Franklin Pierce Students to Cover National Political Conventions

Press Pass

RINDGE, NH -- Franklin Pierce University students will be among the literally thousands of news media covering the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Co., from August 25-28 and the Republican National Convention from September 1-4 in Minneapolis, Minn.. The University’s Fitzwater Center for Communication received credentialing as a media organization recently.

Dr. Kristen Nevious, director of the Center, will accompany the students to both conventions. Paul Bush, assistant professor of mass communications, will join the group in Denver.

The Fitzwater Center started the credentialing process in February, after the Franklin Pierce students’ success in covering the New Hampshire primaries, Nevious explains. It included filling out numerous forms, passing security clearances and submitting samples of the students’ work.

“This seemed like a natural extension of our success in covering New Hampshire’s First- in-the-Nation presidential primaries,” Nevious says.

Franklin Pierce students were heavily involved in covering the events leading up the Presidential Primary on January 8. They participated in political polling and captured hundreds of hours of video and audio coverage of candidates as they followed them around the state. On the day of the Primary, they created a news headquarters in Manchester. They had already obtained press credentials and fanned into the streets, talking to candidates and citizens alike, and covered the winners’ and losers’ speeches to their supporters. Their work paid off with several news media using their reports including New Hampshire Public Television; WMUR-TV, New Hampshire’s ABC affiliate; and YouTube.

“It was a spine-tingling moment,” Nevious says, “when we clicked onto our WMUR/YouTube coverage and realized that students of Franklin Pierce University, in rural Rindge, New Hampshire, were being heard and seen around the world.”

Franklin Pierce students who were instrumental in organizing the 2008 Primary coverage will take the lead for the national conventions. Some will remain on campus and coordinate the coverage the students send from the conventions while a team of about six students will go to each convention.

The reports from the students will be broadcast on Franklin Pierce’s television station, will be available at www.piercemediagrouponline.com and will be made available to other media outlets. New Hampshire Public Radio has already agreed to use reports from the students and New Hampshire Public Television will do a show on the students’ experiences following the conventions.

“The Fitzwater Center is dedicated to fostering the robust debate that is essential to a healthy democracy,” Nevious says. “It is arguable that no debate is more important to our country than that which surrounds the election of a president. We are excited and proud that Franklin Pierce students will have the opportunity to play a vital role in reporting on that debate.”