ABC News partners with ASU to cover elections

Attending students will have the opportunity to voice their opinions during the national event coverage. (Evie Carpenter/DD)

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, one of the most prestigious journalism schools in the nation, will stand in the limelight again Tuesday night.

ABC News will partner with ASU to provide nationwide election coverage in a town hall forum that will be streamed live on the network, as well as Facebook.

Hosts for the night include ABC News anchors Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos, who will anchor from New York and correspond with 140 ASU students, faculty members and staff in order to capture their emotions and reactions to the results.

Other correspondents consist of ABC News’s David Muir, Facebook Director of Marketing Randi Zuckerberg, and Cronkite student Natalie Podgorski.

Podgorski said she is excited for the opportunity to co-host with the ABC anchors and to put the principles she’s learned at the Cronkite School into action.

“I’m excited to be a co-host,” said Podgorski. “ASU students will have the opportunity to have their voices heard and share their experiences.”

Audience members will have the chance to voice opinions on many of the nation’s issues, as well as the ongoing elections.

The event will feature several different media outlets for spectators to get involved in, such as the ABC Facebook page, the U.S. Politics Facebook page, or by networking via laptops.

Held in the Cronkite School’s First Amendment Forum, the event is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. and end at about 11 p.m.

Bureau Chief of ABC News on Campus, Nathan O’Neal, said ABC News chose ASU not only because of their outstanding journalism program but because the university is large and brings diversity and ideas.

“The nature of a town hall meeting is to bring opinion of the public and relate it all while doing it live,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal said he has no doubts that the Cronkite school will meet every expectation.

Mark Lodato, Assistant Dean at the Walter Cronkite School, said ABC is doing one town hall forum across the nation, and he said he looks forward to seeing the interaction between the audience and the hosts.

“I think it’s going to be exciting for the exposure and for the students,” Lodato said. “It gives them time to say what they think.”

Daryl Bjoraas, a junior at the Cronkite school and intern at ABC 15 News, said that any time the Cronkite School can get exposure, it’s a good thing. He said the credibility of ABC News supports the Cronkite School as being one of the best in the nation.

“It’s exciting because out of all the schools, they chose us,” Bjoraas said. “It makes me proud to be a Cronkite student.”

The panel is open to all students. To join, contact Nathan O’Neal at

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This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: November 2, 2010

An earlier version of this article stated incorrectly the name of an ABC News anchor. The name of the anchor is George Stephanopoulos, not George Stephanopolous.