Reporting on elections is a cornerstone in journalism education, and the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication has several special projects scheduled to cover the local and presidential elections Nov. 8, 2016.
A preview of the expected print and video coverage is below:
Electionland is a nationwide effort to identify voting problems such as long lines at the polls, voting machine problems and voter fraud. Professor Barry Hollander’s special topics class “Public Opinion and the 2016 Election,” is one of 13 journalism schools across the county that was selected and trained to identify and verify these issues using a variety of social media search engines and to report them for the entire state of Georgia. Once reported, the issues will be filtered to local journalists for follow-up. This program is sponsored by ProPublica and the Coalition of News Organizations. Visit the Electionland website for more details.
Athens-Clarke County and Oconee County TV coverage
Grady Newsource, the only television broadcast provider in the Athens-Clarke and County County area, will provide extended political coverage to its viewers on-air and online with “You Decide Northeast Georgia,” an election special on November 8 from 8 to 10 p.m. After the regular 5 to 6 p.m. Newsource broadcast that day, the students will provide three cut-ins at 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. leading up to the special. If local races are not called by 10 p.m., Newsource will program additional cut-ins after the special. The digital team will update the website throughout the day, so that coverage is continuous even when the show is not on air.
“You Decide Northeast Georgia” will broadcast from multiple locations. Students will provide coverage featuring interviews with political experts, as well as updates from the digital team. There will be a team of reporters at each county elections office in the coverage area. Clarke County and Oconee County reporters will be live during the show. Newsource will air live shots from the University Union Watch Party, as well.
In addition to live coverage, reporters are already working on content that digs deeper into the local races and provides context for the vote. The show will feature profiles of candidates, analysis of voting trends and interviews with some of Georgia’s leading political experts.
Similar election coverage was done by Grady Newsource in Fall 2015.
Graduate Newsroom team
Grady’s Graduate Newsroom team includes 11 graduate students who will provide written and video coverage of the local Athens-Clarke County elections under the direction of Professor Pat Thomas. Students will provide coverage of democracy in action from local precincts before, during and after Election Day. A panel discussion has already taken place featuring State Rep. Regina Quick, Athens Banner-Herald Editor Ed Morales, Professor Charles Bullock (UGA SPIA) and Ms. Cora Wright, supervisor of for elections in ACC. Writing from the vantage point of Athens, they will report about candidates, campaign volunteers and events, donors and finance issues, voter engagement, referendum issues, poll workers and voters.
Students will report on one print and one video story in the run-up to the election. On Election Day, each student reporter will stake out his/her polling place and conduct interviews with people involved with the voting process. They will also report on a feature after the election, looking back at candidates and issues.
The professional partner of the Graduate Newsroom team is the Athens Banner-Herald/OnlineAthens.