In an age where facts and fiction easily blur and politics continue to divide the country, an exemplary, unbiased journalism community is of utmost importance. This was at the core of Anderson Cooper’s message as he accepted the Cronkite Award at the 35th annual Cronkite Luncheon, hosted by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU.

Cooper discussed the immense responsibility he feels when telling peoples’ stories, whether he is covering natural disasters, wars, presidential elections and beyond. He explains that journalism is an immensely important profession – so much so that it is protected in our Constitution.

Here are our key takeaways from Cooper’s speech:

  • Reporting the news is a team effort. Producers, engineers, camera operators and the other people behind the scenes in newsrooms are essential to producing the news we consume every day, yet they rarely get the recognition they deserve. Cooper said that his success – and the continued success of journalism – isn’t possible without a dedicated team working toward the same goal.
  • Modern journalism is under attack. Cooper said that these days, lies are used to divide us and weaken journalism and our democracy. Journalists are responsible for presenting facts in a way that allows audiences to make up their own minds about politics and other important issues.
  • The solution to the recent attacks on journalism is to keep reporting. Cooper noted that journalists must continue to point out fact and fiction even, when it seems like no one cares or is listening. He encouraged reporters to continue seeking the truth and asking questions.

Cooper is a nationally renowned journalist and author, who currently anchors for CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 and serves as a correspondent on CBS’s 60 Minutes.

The Cronkite School is recognized as one of the top journalism programs in the country. Its “teaching hospital” approach has received international recognition, immersing students in real-world settings with top professors. As alumnae of the Cronkite School, Andrea and Taylor were thrilled to attend this sold-out event, which recognizes a national leader in journalism each year. Aker Ink also sponsors a scholarship at the Cronkite School, rewarding a hardworking student pursuing a degree in journalism or public relations.

View Anderson Cooper’s full Cronkite Award acceptance speech here.