Fitzwater Center hosts New Hampshire Congressional Debates

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MANCHESTER, NH - The Fitzwater Center for Communication at Franklin Pierce University will host a pair of key congressional debates that will help shape the race for New Hampshire’s 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts. The event is co-sponsored by the University's Fitzwater Center, New Hampshire Public Television, New Hampshire Public Radio, New England Cable News and PolitickerNH.com.

“In a vitally important political season, this is another opportunity for our students to gain valuable media experience alongside seasoned professionals, and to participate in the robust dialog that is essential to a healthy democracy,” said Dr. Kristen Nevious, Director of the Fitzwater Center for Communication at Franklin Pierce University.

Leading candidates for Congress in New Hampshire’s 1st District, Democratic incumbent Carol Shea-Porter and Republican challenger Jeb Bradley, will square off at 8 p.m. on October 16. Front runners for New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Paul Hodes and Republican challenger Jennifer Horn, will debate at 8 p.m. on October 17. Both events will take place in the Fitzwater Center’s satellite studio at Franklin Pierce University’s Manchester Center, 670 North Commercial Street.

Laura Knoy from New Hampshire Public Radio will moderate the debates. Franklin Pierce journalists will film the event with New Hampshire Public Television and for the University’s student media. Video clips and post-debate analysis will also be posted to www.piercemediagrouponline.com and to the Fitzwater Center’s branded YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/PoliticsFitzU

Franklin Pierce journalists have enjoyed a front row seat to national politics beginning with their participation in the nationally-cited Franklin Pierce / WBZ-TV polls leading to New Hampshire's First-in-the-Nation Presidential Primary last January. Student journalists also traveled to Iowa and reported on the state’s caucus. This summer, the University sent teams of reporters to the Democratic and Republican national conventions. They filed stories for student media as well as for the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper and WMUR-TV.

“In each of these settings, our students have shown their technical proficiency, sound news judgment, and the ability to intelligently and creatively handle the unexpected challenges associated with the news business,” Dr. Nevious said. “We are proud that mainstream news outlets are using our products and our students continue to build professional contacts in the industry."