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June 2, 2011

Host: Ted Simons

Cronkite News Service Washington, D.C. Bureau

  |   Video
  • This week, the Cronkite News Service launched a bureau in Washington, D.C. giving ASU journalism students an opportunity to cover news and politics in the Nation’s capital. Find out more about it from Chris Callahan, the Dean of ASU’s Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
  • Chris Callahan - Dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Category: Education   |   Keywords: ASU, education, Washington D.C., ,

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Ted Simons: ASU's Cronkite news service just launched a Washington news bureau, which means that Arizona State University journalism students are now covering news and politics right there in the nation's capitol. Earlier today, I talked about the new bureau with Chris Callahan, dean of the Cronkite school of journalism and mass communication. Thanks for joining us tonight on "Horizon."

Chris Callahan: Thanks.

Ted Simons: This is a news bureau in D.C., talking wire service only for now?

Chris Callahan: No, all platforms. It will be print, it will be television and multimedia.

Ted Simons: How did this come about?

Chris Callahan” Well, Washington is the news capital of the world and we want our students to have the best experience possible and president Crow was very excited about this idea we pitched about having a Cronkite news service bureau in the nation's capitol.

Ted Simons: Will there be a full staff. Will teachers be there. How many students?

Chris Callahan: We started this week and I was there yesterday and we have -- starting off with half a dozen students. It will grow a little bit and we have a full time editor and yesterday we had Len Downy, the former editor of the "Washington post" there talking about how to cover Washington.

Ted Simons: As far as one professor running the whole show.

Chris Callahan: That's right, full time, and that is Steve Crane, that's his sole responsibility is that news bureau with those full-time students.

Ted Simons: What does he bring to the table?

Chris Callahan: One of the best editors I've known. I had the pleasure of working with him at the University of Maryland, where we ran a similar program, public affairs reporting program. He has a deep professional background and is terrific with young journalists. He’s a perfect match.

Ted Simons: So, he's the editor here, he kinda gets to decide what’s going on and gets to lay the foundation. What news stories will these students be sent on in Washington. Obviously, there's got to be an Arizona connection somewhere.

Chris Callahan: All about Arizona. One of the things we want to provide to news stations and websites is what's going on in Washington from an Arizona perspective. And regional reporting in Washington has diminished dramatically, especially over the last three, four, five years. We want to provide that kind of news to these different news outlets across Arizona.

Ted Simons: With the idea that this presence has diminished over the years, are the news outlets open to taking this material? Sometimes you get proprietary here.

Chris Callahan: Absolutely, and as you know, we've had Cronkite news service operating for five years covering statehouse news here in Phoenix for news organizations all around the state. The Washington bureau will be fed out through the same distribution system and we think if anything those stories will be even more popular.

Ted Simons: How do you pick the students? Is it graduate or upper level statutes or freshmen or sophomores?

Chris Callahan: This is for the best of the advanced students who then apply for the students. So it's the best of the best.

Ted Simons: They'll have to apply? It’s almost like getting a job?

Chris Callahan: Yes, absolutely.

Ted Simons: Is it staffed all year, because I know, you know, universities have certain cycles. What happens in the dead of summer?

Chris Callahan: We'll did a full fall semester and spring and then the summer. During the breaks in between, we won't have staffing but most of the year we will.

Ted Simons: This is an odd question, I guess. But I think of myself as a university student and having the opportunity to go to Washington and cover events in the nation's capitol. How do you keep a student journalist from getting overwhelmed?

Chris Callahan: That’s what Steve is there fore, cause it can be overwhelming. I was a young reporter in Washington and it was a little daunting but to have a high level professional editor there to show them the ropes, really break down Washington in more -- in more bite-sized pieces, if you will, and not covering the big national stories. We're covering the Arizona story. What's going on on the Hill that specifically affects the valley and all parts of Arizona. Same with the federal regulatory agencies and Supreme Court.

Ted Simons: ASU, it's a big move for the journalism department. Are there other universities around the country that have this – type of a bureau in Washington?

Chris Callahan: University of the Maryland, where I came from, and northwestern university, the Medill school and we're the third full-time journalism school there.

Ted Simons: When the kids graduate or move on, what do you want it hear from them, what do you want to hear that they experienced -- what do you think they should get from this?

Chris Callahan: Just an outstanding journalism experience and we don't expect them to go back it Washington as soon as they graduate. Washington is a place you return to over a number of years. But we think the experience they'll have, covering the nation’s capital, they can apply to city hall, to statehouses all around the country and that’s really our goal.

