ENN to air live 2-hour midterm election show

Students have been prepping since the summer for the Tuesday, Nov. 6, telecast.

by Julia Oakes 22

At 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, Elon News Network will air a two-hour live show covering the 2018 midterm elections.

Elon News Network will go live at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6 to cover the midterm elections.
Students have been planning the show since the summer, pitching stories, studying candidates and assembling research teams so that the producers and anchors may remain nimble. News Director Maya Eaglin ’19 said ENN’s main focus will be highlighting the local elections but the show will also follow “key states that have the potential to flip Congress.”

Erik Webb ’19 is the executive producer of the live show, and several reporters will be in the field to capture live shots of campaign rallies and polling locations.

“I’m really excited because this will definitely be a race against time,” Eaglin said. “But all the pieces can come together in a great way if we stay focused.”

Kelly Furnas, a lecturer in the School of Communications and faculty mentor of ENN, said the news organization has an obligation to cover elections.

“We have an imperative to cover our local community,” he said. “It’s very much a service to the community that doesn’t necessarily have the news resources that a major metropolitan area has.”

ENN Executive Director Emmanuel Morgan ’19 said there was never a question about whether students would report on Election Day. “It would be irresponsible to ignore it,” the journalism major said.

Despite the planning, research and run-throughs, the ENN team will still face some obstacles. The biggest challenge, Morgan said, is the pressure to effectively tell the story to the intended audience: residents of Alamance County.

“The challenge with this one is to make sure that we have focus and that we know we’re doing important work to localize this election and make it important to our audience,” he said.

Furnas also said student journalists sometimes get “caught into the trap of thinking the big story is national,” and wants the ENN staff members to understand that most of the time, the big story exists right in their backyards.

But Furnas said he is confident that the students will gain a better understanding of “how important this type of coverage is to the local community.”

While ENN’s main focus is providing deep, meaningful reporting to the the campus and county, a live election show offers the students an opportunity to get a taste of what they’ll experience in the professional news world. In fact, several students in ENN are interested in political reporting and covering day-of results now is great preparation for tomorrow.

Morgan agrees, saying that his work during ENN’s coverage of the 2016 presidential election was helpful in preparing him for future internships, as he was able to “travel and cover a big story.”

“These events are so rare, and a great chance for all us to practice doing journalism in real time,” Eaglin added.

ENN’s live show can be seen on the organization’s Facebook page or by tuning into the Elon channel on Philo.