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Cronkite News podcast wins Murrow Award

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Cronkite News has won a Student Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Audio Newscast for its Cronkite News 2Go podcast.

The winning podcast episode, which aired nine months ago, covered a range of pressing stories including a story about U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, a Republican from Prescott, who shared an altered video of him striking U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with a sword. The episode also included a story about state dollars being used for transitional housing, and an update on the COVID-19 surge.

Cronkite graduate student Emma VandenEinde hosted and co-produced the episode with student Michael Baribault. Graduate student Kamilah Williams also contributed to the podcast.

Cronkite News 2Go launched in spring 2019 as a daily flash briefing for Google and Amazon devices before evolving into a full-fledged audio newscast, said Sadie Babits, a professor of practice who leads audio and sustainability reporting for Cronkite News in Phoenix. 

“It morphed into something we’ve offered students ever since,” Babits said. “The field of audio and podcasting is growing rapidly. It’s an innovative space and we need to prepare our students to be in that space.”

The whole idea for CN2Go was to give students an opportunity to produce content on a daily schedule, learn audio production skills and how to tell a story through a podcast. Babits credited former student Jonah Hrkal with helping to launch and grow the podcast into what it is today. The podcast is now broadcast on KAWC, the public radio station in Yuma. It also airs on Amazon and Google devices and can be listened to on major podcasting platforms including Spotify and Apple. 

“We’re giving students a daily experience to decide what are the top stories of the day and how best to cover those stories,” Babits said. “I’m so proud of what our Cronkite audio students are doing. Cn2Go is a student-produced show and they’re producing at a high level.”

Established in 2015 by the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Student Murrow Awards celebrate excellence in student journalism at the collegiate and high school levels. The Student Murrows are awarded to an individual or a team of students in eight categories — audio newscast, audio hard news, audio feature reporting, podcasts, video newscast, video hard news, video feature reporting and digital reporting.

“I am extremely proud of this honor that our students have earned, and thank Professor Babits for her hard work and dedication in guiding Cronkite News 2Go,” said Dr. Battinto L. Batts Jr., dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “This is another example of how our experiential learning approach is preparing students for successful careers while serving the news and information needs of our society.”

The RTDNA has been honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast and digital journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. Among the most prestigious in news, the Murrow Awards recognize local and national news stories that uphold the RTDNA Code of Ethics, demonstrate technical expertise and exemplify the importance and impact of journalism as a service to the community. 

About the Cronkite School
The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier professional journalism programs and has received international acclaim for its innovative use of the “teaching hospital” model. Rooted in the time-honored values that characterize its namesake — accuracy, responsibility, objectivity, integrity — the school fosters journalistic excellence and ethics in both the classroom and in its 13 professional programs that fully immerse students in the practice of journalism and related fields. Arizona PBS, one of the nation’s largest public television stations, is part of Cronkite, making it the largest media outlet operated by a journalism school in the world. Learn more  at cronkite.asu.edu.