Journalism majors
hear from D.C. experts


Communications majors Dan Hansen, Alex Kreitman and Erin Cunningham were among the select university students from around the nation participating in a Fund for American Studies-sponsored two-day conference, "Covering Elections and Politics," in Washington, D.C., Jan. 30-31. In attendance were 92 students representing 65 colleges and universities.

Leading political journalists and campaign experts shared insights on the 2004 election at the sessions, held just four days after the New Hampshire primary. The conference speakers shared their inside knowledge about how media professionals cover the race for the White House and control of Congress, as well as the political issues that will shape the election.

The Elon students attended private briefings at Washington's places of power, where they had a chance to meet policymakers behind the news.

Eleanor Clift, a contributing editor for Newsweek magazine and a regular panelist on the nationally syndicated show, The McLaughlin Group, spoke about her ascent in journalism. She began her career as a Newsweek secretary and became one of the first women to receive bylines in the major newsmagazine.

Jamie McIntyre, CNN's senior Pentagon correspondent, spoke about developing strong relationships within his beat. "Over time, you learn about the subject," he said. "It's Pentagon policy and action, not just policy execution. And you need to be able to look people in the eye and tell them it's a good story." McIntyre was the first to report that Saddam Hussein had been captured.

Students also met with representatives from Congress Daily, Bureau of National Affairs, The Hill and Congressional Quarterly while visiting the Capitol to discuss how legislative issues shape congressional debate. In addition, the group attended a taping of CNN's "Crossfire."

Ray Walker, Knight-Ridder Tribune Info. Services and Rich Thomas, the Chief Economic Correspondent at Newsweek spoke about "Getting the Facts Straight - How to Cut Through the Spin." Richard Benedetto, White House/political correspondent and columnist for USA Today and a political columnist for Gannett News Service spoke about "Covering the White House." Karlyn Bowman of American Enterprise Institute, Sarah Simmons of Public Opinion Strategies, Bob Doyle of Sutters-Mill Fund-Raising & Strategy and Ron Faucheaux of Campaigns & Elections magazine all spoke about polling and politics. Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard and Fox News spoke about the 2004 election forecast.

-Information submitted by Erin Cunningham



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Last Modified:  2/14/04
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