Fall 2012

What's Happening @ Elon

Election 2012: Students work the national conventions

Written by: Natalie Allison'13

Jack Minor ’13 missed the first week of classes this semester, but he had a good excuse. The reason? He was interning at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fl., working for the New York Post and United Press International, as well as Elon’s own student-run television news channel, Elon Local News.

Minor was in Tampa for two weeks in August — he attended seminars, learned his way around the convention campus and met with professionals. His internships began the next week; he did everything from writing stories on the convention and delegation parties for the New York Post to assisting the video editing team for the UPI wire service.

“The experience, for me, was once in a lifetime,” Minor says. “Through my position with UPI, I was able to attain a high clearance press floor pass that allowed me to go anywhere. I was actually able to go to the bottom steps of the stage and hear Gov. Mitt Romney's speech as the closest person in the entire convention to him.”

A student passionate about politics and hoping to enter the field as a campaign adviser or press secretary, Minor says the networking opportunities he had at the convention were exactly what he hoped for. Learn about other Elon students working at the conventions.

Melissa Kansky ’13 was able to stay closer to campus while covering the Democratic National Convention, which was held in Charlotte. News editor for The Pendulum, Elon’s student news organization, Kansky went to the convention on two different days, one day with her Reporting for the Public Good class and another with her Multimedia Journalism class.

“We were forced to quickly acclimate to a new environment and work in the same city as every major news station,” Kansky says. “It is an experience awarded to few, and provides us with a unique story to incorporate into job interviews and cover letters to distinguish me from other ambitious candidates.”

Along with others in her reporting class, Kansky covered a press conference held by members of state and national media outlets, including CNN, NBC News and McClatchy Newspapers. On the final day of the convention, Kansky returned with other multimedia journalism students to complete assignments for Creative Loafing, a Charlotte-based alternative print and online publication that covers both news and lifestyles.

“I valued the opportunity to listen to the preliminary speakers and hear President Obama's speech,” Kansky says. “No matter one's political affiliation, it is still an honor to hear the president speak in person.”

Unlike Kansky, Minor’s role at the convention was completely independent of his class work. Through The Washington Center, an organization Elon partners with to help students secure internships in Washington, D.C., Minor landed his RNC internship with the New York Post. He secured his internship with UPI through networking.

“Over the course of my time at the convention, I fell in love with politics and have narrowed my career path to something within the political realm,” Minor says. “I’m passionate about the field and know that I’ll be able to use the valuable education I’ve received at Elon to be able to make a difference in the lives of other people.”

Elon Poll releases results at Charlotte news conference

The results of an Elon University Poll were released at a news conference in Charlotte, N.C., just prior to the opening of the Democratic National Convention. The poll was conducted in partnership with The Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer.

The Elon Poll is a regional and statewide survey conducted by students using a computer-assisted telephone interviewing lab. It focuses on important economic and political issues in North Carolina and throughout the South. Poll results have appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as on CNN and NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The panel, which took place in an auditorium at The Charlotte Observer, included Taylor Batten of TheCharlotte Observer; Rob Christensen of The (Raleigh, N.C.) News & Observer; Charlie Cook of The Cook Political Report and the National Journal; David Gergen of CNN and the Harvard Kennedy School; Anita Kumar, McClatchy Newspapers White House correspondent; and Domenico Montanaro, NBC News deputy political editor. Former Greensboro, N.C. News & Record Editor John Robinson served as moderator.

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