The Presidency & The Press 2019

Jul 23, 2019

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High school and college journalists and teachers from across New England converged at the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication from July 15-19, 2019. They came for The Presidency & The Press summer program, supported by the Granite State News Collaborative.

Melanie Plenda, Project Editor for the GSNC, was the Professional-in-Residence for the week. She worked with student reporters to address the week’s theme, “The Intersection of Politics and Press in the 2020 Election.” She introduced the concept of “Solutions Journalism” adopted by the GSNC, a collaborative approach by media to delve deeper into successful approaches to issues that are common across communities.

Two student journalists will be members of the Class of 2023 at Franklin Pierce. “This was a great way to become familiar with the campus and some of the faculty and staff,” said Abbey Gamberdella, who plans to major in environmental science. Magnolia McComish, an incoming communications/political science major and Fitzwater Scholar, added, “I’m excited to work on projects I’m passionate about. I love to learn and write about both sides of a controversial issue, and let people decide for themselves what they think.”

Participants worked with Franklin Pierce faculty, as well as journalists from WMUR-TV, New Hampshire Public Radio, the New Hampshire Union Leader and Fox News. They made three road trips across New Hampshire. They visited news outlets, the New Hampshire State House, candidate events, and non-partisan policy organizations Citizens Count and No Labels.

Dr. Kristen Nevious is the Director of the Fitzwater Center and the Presidency & the Press program. She said, “Student journalists experienced a full range of campaign coverage, taking a more active role at each stage. First, they met with campaign staffers for Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bennett. Later, they attended a backyard barbeque to meet candidate John Hickenlooper in Laconia. Finally, they joined the press corps to interview audience members and campaign officials at Julian Castro’s Town Hall event in Nashua.”

At the end of the week, students wrote and produced a live broadcast, “Meet the Student Press: Solutions & the Presidential Election.” They are well prepared to follow and participate in the upcoming 2020 election cycle.

View All Photos of the 2019 Program

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