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Cronkite broadcast students test skills in live election coverage

November 07, 2006

For the first time in the school’s history, broadcast students of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication will produce a three-hour live broadcast of local and national election coverage Tuesday.

Nearly 50 students, staff and faculty are gearing up for the project, intended to help students experience the challenging task of covering as-it-happens news.

“There is nothing like the experience of election coverage…you simply cannot recreate the intensity and deadline pressure these students will endure,” said Mark Lodato, news director and professor of practice for the Cronkite School.

To give students the real-life experience, Lodato said the programming format will be similar to what viewers see on any network station. Several students will report live from multiple locations, including the county election headquarters, Democratic Party headquarters and Republican Party headquarters. These students, along with two student anchors at the Cronkite NewsWatch studio on campus, will give an in-depth look at local elections and cover highlights from national races as the results are reported from Associated Press and CNN.

Cronkite’s coverage of the 2006 elections can be viewed on the city cable channels for Tempe and Mesa, as well as one of Eight/KAET’s digital channels and Tempe Channel 11’s Web site, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

“Since we’re dedicating reporters to issues and races important to the people of Tempe and Mesa, it’s possible we’ll have more live local election coverage to offer,” said Lodato.