UMD Journalism Students Cover Republican and Democratic National Conventions

UMD Journalism Students Cover Republican and Democratic National Conventions

For the fifth consecutive presidential election, the University of Maryland’s Capital News Service is reporting from the national political conventions. This time, the CNS convention crew includes journalists from the University of Maryland, as well as Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom and Penn State University.

“Since its first convention in 2000, CNS’ reputation and reach have steadily grown, making the news organization indispensable to audiences across the region,” said Lucy Dalglish, dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at UMD. “The addition of student reporters from the United Kingdom and Pennsylvania will broaden the coverage and provide a unique educational experience to students from both countries.”

CNS also has its College Park, Md., digital bureau staffed by graphics and social media journalists in support of the on-the-ground coverage in Cleveland and Philadelphia. In total, CNS will have more than 30 digital and visual journalists devoted to coverage of each convention.

Clients in Maryland, Washington, Delaware, Pennsylvania and the United Kingdom will receive text, video and graphics from the combined news operations at the Republican and Democratic national conventions. In addition, CNS will be operating on a number of social channels, including Facebook and Twitter, and updating its website, CNSMaryland.org.

Leading the teams in Cleveland and Philadelphia is CNS Washington Bureau Director Jim Carroll.

“CNS is providing a spectacular opportunity for our students to experience the national political conventions, a chance many veteran reporters would envy,” said Carroll, who has covered every political convention since 1984. “There is no substitute for being there and feeling the excitement, tensions, drama – and the sights, tastes and sounds – of the party gatherings.”

Karen Fowler-Watt, head of the School of Journalism, English and Communication at Bournemouth University described it as a “unique experience for our students.”

“There were always going to be fascinating cross-cultural reference points for the students to draw from working with their American counterparts, but in the light of Brexit in the UK, those comparisons will be even more vivid and resonant,” she said.

Russell Eshleman, head of the Department of Journalism at Penn State, and a 15-year veteran of The Philadelphia Inquirer, will lead the Pennsylvania contingent at both conventions.

“I anticipated that the conventions would be like the last ones … PR shows,” said Eshleman. “As it moved along, it became a better story journalistically. For a reporter, it doesn’t get much better than seeing real emotion and conflict.”

Joining Carroll at the Republican National Convention for CNS is Josh Davidsburg, a broadcast lecturer at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at Maryland.

At the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Carroll will be joined by CNS Broadcast Bureau Director Sue Kopen Katcef.

The partnership among the three schools will provide students with a unique reporting and learning experience not available anywhere else.

July 19, 2016


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