Democracy in Action Project Proves Media Collaboration

Democracy in Action Project Proves Media Collaboration

Lena Wallace

Election Day is about winning and losing for candidates. Newhouse journalists covered Election Day with constant AP News push notifications popping up on their phones stating the next senator of Colorado or Governor Andrew Cuomo easily winning reelection.

However, behind the scenes, only winning occurred for the reporters on stories. Reporters were told to cover the stories observed at the poll locations or political events-not election results.

Most reporters worked together, covering print, radio and TV broadcast stories. When returning back to Newhouse, professors were ready to post stories on the Democracy in Action website. Also, live broadcast streams took place. The process of the day depended all on efficiency and teamwork.

Student reporters at polling locations were treated the same was professional reporters. Poll inspectors gave permission to film on polling grounds. No private information on ballots were allowed to be filmed. Also, interviews of voters took place 100 feet away from the poll. The experience helped students learn the urgency of covering political stories and how to report at poll locations. Unique stories on voter experiences were the main focus of the coverage.

“I felt intimidated at first with election officials,” TaiSonya Tidwell, a broadcast and digital journalism graduate student said. “But it ended up being a good experience. I interviewed people about why they thought voting was important. People were voting together with their families. Both Republicans and Democrats were trying to instill the importance of voting in their children.”

Radio reporters used iPads to record interviews, while broadcast journalism students used cameras, making sure to use the attachment lights because voting started bright and early at 6 a.m.

“The Dejero was easy to use,” Andi Mucasey, a graduate broadcast journalism student said. “I was at the Republican party headquarters reporting live about Katko potentially winning.”

The push for new technology in the newsroom is ever present, but what is more powerful is the passion for reporters to work together to better voter experience stories.

Check out http://dia-cny.syr.edu or search #nhdia on twitter to see student work.

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Lena Wallace

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