In the National Spotlight
During the 2016 election cycle, students in the Kent State School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) have had opportunities to work alongside national media. Since the primaries began in January, students have covered rallies throughout Northeast Ohio for both sides, and many spent the week working and covering the Republican National Convention, which took place in Cleveland.
On Monday, October 31, the national media converged on Kent State to cover a visit from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and JMC students were right in the mix.
TV2 used Skype to broadcast the speech live to viewers. Digital media production major Leisel Kober, ’18, was in charge of filming Clinton’s speech. She stood in the media risers alongside reporters from each Cleveland station as well as national reporters from FOX, CNN and NBC.
“At first, of course you feel intimidated, but once I got up there and set up, everyone was really nice and helpful,” Kober said.
While Kober used Skype, journalism major Samantha Feuer, ’17, covered the event live on Facebook and Twitter for TV2.
“JMC classes helped me prepare for all of the posting for TV2 and KentWired that had to be done in a professional news style,” Feuer said.
Journalism major Zachary Popik, '18, photographed the event. Working alongside professional photojournalists was competitive, he said, but he enjoyed being able to experience it with his peers.
“My favorite part is when I realized how many of my friends got press credentials. These are my colleagues, competition, my best friends who I get to shoot with,” Popik said.
While some students were in the field, others kept production going behind the scenes. Digital (electronic) media production major Michael Fowler, ’17, oversaw the entire broadcast from Franklin Hall.
“It was a great seeing our coverage go live alongside outlets like CNN, MSNBC and local affiliate stations,” Fowler said.
Meanwhile public relations major Hana Barkowitz, ’18, experienced the event planning side of things.
In her role as President of Kent State’s chapter of College Democrats, Barkowitz gave the formal invitation for Clinton to visit campus and attended planning meetings with members of Clinton’s advance team, the Kent State logistics team and the Secret Service. While Barkowitz did not have a direct role, she said she witnessed effective large scale event planning, and she was interviewed and featured on MSNBC.
“I am just really grateful for the entire opportunity,” Barkowitz said.
LOOKING AHEAD TO ELECTION DAY
Coverage does not end with local rallies. Members of Kent State student media have spent the past few weeks preparing for election night.
“Everyone is getting involved,” said senior journalism major Paige Katrinchak, ’17, who will serve as executive producer for TV2’s election night show.
On election night, students will be in New York to cover the national election, in Columbus to cover the state elections, throughout Portage County for local elections and in the newsroom to bring it all together.
Journalism major Anna Huntsman, ’19, will be in Columbus during the entire span of the election show, which begins at 7:30 p.m. and will run until the results are called. She is confident about creating content for a show that may last upwards of five hours because JMC professors have taught her about reporting different angles.
Photojournalism major Clint Datchuk, ’17, and several other student journalists, will be in New York covering the candidates for president. Datchuk has photographed many events throughout this election cycle, including the Republican National Convention.
“My JMC classes and my experiences with student media have been very beneficial by helping me get out and explore events like this,” Datchuk said.