Ted Simons: And we’ve talked about this before, the Cronkite School, everything here is topnotch. Everything is state-of-the-art and these kids get a wonderful education with the best of the best, but a lot of graduate and wind up in Dubuque or Yuma or smaller markets where the equipment isn't the same. These kids are going to be in Washington D.C. Around the powerful of the powerful. You have to watch out for a letdown when you go back to Butte Montana, or something.

Chris Callahan: It's a heady experience but part of our job is to let them know it's all about the journalism and if you’re a great journalist and practicing at the highest level, it shouldn't matter where you are and the equipment, while it can be helpful, it's not the technology, it's about your journalism skills. And you should be able to apply those skills no matter where you are.

Ted Simons: And those skills change, it's a moving target with social media and electronic gadgetry going on right now. it has to be something that's difficult to keep an eye on, get a handle on.

Chris Callahan: Yes, and we try to keep ahead of the curve, it's very difficult. The advantage we have is the students because they are -- they're digital natives and understanding of the stuff better than we do in. So, in teaching the journalism, they pick up on the technology quite quickly.

Ted Simons: Up and operational as we speak?

Chris Callahan: As of this week.

Regional Economic Development

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  • Is the key to the Valley’s economic success hidden somewhere in the region’s DNA? It’s a question business, political and community leaders will explore during a “Conversation on Economic Vitality using PHX DNA.” Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord and Steve Betts, the former CEO of SunCor Development discuss the event that takes place June 3rd in Chandler.
  • Georgia Lord - Goodyear Mayor
  • Steve Betts - former CEO of SunCor Development
Keywords: enviornment,

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Ted Simons: Is the key to the Valley’s regional economic success hidden somewhere in the region’s DNA? Business, government and community leaders will explore that question tomorrow at a forum in Chandler. Tonight, in Horizon’s continuing look at economic development, we hear more about regional DNA and how it applies to economic growth. Joining us is Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord and Steve Betts, the former CEO of SunCor Development Company and current Chairman of the Board for the Urban Land Institute’s Arizona Chapter. Thank you good to have you both here. Thank you very much. Alright Mayor, regional DNA in order to find the keys to economic vitality. What are we talking about here?

Georgia Lord: Well, we're talking about cities coming together in collaboration. We're talking about a great interest in the state as a whole. We've gone through very difficult times and I don't think that we need to be on an island any longer. I think we need to be working together to bring back Arizona, to what we know Arizona can be.

Ted Simons: And bringing back Arizona by looking at -- by looking at the DNA, what are you exactly looking at?

Steve Betts: Several years ago we hired an consultant, an international consultant to do a lot of research. Focus group, surveys and one on one interviews with grass tops and grassroots leaders throughout the valley to look at the authentic story of the valley. What can we be telling people nationally, internationally, about the valley that's real? And the research showed that we may be the last true MERITOCRACY in the world where somebody can come here and roll up their shirt sleeves and make something here of themselves that they can't in another city because of a glass ceiling, because of the good ol’ boy network. We call it the opportunity oasis, and that opportunity oasis storyline is something that ought to resonate with a young bioscientist, with a young entrepreneur from another part of the country, the world.

Ted Simons: We talked about this earlier before we started the program, we've had this idea of reinventing yourself. Come to Arizona reinvent yourself. Got a problem in North Carolina, come out to Arizona -- that's a story that's been around for a while. It's been there. Why aren't we any better off than we are?

Georgia Lord: Maybe we need to have more nurturing of the creative class. Maybe we need to help and assist to help these young entrepreneurs develop. And to retain them in Arizona as they -- as they develop whatever widget they want to. I look at Skysong, how that runs and I look in Chandler, Chandler has that sort of same setup where we bring people who have -- young people who have the opportunity to create, to bring something new to Arizona. We're so dependent on one form in Arizona, that's housing -- is that correct -- housing, what we live on? And really we need to diversify and get away from that.

Ted Simons: We’ve heard about diversifying and we know what happened during the last downturn, are we ready to diversify? Once the river starts rising again, the boat will be awfully attractive.

Steve Betts: I think this time we are. We've been through a couple of other recessionary periods and they’ve been a couple of blips. I like to think of a recession that's fallen in a rabbit hole. We’ve hit the bottom. This has been a very deep rabbit hole and as we come out, I think the business community and leadership in the community, we've gotten serious about how we come out of the recessionary period. We’re now talking about HEAT, as the business clusters. H is healthcare. We've always had great healthcare systems and we're growing them, starting to become the new Rochester of the country where people come here for healthcare delivery around the world. The E is green energy jobs. We are creating solar renewable energy jobs right and left today. A is aerospace and defense. We’ve always had those great A & D jobs, we need to grow those jobs. And T is technology both biotech and hard tech jobs. If we can grow those four market sectors as we come out of this recessionary period then I think the development industry, I was part of that development industry, the development industry then, can be a service industry to the primary industries. We build the buildings and houses needed for those primary industries.
Ted Simons: When you were with SunCor, and someone said I’d like you to be a service industry, how do you think that would have gone?

