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Cronkite News still reporting — just from a distance


Chris Fiscus

At Cronkite News, there are no daily TV broadcasts because of the response to COVID-19, but that didn’t stop students from reporting the news.

On Tuesday, dozens of student journalists reported on stories including Election Day in Arizona, the impact of the novel coronavirus on voter turnout, and bills in the Senate to help ease the impact of the virus. Their work, via Zoom or their phones, was relayed through Cronkite News social media and digital channels that remain fully operational.

Cronkite News’ Jordan Evans also delivered the weather — from home. Watch his segment on Cronkite News. Student Dylan McKim interviewed Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes using Zoom and edited the video for Election Day coverage on “Arizona Horizon” on Arizona PBS. 

“We’re trying as much as we can to mimic what we normally do in Cronkite News and adjust to this new world,” said Cronkite News Executive Editor Christina Leonard.

Reporters and editors huddled, and editorial meetings outlined the day’s stories being reported — all via Zoom. Additional training helped prepare students for the new online-only approach. Sessions covered how to do a TV standup with an iPhone and a selfie stick, best practices for shooting video or doing standups on a smartphone, how to conduct effective interviews via Zoom and more.

Students this week are still covering Washington, D.C., and closer to home are working on pieces for “Arizona Horizon” on Arizona PBS.

Nearby in Room 450 at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, deans and IT staff monitored dozens of classes that had moved online, watching as professors and students discussed everything from TV news reporting to best practices for photographing football games.

RELATED: Associate Dean Mark Lodato's Twitter account highlights Cronkite work during COVID-19