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Everyone could use some Walter Cronkite right now

My new adventure in the school named for the former anchorman

That’s a 1995 photo of me (with hair!) with the late great Walter Cronkite. In July, I start a new gig working at the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication (more below).

(This is the opening essay from this week's edition of my Sunday Note, which is brought to you by Armory Square Ventures. See their message in this week's newsletter.)

THE FRAMED 1995 PHOTO YOU SEE ABOVE has had pride of place in multiple offices I’ve occupied over the years: Columbia University, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York’s City Hall and Stony Brook University. It shows me, with hair, with the late, great Walter Cronkite, “the most trusted man in America.”

When I arrived as a 9-year-old in America, my diplomat father, T.P. Sreenivasan (@sreeniv), made me watch “Uncle Walter” on CBS Evening News, with his signature ending, “And that’s the way it is.”

Starting July 1, I will be moving my academic perch to the terrific journalism school named for him, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in Phoenix. I am so grateful to my new Dean, Dr. Battinto Batts (@battintobattsjr) for giving me this incredible opportunity. Here’s the press release and lovely video that marketing honcho Allison Otu’s (@allisonotu) team put together:

I’ll be managing director of Cronkite Pro, a new program providing lifelong learning for professionals around the globe. We’ll provide opportunities for journalists to improve their skills and learn new technologies, but we are going to be working with folks well beyond journalism.

We have learned during the pandemic that folks in dozens of professions need to improve their communications skills, fight misinformation and disinformation, and reach a broader audience. To help build a variety of ways to do just that is going to be an honor of a lifetime.

It is also an urgent task. Communications networks - and our leaders - mostly failed us during Covid. Those failures show us that we are not ready for the next existential threat that’s already upon us, the climate crisis - and whatever else is unleashed by the very comms tools many of us love and use every day. If you’d like to learn more, there’s a form at the bottom of this page to get on our mailing list. I would love to talk to potential partners, collaborators, trainers and more.

And before I end, a big shoutout to Dean Laura Lindenfeld of Stony Brook School of Communication and Journalism, my academic perch for the last three years. Her making me the Marshall R. Loeb Visiting Professor of Digital Innovation and Audience Engagement - along with the support from Michael Loeb and family - has been a #LifeHighlight.

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