Steve Betts: I think that would have been fine, as long as we are still making money, we’re still part of the industry group, but when we are building the office, industrial buildings and houses that are needed for a vibrant economy, that would be fine.

Ted Simons: You mentioned collaboration was important. So you’re holding hands, all the cities are holding hands, but that’s awfully attractive out there.

Georgia Lord: There's a thing called the halo effect and I'll give you a example. This is just really within our city. But you talked about renewable energy. We've acquired sun tech, a solar company in our city. It's been a great attribute to the west valley. From that, it's attracted other related solar industries. Surprise has -- is getting in on that. We have a really great story to tell about a local company called Arizona Galvanizing who has been in our city for a long time and been successful but never expanded and because of Sun Tech's developing and coming to Goodyear, they are helping to build a part needed for Sun Tech, so they're growing. We get -- the mayors get together and talk about things like this. Maybe we can share -- we share our fire department with Litchfield Park now rather than them having to build a fire house. There may be other cities that will be doing it. So that's the start of the collaboration. And they know if -- if the children's hospital is going to be built in the west valley. That's going to affect Goodyear even though it's not built in Goodyear because people will look at housing around the area and shop in the different shops, so that's part of really strong collaboration.

Ted Simons: Does that all make sense?

Steve Betts: It does absolutely make sense and I think as a community, we need to think about diversification strategy. We can no longer rely on being a construction and tourism industry-dominated economy where jobs are $25,000, $30,000 base industry jobs. We need to focus on jobs that are $50,000, $75,000. When you looked at Intel's announcement on the new fab plant and first solar announced their new plant and the job levels they were creating, they were up at the higher job categories, those are the jobs we need to produce. Where people aren't going on AHCCCS and the healthcare rolls.

Georgia Lord: Well, along with that, many of the programs were coming through like Senate Bill 1403, the solar bill which we all worked on, our citizens in the community worked on it. We wanted it. It has claw backs and it has healthcare and those things that benefit the state and the local community. So it's not just give-away programs. They're incentives, yes. Incentivized to bring the companies here, but it benefits the entire area.

Ted Simons: So this report, who is behind it and who is it designed to show information to?

Steve Betts: Thank you. It was originally kicked off by a group called MPAC, metro Phoenix Arts Council, and the group has gone way now. And GPEC worked with them. GPEC has now picked up and is running with it and came out in 2008 and this is what the report looks like and you go to the website, tell me again, do you remember?

>> Well --

Georgia Lord:

Steve Betts: You can get a copy of it. But if you go to that, it -- it was actually pitched to getting our communities to all talk from the same voice. Talk and tell the same story about this opportunity oasis storyline. It's not a brand opportunity oasis, or something you'll see on billboards. But it's to allow our cities, economic development groups and marketing agencies to sort of use that as a storyline to consistently pitch our best and bright young people, our creative class people to come to Arizona.

Ted Simons: Real quickly, not much time left. I've seen a lot of these reports, how does this stand out?

Georgia Lord: Well, let me tell you 2005 is the first time I heard this, sitting in a living room. It's -- it's so good that it hasn't died. It keeps coming back. So anything that keeps coming back, you know there's some worth to it and we need to take care of it.

Ted Simons: We'll stop you there. Thanks for joining us.

Tequila Party

  |   Video
  • What will it take for the upstart Tequila Party to become a political force to be reckoned with? Pollster Mike O’Neil discusses challenges facing this group that seeks to get out the Latino vote and champion issues such as immigration reform.
  • Mike O'Neil - Pollster
Category: Government   |   Keywords: politics,

View Transcript

Ted Simons: Good evening and welcome to "Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. The national tequila party movement is launching its get out the Latino vote campaign this weekend. The nonpartisan group will be holding a series of events with the stated goal of getting Hispanics to vote, regardless of party preference. Here to talk about this is pollster Mike O'Neil.
Ted Simons: All right. National Tequila Party Movement. What are we talking about here?

Mike O’Neil: We’re talking about the fact that Hispanics are the most under-performing group in terms of voting. The Hispanic population has been exploding. Census figures: 35 million by 2000. By 2010, it’s 51 million. But in terms of voting, their influence diminishes greatly. 16% of the population of the United States is Hispanic. 10% of the eligible voters are Hispanic but only 7% of actual voters are Hispanic.

