Look out, local media, there's a new player town.
Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication this week unveiled its newest addition to the school's award-winning arsenal of programs devoted to local news coverage.
The Web site Cronkite News was launched Tuesday. It combines two of the school's print and broadcast programs into a one-stop media outlet covering the state.
While we rarely push New Times readers in the direction of our competitors (unless it's to point out how they screwed up something), it's worth checking out.
"This is an unprecedented endeavor," says Christopher Callahan, dean of the school. "Cronkite News will be the deepest and richest university-generated journalism content produced on a daily basis for a statewide audience anywhere."
Cronkite News combines Cronkite News Service and Cronkite Newswatch -- the school's competitive "real world" journalism programs -- as well as "special reports by journalists in the national Carnegie-Knight News21 program, which is based at the Cronkite School; AZ Fact Check, a partnership of Cronkite, the Arizona Republic, azcentral.com and 12 News; and the Southwest Borderlands Initiative, which looks in depth at transnational issues affecting those on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border."
Previously, Cronkite News Service was exclusively a wire service with content generated by students and distributed -- for free -- to Arizona news outlets.
It's a good program -- while providing struggling newspapers with free content, CNS gets students' stories published in newspapers and Web sites across the state, giving them a chance to build their portfolios and gain real world experience.
Steve Elliott, director of the program, says that won't change. CNS, Elliott says, will continue to be a wire service but now its content can also be found on the program's own Web site.
Check out the new site here.