Cronkite NewsWatch is the award-winning 30-minute newscast of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. In 2008 the Broadcast Education Association recognized Cronkite NewsWatch as the Best News Team in the nation. In 2007 NewsWatch students lead the Cronkite School to first place in the prestigious Hearst Journalism Competition. In August 2006 the Society of Professional Journalists named the student-staffed, faculty-supervised production the top collegiate television newscast in the nation. At the height of the semester Cronkite NewsWatch is produced live three times each week and distributed to hundreds of thousands of Arizona homes via cable.
NewsWatch reporters look beyond campus to cover stories affecting metro Phoenix and all of Arizona. In 2008 Cronkite NewsWatch staff reported live from the Border Governors Conference in Puerto Penasco, Mexico, polygamous leader Warren Jeffs court appearance in Kingman, Arizona and U.S. Rep. Rick Renzis court appearance in Tucson. This year NewsWatch reporters also traveled to cover the Southern California wildfires. In 2007 crews followed Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano to Mexico City to meet with the new President of Mexico. Their interviews and video appeared on several affiliates throughout the state including CBS 5, ABC 15 and Fox 10 in Phoenix. Reporters regularly travel to Flagstaff, Yuma and Nogales to cover stories that impact all Arizonans. Many Cronkite NewsWatch pieces are fed to network affiliates throughout the state via the Cronkite News Service.
To get the job done, the Cronkite School has equipped its students with the latest in news gathering technology. Reporters and photographers shoot on Sony HD digital cameras, edit on Apple Final Cut Pro and write and produce their stories using the Associated Press ENPS newsroom computer system. Students have access to several news sources, including the Associated Press wire service and CNN video feeds via the state-of-the-art Pathfire distribution system. Cronkite NewsWatch also partnered in MSNBCs On Campus segment. More than 15 NewsWatch reporters appeared live on MSNBC to discuss stories they've covered right here in Arizona. As a CNN affiliate, NewsWatch reporters have fed video or reported live from CNN bureaus in Mexico City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
NewsWatch reporters have the opportunity to experience what its like to get an assignment in the morning, go out and cover the story that day, then turn a package or live report for the newscast that evening. This better prepares them for the expectations of the job when they graduate and enter the work force.