Ted Simons: Why is that?

Mike O’Neil: It's a number of things. First, demographics explains some but not all of it. For example, those under 30 vote in much smaller proportions and Hispanics have a larger proportion of those under 30, but even when you account for that, it's still under performing across the board, so it’s not only demographics, it's also culture. Interesting, every single Hispanic group covers a wide range of ethnicities. There's one of the hispanic groups that votes at the same ratio as whites. That's Cubans and all others down by half.

Ted Simons: It's interesting, what do you see from other ethnic minorities? Asians, American Indians and Hispanics?

Mike O’Neil: Sure, nonvoting behavior, for exampe, 31% of eligible Hispanics voted in 2010. That number is 49% among white, 44% among blacks.

Ted Simons: I -- I asked why, because -- demographics play a part, you also said there may be cultural aspects?

Mike O’Neil: Yeah, because we’ve looked at every different demographic factor education, the more educated you are, the more likely you are to vote. Among Hispanics as among whites and other, the mother educated, the more likely you were to vote, but at every educational level, Hispanics are still less likely to vote than non-Hispanics of the same educational level and you're left with – it’s unexplained but basically there's nothing left other than culture or habituation -- this is not just about legality. There is a higher percentage of Hispanics who are not citizens. But, even when you exclude that group, Hispanics under perform in terms of a propensity to vote than just about every other group in the population.

Ted Simons: So here comes the National Tequila Party Movement to try to change this. Can this -- first, this is supposed to be a nonpartisan group. Do you senses it a nonpartisan group?

Mike O’Neil: I don’t know what it is. If you raise the proportion of Hispanics voting right now, you will almost inevitably aid Democrats because two out of three in the last election voted democratic. It's going up to three out of four. In other words, it's not as monolithic as blacks where it's 90-95% democratic. So the impact of Hispanics in a partisan sense is diminished by the fact it's not a monolithic vote. But any time you raise the base, the impact is greater.

Ted Simons: The tequila party situation, it sounds like the idea, the goal is not so much ideological, it's supposed to be nonpartisan. It's supposed to get out the vote, however, it seems to be a little bit of a reaction or mirroring in some ways of the tea party movement. Could it be a democratic version of the tea party? Could it be a Republican version of the tea party but for Latinos?

Mike O’Neil: I'm hard pressed to see the Republican scenario. If you increased the proportion of Hispanics voting, you'll increase the Democratic vote. If anything – if anything you would probably increase the Hispanic, the proportion of the Hispanics who vote, because it's going to be more downscale Hispanics you bring in. The college or higher income Hispanics are already voting at higher numbers. So the increment, I told you that two-thirds of the Hispanics are voting democratic. Amongst non-voters, it would probably be three-quarters or 80%.

Ted Simons: What did we see is the Obama election and conversely, two years later, did we see a dropoff there?

Mike O’Neil: You did. The black proportion votes in 2008 did not exceed the white proportion but got close for the first time ever and there was something of a dropoff. Not completely going back to historical levels, So there was an enduring effect but also a short-term one-time effect. I think that the whole aura of immigration and in many cases the demonization of Hispanics I think is underlying a lot of this. They're saying we're getting beat up and we're not voting and we’re not taken seriously and there is -- while the Hispanic group is not monolithic on this, it is pretty substantially divided. For example, 85% of Hispanics favor comprehensive immigration reform. Something that is anathema in the Republican party and is more ambiguous in the democratic. 86 percent disapprove of S.B. 1070. It's a pretty overwhelming number.

Ted Simons: Brings up the question, last question, let's say that the federal government tries to try comprehensive immigration reform and succeeds, will that bring out more Latino voters or -- I mean, does something like this -- national tour of concerts and events and dinners and rallies, that's what the tequila party is talking about right now -- a charismatic candidate -- you mentioned cultural, is it the kind of thing that will last until it doesn't last anymore?

Mike O’Neil: I think essentially probably, in all probability, a multigenerational phenomenon. You come to this country and don’t speak the language but your kids do and over one or two generations you get acculturated and you basically become like the larger community. That's -- that's the long term thing. The Tequila Party idea is let's give it a shot in the arm, but frankly, I'll believe that when I see it. The -- these are a gallant effort but usually takes something to mobilize. In the case of blacks, Obama was a big deal. This case, I don't think passing comprehensive immigration reform probably has the reverse effect. If we're no longer being demonized in the body politic, the motivation to act goes away. To the extent that the Hispanics feel they're beat up by the system, that can be a motivating influence, but that's a tough steep hill to climb.

Ted Simons: Thanks for joining us.

Mike O’Neil: Thank you.