A 2016 study by the nonprofit Futurity compared how student journalists and their professional counterparts covered previous elections. Unlike the pros, who focused more on political polling and strategy, the researchers found the focus of student reporters was more on the issues and candidate profiles and offered a greater variety of perspectives.
In short, they better served their audience.
Today, upwards of 100 College of Communication students are reporting on the national midterm elections and on the Massachusetts ballot questions. Participating are students in the BU News Service, WTBU, BUTV10, the Statehouse Program, and the journalism and film and television departments, who will update their sites and social media channels throughout the day and broadcast live coverage of election results tonight.
Overseeing the coverage are a number of faculty and veteran journalists, among them BU News Service advisors Susan Walker (GRS’09), a COM associate professor of journalism, and Michelle Johnson, a COM associate professor of the practice of journalism, Brooke Williams, a COM associate professor of the practice of computational journalism, Jerry Berger, a COM Statehouse Program lecturer in journalism, WTBU advisor Anne Donohue (COM’88), a COM associate professor of journalism, and BUTV10 advisor Chris Cavalieri (COM’81), a COM assistant professor of television.
BUTV10’s Midterm Mandate will send student reporters to campaign headquarters across the country, including Washington, D.C., Texas, Maine, and Boston. The show will also provide reports and commentary from alumni journalists now working at CNN, Hearst Media’s Washington bureau, Boston ABC affiliate WCVB, Portland, Maine, NBC affiliate WCSH, and Fort Myers, Fla., NBC affiliate WBBH.
“The fact that alums are willing to participate speaks to the experience they had at COM and how it has resonated in their professional lives,” Cavalieri says. “COM set the bar and whet their appetite.”
The BU News Service is slated to have student reporters at Massachusetts Republican Governor Charlie Baker’ …