The potential for Los Angeles to host the 2024 Summer Olympics would provide countless opportunities for ASU’s journalism majors
Photo by Joey Coalter | The State Press
“Los Angeles might host the 2024 Olympic Games.” Illustration published Wednesday Feb. 8, 2017.
While the Olympics certainly provide an excellent opportunity for nations worldwide to interact with each other, it also has a lot to offer Arizona State University’s very own students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication — especially if the games are hosted by Los Angeles in 2024.
Currently, there are three candidate cities remaining: Paris, Budapest and Los Angeles. Although growing, domestic support for Budapest remains relatively low at 63 percent. Paris is a much stronger competitor, as the city has been putting a large focus on the games in recent weeks and has seen consistent support from the public.
However, Los Angeles is definitely not out of the running yet.
“Los Angeles makes a very compelling argument,” Tom Feuer, director of the Cronkite Sports Bureau in Santa Monica, California, and professor of practice at ASU, said. “The last time the Summer Olympics were held in the United States was 1996. This would be the third time that Los Angeles would host the Olympics, the first two were 1932 and in 1984, and both were extremely successful games. LA has many existing facilities, venues and infrastructure to make it an affordable Olympic games.”
It is still likely that Paris will get the Summer 2024 bid, as many members of the International Olympic Committee live in Europe and only four are from the United States. In addition, Europe has never gone this long without hosting the Olympics, summer or winter, which may be a driving factor toward having them in Paris.
Nevertheless, if Los Angeles were to win out and host the event, it would bring a number of exciting and unparalleled opportunities for future Cronkite students.
“There will be a lot of opportunities to cover things leading up to the Olympic games,” Feuer said. “You can also probably take more people to Los Angeles than you could to London or Rio de Janeiro or potentially Tokyo. It’s an easier trip without a doubt, and more people would be able to have an Olympic experience the closer the games are to Arizona.”
With the close proximity of the potential Olympic venue to the Cronkite LA Sports Bureau, students would be able to closely cover the event and everything surrounding it from now until 2024.
In the past, a select few journalism students have traveled to other international locations for the games, such as the lucky 25 who went to Rio this past August. With Los Angeles being less than 400 miles from Phoenix, more students would surely get to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.
Yet, the chance to report on the Olympics is certainly not limited to journalists who only wish to cover sports — it has benefits for all kinds of journalists. Everyone has something to gain from this rare event that lifts the whole world onto a single stage.
“It is one of the few places where people all over the world congregate,” Feuer said. “It’s not just about the sporting part of it, there’s a huge social and cultural aspect of covering the Olympic games. It gives you a unique perspective on the world and on life.”
Feuer, who has had the privilege of covering 12 Olympic games, emphasizes the value of human interest stories. Each of the thousands of Olympians has their own unusual story, and there is undeniably something to be learned from this gathering of people and cultures that any type of journalist can document.
In supplement to the act of writing about or taking footage of the Olympic events, there is so much for a journalism student to absorb by just being there and taking in the culture. It’s more than merely a job opportunity that looks great on a resume — it is the chance to learn about the world we live in and the people who live in it while simultaneously doing what you love as a student at Cronkite.
The host city won’t be announced until Sept. 2017, but hopefully we’ll see the Olympics close to home in Los Angeles in 2024 so that more of Cronkite’s finest, the true future of journalism, can experience this unrivaled spectacle.
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