Students to provide Election Day coverage to national cable program, local TV

October 21, 2008

Students prepare for Election Day political coverageRINDGE, NH - Franklin Pierce student reporters, bloggers, analysts and other members of the Pierce Media Group's news production team have been invited to partner with mainstream media to provide up-to-the-minute coverage of the presidential election and capture the voice of young voters in New Hampshire.

Students will be working with Dan Rather Reports to provide video footage from Election Day in the Granite State. The news magazine selected one college from each of the nation's critical "swing states" for the special election project. Dan Rather Reports is the creation of the former CBS Evening News anchor and is broadcast to four million satellite and cable homes.

Steven Dodrill, a Franklin Pierce senior from Hanson, Mass. will head the Dan Rather Reportsnews team. Dr. Kristen Nevious, Director of the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication at Franklin Pierce, will put out an audition call for the rest of the team.

At the same time, a pair of students was selected by WMUR-TV as "top bloggers" for their coverage of this summer's national political conventions for the ABC affiliate in Manchester. A.J. Kierstead, a junior from China, Maine, and Derek Gorman, a senior from Brockton, Mass., were asked to continue to blog for WMUR's web site through the election. They will also create video news packages describing the political pulse on campus.

In a busy election season, Franklin Pierce students continue to win praise for their reporting and news production skills. Their coverage of the Presidential Election began with the candidates' debates in Manchester in June 2007. In early 2008, a team of students traveled to Iowa to cover the state caucuses. They returned to New Hampshire to report on its First-in-the-Nation primary. Students received press passes as fully-credentialed media and their news stories were reported for campus media and mainstream outlets.  

Most recently, the Fitzwater Center for Communication at Franklin Pierce hosted a pair of key congressional debates that will help shape the race for New Hampshire's 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts. The debates were co-sponsored by the University's Fitzwater Center, New Hampshire Public Television, New Hampshire Public Radio, New England Cable News and PolitickerNH.com.

"In a vitally important political season, our students continue to gain valuable media experience alongside seasoned professionals, Dr. Nevious said. "They are also finding their political voice and learning how to participate constructively in the robust dialog that is essential to a healthy democracy."

Video clips and post-election analysis will be posted to www.piercemediagrouponline.com and to the Fitzwater Center's branded YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/PoliticsFitzU