Premier Election Coverage by CAS J-School Students

Posted on: October 26, 2012



Over 200 School of Journalism students comprise Michigan’s largest 2012 election team covering national, state, county, school, city and township elections for this year's first-time voters. Their initiative is called “MI First Election.” Our college is a member of “Democracy in Action,” a nationwide collaboration of university journalists covering the 2012 election.

We anticipate that many CAS students will enter the realm of politics and government in their future professions, whether it be reporting on government and politics, creating political ads or documentaries, working in public relations for politicians or analyzing the power of political ads—just to name a few. This presidential election marks the first time that many college students are able to vote for president, and they’re taking the issues at hand very seriously.

It is a fascinating challenge to follow the viewpoints of such a diverse campus, and what a remarkable project for the students to tackle. They’re reporting through a variety of multi-media platforms—posting, blogging and streaming video and audio on Twitter, Facebook, Storify, Ustream and YouTube. The Capital News Service team, classes for public affairs reporting, advertising and public relations in presidential campaigns and broadcasting are all involved with the program.

The team provides resources for first-time voters, such as Michigan voting guides (how and where to register and vote) and AP election guides, and explanations for "insider" terms and phrases used by political strategists and news analysts during election season. 

Student Kellie Rowe reports that, “According to the U.S. Census Bureau, individuals between ages 18 and 24 showed a significant increase in voter turnout in the 2008 national election, and were the only age group to do so.”

 These students are demonstrating the potential power of young people when they become informed, engaged and vote. They discuss everything from political ads and reactions of students during the presidential and vice presidential debates, to the rise in student voters and the six state ballot proposals.

Our students will be on the air on WKAR Public TV and Radio on election night, Nov. 6. Follow their conversation on Twitter by searching #MiFirstElection. View the student developed website here. Like them on Facebook and watch their UStream channel here.

Keep up the great work! We’re so proud to have the largest election team in the state and we look forward to following the coverage throughout election season!

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