About HookedAZ: Tracking Heroin’s Hold on Arizona


Hooked: Tracking Heroin’s Hold on Arizona is a special investigative report produced by advanced journalism students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on the growing perils of heroin and opioid use.The project includes a 30-minute investigative broadcast report aired Jan. 13 by every TV station and most radio outlets across Arizona.

Over the course of about 16 weeks, dozens of students across the school produced the broadcast report, as well as digital stories and data analyses, an accompanying mobile tablet app, and Spanish-language and radio versions of the documentary.

Thes TV report was spearheaded by a team of students led by Jacquee Petchel, a Cronkite professor and longtime investigative reporter, producer and editor. Assistant Dean Mark Lodato and Cronkite News Television Production Manager Jim Jacoby also helped to produce the program. ASU student Erin Patrick O’Connor, chief videographer, edited the broadcast project.

Professor and Knight Chair Steve Doig led a team of students who analyzed data on more than 10 million Arizona hospital emergency room cases, including more than 2,000 heroin overdoses, as well as census demographics to pinpoint the patterns and hot spots of heroin abuse.

Students of the Cronkite News bureau in Phoenix, led by Steve Elliott, a Cronkite professor and former Associated Press bureau chief, and students in Petchel’s advanced reporting class, produced a series of multimedia stories for the Web.

The New Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab, directed by Retha Hill, created a tablet app on the history of heroin, and the Cronkite Public Insight Network Bureau, led by Rebecca Blatt, deployed the network to locate sources not previously tapped by journalists.

Associate Professor Fran Matera and students in the Cronkite Public Relations Lab produced a strategic communications plan for the TV special.

Visiting Cronkite Professor Peter Bhatia, multimedia editor and journalist Brandon Quester and webmaster Niclas Lindh supervised development of this website.

Cronkite News Reporters Reflect on Project, Moments, Lessons Learned

Inception, collaboration and impact of “Hooked: Tracking Heroin’s Hold on Arizona”

Corrections Policy

Cronkite News is committed to accuracy and welcomes feedback on the accuracy of packages from sources and members of the public. Staff members and editors will correct errors of fact and clarify confusing information promptly and in a straightforward manner.

We will note significant corrections and clarifications within packages. We will correct minor spelling, punctuation and grammar errors without notice.

Heroin in Arizona: What’s the next step?