Election coverage attracts attention, provides experience

November 07, 2008

More than 125 students who covered the recent election for classes in the College of Communications and as part of endeavors with professional news-gathering organizations gained abundant experience for themselves and earned a lot of attention in the process.

Work from classes -- including broadcast, print and video efforts -- was posted online at ComMedia (http://commedia.psu.edu), the showcase site of work by communications students. Students from eight classes were involved in that coverage, with their efforts based on campus from Carnegie Building and Innovation Park.

"They did a super job," said Marie Hardin, an associate professor of communications and associate head of the Department of Journalism. "There was such an energy in the building and they chased stories and worked hard. What they produced was engaging and high-quality."

In addition, another group of students guided election coverage that was featured online for Penn State Public Broadcasting, available at http://wpsu.org/vote08/. Their efforts included creating an interactive Google map site and updating blogs, stories and video regularly throughout the night.

According to statistics from WPSU, the Web site attracted 1,844 unique visitors and 8,160 unique page views -- with 70 percent of those visitors making their first visit ever to the site -- during the election coverage. Those visitors spent nearly eight minutes each visiting the site.

"Our students are constantly trying to bring the most effective viewer experience to our community," said Thor Wasbotten, a senior lecturer and general manager of TV operations for the College of Communications. “They set the bar very high by both incorporating more than 35 colleges from around the country into our coverage of the student vote as well as provided continuous coverage from elections headquarters in Centre County for wpsu.org."

All of the students' work remains archived at that site as well.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009