Journalism students enjoy ‘unforgettable experience’ providing election coverage

Students report from University of Nevada, Reno and various Washoe County locations throughout election night

With the eyes of the nation on Nevada, one of the nation's "battleground" states in the 2012 presidential election, journalism students at the University of Nevada, Reno, with their professors, provided a barrage of election-related news and real-time updates Tuesday. 

About 50 students of the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism and Center for Advanced Media Studies participated in the election-night coverage, filing stories beginning a couple of days before the election and continuing beyond midnight on Tuesday. They explored topics such as the state's pivotal Hispanic vote and what happens in the event of an electoral tie, getting perspective from national subject experts at the University, including Emma Sepulveda, Latino Research Center director and Eric Herzik, political science department chairman and often-quoted political pundit. They produced a live-streamed Wolf Pack Week telecast 7 - 8 p.m. on Tuesday, as well as provided updates throughout the evening for NPR station KUNR located on campus.

Donica Mensing, the School's graduate studies director, coordinated the various student efforts prior to and during the coverage on Tuesday, with the help of about a half dozen other faculty members. The students worked out of the School's newly renovated newsrooms and studios Tuesday evening, as well as reporting from campaign gatherings and polling locations.

The atmosphere in the School's newsrooms had all the buzz and excitement of a typical media newsroom on election night, and it was difficult to ascertain who was enjoying the experience more - the faculty members or the students.

"Our students produced substantial and commendable work across multiple platforms this evening," Reynolds School Dean Al Stavitsky wrote in an email to the school's faculty and staff around 1 a.m., Wednesday morning. "Observing their energy and talent, and seeing the commitment of our faculty and staff to provide them this unforgettable experience on the big stage of election night, was truly inspiring. To accomplish this in front of a roomful of international visitors, including the Murrow Program journalists and other guests of the Northern Nevada International Center, was especially sweet."

In partnership with the U.S. Department of State and the Northern Nevada International Center, the School hosted a delegation of Russian-speaking journalists editors and media professionals from emerging democracies in Eastern Europe and Central Asia beginning Nov. 3 and through last night, under the auspices of the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists. The Reynolds School of Journalism was one of 10 journalism schools nationally chosen to participate.

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