Friday, April 28, 2017


In the 2017 spring semester, a team of graduate students from Cronkite News researched in-depth stories for a project about expansion across Arizona. The project, “Development in the Desert: the Changing Face of Arizona” covers issues around the state ranging from urbanization, mining, commuting, Phoenix arts and more. Four of the graduate students on the research team sat down for a Facebook Live interview to discuss the steps taken and research needed to create an in-depth analysis about the state of Arizona’s rapid expansion.

Host Lily Altavena interviewed Cronkite News reporters Emily Mahoney, Sophia Kunthara & Kaly Nasiff to find out information about Sedona’s traffic problem, Tucson’s difficulty with retaining young & educated citizens, the boom of the technology industry in relation to Arizona and the status of mining jobs in our state. The Facebook Live interview covers questions regarding what the reporters learned about Arizona during their research, how they obtained the necessary interviews needed and what they think Arizona’s rapid expansion means for the state’s future.

In a separate segment, host Téa Francesca Price from the Cronkite News student graduate team sat down for a podcast roundtable with three of the team’s reporters. Lexi Hart, Courtney Columbus and Mindy Riesenberg discuss their findings with Price from each of their individual stories in this round-table style “how we did it” podcast interview.

The Cronkite News reporters answer questions surrounding each of their individual stories- the environmental impacts of Maricopa County becoming the fastest growing county in the country, the state of culture & arts in Phoenix, the impacts of Phoenix being a top retirement destination and the effects of daily commutes on Valley residents from the light rail expansion.

The Team

Téa Francesca Price

Multimedia Reporter and Digital Producer

Lexi Hart

Multimedia Reporter & Content Creator

Emily L. Mahoney

Multimedia Journalist

Courtney Columbus

Multimedia Journalist

Mindy Riesenberg

Multimedia Journalist

Lily Altavena

Investigative Reporter

Kaly Nasiff

Multimedia Journalist

Kassidy McDonald

Multimedia Journalist

Sophia Kunthara

Multimedia Journalist