Arizona State University

A journalism curriculum is best taught in the studio and in the field, with students getting hands-on experience. That’s how the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is carrying out its mission of preparing students for careers in the broadcast and digital media industries.
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Arizona State University

A journalism curriculum is best taught in the studio and in the field, with students getting hands-on experience. That’s how the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is carrying out its mission of preparing students for careers in the broadcast and digital media industries. The school recently moved into a new six-story, 223,000sq-ft, state-of-the-art complex in downtown Phoenix, where students have access to a range of HD technologies from Sony Electronics, helping them learn from the classrooms to the field.

“Everything we’ve done here has been for the purpose of giving our students the tools they need to learn their craft and future profession and to tell much better stories — whether they are reporting news, covering events or working with new media,” said Chris Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School. “We’re excited about the potential this technology has to create new types of learning possibilities. ”

The school’s new home includes digital newsrooms, new media laboratories, computer labs, TV studios and control rooms, and dozens of digital editing bays. When the school started the TV program, it was a completely analog facility. The new downtown facility is completely HD.

The Cronkite School has two broadcast control rooms, one for daily news operations and another — called the Sony Television Studio — mainly used to train freshman and sophomores. The equipment in these rooms includes Sony HDC-1400 studio cameras, an MVS-8000G production switcher and the ability to control HDCX-310 robotic cameras in other parts of the building.

The students are also getting plenty of hands-on experiences with the company’s XDCAM EX series compact memory camcorders, going into the field daily to gather content that is used for a variety of video projects, including “ASU NewsWatch,” a live 30-minute newscast produced by the students four times a week. In addition, the school houses 40 PMW-EX1 camcorders. Students learn on the same state-of-the-art equipment that is used in the professional newsrooms and studios that they will soon be entering.

The Cronkite School also shares spaces with KAET-TV, the public TV station in the Phoenix metro area, giving students yet another opportunity to operate in a live news environment. The newscast is not solely ASU-specific. It covers ASU news, but it is also an Arizona newscast. Students cover stories at the state capital that some towns wouldn’t necessarily send a crew to cover.

In addition to the EX cameras’ flexibility and speed, students are also benefiting from features such as professional XLR microphone inputs and level control, manual focus, manual iris and white balance filers, as well as its picture composition and lighting capabilities. “They’re learning the technology that any ENG shooter would be using today and getting a full experience,” said Jim Dove, chief broadcast engineer for the school.

“We need to have the most up-to-date equipment and the relationship we’ve built with Sony is enormously important as we continue preparing students into the next century,” Callahan said.

  • New studio technology – HD
    Submitted by Sony ElectronicsDesign teamBFA: John Brooks, broadcast consultant
    Ehrlich Architects, and HDR
    Kearney Electric

    MCH: Randy Willis, A/V consultant
    Sundt Construction
    Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication:
    Jim Dove, chief eng.Technology at workSony Electronics: HDC-1400 studio cameras, HDCX-310 robotic cameras, MVS-8000G production switcher, PMW-EX1 camcorders, XDCAM EX series compact memory camcorders

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