Facebook A-twitter With Mourning Cronkite Students


The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU

The memory of the late CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite is already leaving a lasting impression on the students whose school bears his name.

Their Facebook pages, too.

For anyone with a "friendlist" comprised of scores of students from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU, it's obvious that the famed broadcaster meant a lot to the students looking to break into the industry he helped create and now the public contest to see who is the saddest begins.

To be honest, we thought their raw copy would look better than this.

Within an hour of the news of Cronkite's passing, Facebook became a digital billboard for grief. And creative expression. Even poetry.

"i will never forget:
When on 1 of his last visits to the ASU school, Mr. Cronkie chose to answer my question.
I toiled for weeks in front of news cameras and admirers from ASU.
I stood up, spoke to you, shook your hand, & told you how much I respected you.
One of the happiest moments of my life," one recent graduate wrote on Facebook today.

(Don't let the English Department see that one.)

"I really thought that sometime during my career at J School I would get to meet the man behind the name: Maybe in another life," another student wrote in a status update, next to an overly dramatic photograph of him (the student, not Cronkite), looking off into the sunset.

Yet another student's status update: "proud to be a journalism student at a school named after Walter Cronkite. A good man, great journalist and the most trusted man in America ... And that's the way it is." (OK, at least the student didn't write in haiku.)

Facebook grief is fine. But if someone starts a support group to "help the mourning students," we're looking at a whole new blog post.

Now that Facebook is doubling as a virtual therapist's office, here's a proposal for a new advertising campaign: Facebook: When you're sad and you want the world to know!


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James King
Contact: James King