the summer political conventions to the fall's debates to election-day
coverage, Elon School of Communications students have been active
in the illumination of information tied to the presidential election
The staff at
Elon's student newspaper, The Pendulum, began planning to cover
the major election issues in the spring. Editor Jessica Patchett
and her staff have produced special sections in every edition of
the paper during fall semester. The paper's Opinion pages, edited
by KeiSaundra Henderson, have carried competing columns written
by students representing the two major political parties in the
Over the summer,
Elon University students were recruited to work in various facets
of the Democratic and Republican conventions. One of them, School
of Communications student Dan Hanson, had nearly free run on the
floor of the Republican Convention in New York in his job with CNN.
having close encounters with major figures in politics and the media
as he served as an intern for CNN's guest-booking department for
a week at the convention. He met and talked with Republican strategist
Ralph Reed, Homeland Security Secretary Tommy Thompson, former Congressman
Bob Barr (R-Ga.), Lt. Governor Michael Steele of Maryland and former
New York mayor Rudy Guiliani. "I got first-hand knowledge of
how a large cable news organization plans and executes its coverage
of a major news event," Hanson said. "I also learned how
standards and practices were applied to the coverage and the bookings
of guests for interviews."
The staff at
"Phoenix14 News" is carrying a live six-hour block of
Nov. 2 election-night coverage, and staffers began working weeks
in advance to prepare for this big news day. They are led by students
Jennifer Sposato, Scott Myrick, David Douglas and a large group
of other contributors. Faculty and staff at the School of Communications
have been generous with time, equipment and expertise.
in Elon's Reporting course for the fall were assigned by a local
daily newspaper, the Burlington Times-News, to write local-color
pieces on election day in Alamance County. Their articles appeared
on the Times-News Web site Nov. 3.
were opened to all Elon students for group viewings of the three
major presidential debates between John Kerry and George W. Bush.
The sessions were packed for each of the clashes.
hosted its own debate of the issues, inviting students to participate.
The war on terrorism/national security, the economy and same-sex
marriage were the topics addressed by teams representing the Democratic,
Republican and Independent viewpoints on these issues. School of
Communications student Laith Majali presented the viewpoint of an
stance on and interpretation of foreign policy is what shapes how
U.S. policy affects the rest of the world and how the rest of the
world affects U.S. policy," he said. "...It is important
to recognize that the world we live in today is an intertwined web
of mechanisms by which human beings interact. The improvements in
telecommunications and media have played a large part in connecting
the interests of citizens of the world together. That means that
if something affects the 250 million people who live in the U.S.,
it most definitely affects the remaining 6.25 billion people around
the world on varying scales."
Jessica Gross and Elizabeth Nagy got an up close look at a major
network's coverage of the 2004 election Nov. 2 in Washington, D.C.
Gross and Nagy worked as production assistants for Hearst at ABC's
Washington bureau. The day gave both students practical experience
in their fields of study. Gross, a senior, is a communications major
and public relations director for ESTV, and Nagy is a sophomore
broadcast major who works with Phoenix14News.