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ASU journalism school in downtown Phoenix to serve as election night center

Cartogram of the 2004 U.S. election results (area adjusted for population size).

Starting at 5 p.m. on November 4, 2008, the new home of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in downtown Phoenix will serve as an election night hub, with top analysts providing commentary, students, and community members watching the returns in the First Amendment Forum and advanced students producing three hours of live TV election coverage. “The new Cronkite School building was designed for major public events — and there’s no more important and exciting event than a presidential election,” said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan. “We will have students, faculty, political leaders, and community members all together sharing in this historic night.”

Leading political and media analysts from Arizona State University will be available to provide expert commentary to local, national and international media covering the elections. The experts who will be available for interviews throughout the night include:

  • Craig Allen, associate professor of journalism. Expertise: Campaign ads; historical trends in presidential elections.
  • Aaron Brown, former CNN news anchor and the Walter Cronkite Professor of Journalism. Expertise: Presidential elections; media coverage.
  • Robert B. Denhardt, Director of the School of Public Affairs and Lincoln Professor of Leadership and Ethics. Expertise: Leadership and presidential politics.
  • Steve Elliott, former Associated Press Phoenix bureau chief and director of Cronkite News Service. Expertise: State and local races; state referendum issues.
  • Andrew Leckey, director of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism. Expertise: Impact of economy on campaigns and elections.
  • Kelly McDonald, assistant professor in School of Letters and Sciences. Expertise: Presidential debates; national politics.
  • Bruce Merrill, director of the Cronkite-Eight poll and one of the leading experts on Arizona politics. Expertise: National elections; Arizona politics; polling.
  • Rick Rodriguez, Carnegie Professor of Journalism. Expertise: National politics; the Latino vote.

“Having all of these experts in one place will provide easy access for reporters seeking to help put election night results into perspective for readers and viewers,” said Callahan, a former political correspondent for The Associated Press. Meanwhile, Cronkite NewsWatch will provide three hours of live election night coverage. The coverage, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., can be seen on KAET 8.3 (Cox Cable 88), ASU-TV (Cox Cable 116), Tempe 11, and Mesa 11. More than 70 Cronkite students and faculty will be providing live coverage from Republican and Democratic headquarters in Phoenix and the national McCain-Palin headquarters. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]