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Marty Kaiser, editor and senior vice president of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, said he was looking forward to the innovative collaboration with Cronkite.
"I am tremendously impressed with the work the Cronkite School is doing to teach exceptional young journalists in a time of great transition in journalism," Kaiser said. "The Journal Sentinel is excited about the opportunity to work with these outstanding young journalists."
Seven student reporters were competitively selected based on their resumes, professional portfolios and academic performance.
The students will receive all-access Major League Baseball press credentials and will cover training and games at both the Brewers’ home field, Maryvale Park, seven miles from the Cronkite School, and road games across the Valley. Fifteen MLB teams are now part of the Cactus League spring training in Arizona.
After four weeks of intensive classroom teaching and immersion in research about the team and its players, the students will spend two to three full days each week producing multimedia news and feature stories. The students are giving up their spring break to participate and will receive stipends to cover expenses.
Students will work under the direction of Faculty Associate Greg Boeck, a veteran sports writer with 37 years of experience, 17 of those at USA Today.
“It’s going to be one of the ultimate resume makers,” Boeck said. “They’re doing the real thing every day.”
Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan called the program “a tremendous opportunity for our students to cover big-time sports for a terrific news organization using the latest multimedia reporting techniques.” Callahan added that it was an honor to be partnering with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and working with Kaiser, whom he described as “one of the nation’s best and most innovative newspaper editors.”
Under Kaiser, the Journal Sentinel has won two Pulitzer Prizes in the last three years for investigative local reporting. In 2009, Kaiser was named Editor of the Year by Editor & Publisher magazine. He also is past president of the American Society of News Editors.
The dean said he hopes to be able to expand the program next year to cover other teams for other major news organizations, meeting the demands of both readers hungry for spring training news about their hometown teams and students’ growing interest in sports journalism.
The spring training project with the Journal Sentinel is the latest innovative professional program at the Cronkite School. Others include Cronkite News Service, in which students produce public policy stories for newspapers, TV stations and news websites across Arizona; AZ Fact Check, in which students investigate candidate and campaign claims in partnership with The Arizona Republic and 12 News; the Multimedia Reporting Project, in which students report breaking news for azcentral.com; and News21, which produces in-depth multimedia packages most recently featured by The Washington Post and msnbc.com.