Veteran journalist Pauline Arrillaga to lead Carnegie-Knight News21 program

Pauline Arrillaga, an award-winning writer, editor and professor who led the RWJF Southwest Health Reporting Initiative at the Cronkite School, will take over as editor of the award-winning Carnegie-Knight News21 program.

News21 is a national, donor-funded reporting initiative headquartered at the Cronkite School that brings together top journalism students from across the country to report and produce in-depth multimedia projects for major media outlets including The Washington Post, NBC News and USA Today. The Knight Foundation provides core support for the program.

Students selected for News21 study a subject during a spring seminar, followed by a 10-week reporting fellowship during the summer. Students work in a Cronkite School newsroom and travel across the United States—and sometimes internationally—to report and produce their projects.

News21’s student projects have focused on topics including the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, state and federal responses to natural disasters, and America’s juvenile justice system.

The projects have won numerous awards, including the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the Best of the West competition, the Online Journalism Awards, the National EPPY Editor & Publisher Magazine Award, and the Arizona Press Club Award.

“Pauline’s background as a top-level journalist and editor, along with her work leading the RWJF Southwest Health Reporting Initiative, makes her the ideal choice to fill the role of editor-in-chief of News21. She will provide strong leadership for students working on projects within the program,” said Cronkite School Dean Dr. Battinto L. Batts Jr.

Arrillaga joined the Cronkite School in 2019 as a practice teacher to launch and lead the RWJF Southwest Health Reporting Initiative, a program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to increase reporting of health disparities in underserved communities and communities of color.

With Arrillaga’s guidance, student journalists working for the RWJF Southwest Health Reporting Initiative have produced text, broadcast, digital audio and video reports, including dozens in Spanish, that have been picked up by outlets such as the Associated Press. , PBS NewsHour, Univision, the Salt Lake Tribune, Indian Country Today, the San Antonio Express-News, the Washington Times, NPR member station KJZZ and others in Canada, Mexico and Guatemala.

The students have won awards from the Hearst Intercollegiate Competition, the Broadcast Educators Association, the Association of Health Care Journalists, the Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Education Writers Association.

Before coming to the Cronkite School, Arrillaga spent 27 years at the Associated Press — most recently heading America’s corporate journalism.

In this role, Arrillaga led a team of top writers, photographers and videographers – and worked with other journalists in all 50 states – to produce business projects in all formats.

She helped shape, lead and edit AP’s work on former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, which was honored as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting and with the RFK Journalism Award and the John Seigenthaler Prize for Courage in Reporting. She also oversaw the AP’s series Missing and Murdered Native American Women, which won the Dori J. Maynard Award for Justice in Journalism, the Les Payne Award for Coverage of Communities of Color, and other accolades. .

Prior to getting into publishing, Arrillaga worked for 10 years in the coveted role of AP National Writer and used explanatory writing, investigative reporting and narrative storytelling to explore topics such as immigration and social justice. His stories have won numerous accolades, including a 2005 Livingston Award for “Doors to Death,” a series of investigations and narratives examining the trafficking of people across the border.

Arrillaga is known as a mentor and coach for journalists around the world and a leader in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. She has long focused on issues affecting underserved communities. Arrillaga is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and part of its task force on investigative and data journalism.

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
As social investors, the Knight Foundation supports democracy by funding free speech and journalism, arts and culture in the community, research in media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once published newspapers. Learn more at and follow @chevalierfdn on social networks.

Carnegie Corporation of New York
The Carnegie Corporation of New York, which was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 “to promote the advancement and dissemination of knowledge and understanding”, is one of the oldest, largest and most important American foundations. influential. The foundation makes grants to promote international peace and advance education and knowledge.

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