Social Media (by: Jocelyn Van Beek)

Social media could determine the outcome of the 2012 Presidential Election.  I knew people were using this medium to get their news, but holy man they are using it!  I found it intriguing that I didn’t interview a single person who completely opposed using social media as a news source.  In fact, it was quite the opposite, and I discovered that most of them would be much less engaged and involved in the election if not for social media.

Not to mention, I was impressed with how many of my interviewees said they rarely use social media as a lone source.  For the most part, they emphasized that social media leads to biases if we surround ourselves with friends who share similar ideologies and news that reinforces our beliefs.  I couldn’t agree more that it’s incredibly important to dig deeper for credible news content.

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Visual Diary (by: Nathan Palm)

I really enjoyed working on my video piece for our class election project. I had to opportunity to follow two student political workers for the better part of the day and essentially see the type of work they do.

It was a bit tricky to follow Johnny Koremenos, since he’s stationed in Appleton, WI, but he came down to Madison and took me to a Republican office in Germantown, WI. With John Magnino, I observed him working at a Democratic office in downtown Madison.

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“Don’t start defying broken glass” (by: Melissa Grau)

I’ve been dealing with shards of glass. Metaphorically, yes, this story is sharp and I

could tell immediately, it was cutting. Hard to handle.

But at this moment I’m concerned with the literal; this morning my bathroom shelf
crashed down and a glass candle shattered on my shoulder. At the time, I was
rushing to answer a phone call from Dr. Roberts to follow up on our interview. I
didn’t realize until later that specs of glass attached to my clothing are still cutting
into me.

It’s the day before my deadline, and it is physically painful.

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Challenges and lessons (by: Katie Klopf)

    During the process of writing my story, I learned how important it is to present both sides of an issue for readers. So many news stories, both in print and broadcast, seem to plant opinion in the content of the story. That can present a biased approach and influence audience members in one direction, instead of letting them make their own information-based decision.

   I came across some frustrating issues while gathering information for my story. It was a challenge to get callbacks and even emails in response to my questions. Although I did find alternative sources that happened to be written by the people I tried to contact, everything did fall into place at the end.

   Although I would not call myself a very political person, it was interesting to find out the positions of presidential and U.S. Senate candidates on certain issues. I believe that this information should be readily available for voters (or non-voters) for educational purposes. I feel the Internet is so overcrowded with biased information that it is difficult for people to retrieve truthful information from a variety of candidates without getting a framed response.

  Election Connection provides that information in an organized fashion.

–          Katie Klopf

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Interviewing professors (by: Caroline Sage)

As a political science major, the idea of profiling professors in this field and their election research attracted me instantly. It would combine my academic knowledge of politics and the election with my passion for writing and storytelling.

Contacting professors became a challenge in terms of finding people with the time — and will – to speak with me. However, much to my surprise, the real struggle was translating this raw information into a story readers would enjoy – and understand.

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Challenges of video reporting (by: Amelia Rufer)

For my Election Connection story,  I decided to tackle a new kind of project:  video shooting and editing. Since I’ll be graduating in May, I wasn’t sure if I would ever get a chance to learn more about it before I left campus. So I signed up.

The biggest challenge was learning the technology needed to showcase the piece. I had a digital camera, and I knew how to use iMovie. I really wanted to practice some more advanced editing, and the idea that I would have a chance to try technology that is more professional was exciting. So I went with the JVC camera and learned Final Cut Pro X editing.

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Wisconsin Public Media (by: Adam Wolf)

For my election story, I interviewed individuals from Milwaukee Public Television, Wisconsin Public Television, and WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio, all of whom were gracious with their time.

Upon interviewing these individuals and learning about their respective networks, there was one thing that seemed to hold true for all: They all noted the viewers or listeners in their market were exceptionally generous with their donations.

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