very obvious." In the end, he had to align and custom fit most of the frames manually.

While the mosaic is fun to explore, it also has a scientific use. As Hill explains, "The reason we decided to assemble such a large, comprehensive mosaic of Gale Crater was to give ourselves a better sense of the context around the landing site. This will help us to better understand what Curiosity sees and measures as it roves the surface."

Robert Burnham

Science writer, School of Earth and Space Exploration

480-458-8207