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NESCom students broadcast on election night with help from the NEWS staff

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Contributed | BDN
Contributed | BDN
graphics, weekly pix, adv weekly folder. 11/10/09.

BY NIKKY RANEY
SPECIAL TO THE WEEKLY

BANGOR — Seven students from the New England School of Communications came with adviser Anne O’Reilly to do election coverage at the Bangor Daily News on Nov. 3.

“What went on tonight is the same as when I worked at Mutual Radio Network,” O’Reilly said.

The students got information from the BDN staff as well as bangordailynews.com and the BDN’s Twitter page, and used that information to read over the radio using the equipment they brought. The students sent information back to NESCom for students there to broadcast over radio station WHSN 89.3.

BDN Webmaster Jeff Tuttle said that this is the first year the BDN has had students on election night.

“It is a good year to be here. We usually pair with public television during presidential elections,” he said.

Rick Levasseur, night news editor, spent the most time with the NESCom students. He offered his advice.

“The big thing is listening to the people that you interview,” he said. “You can come in with a preconceived idea, but you have to be flexible. The interview could lead to another angle. You have to be persistent, pay attention and hang on to your dreams.”

BDN reporter Eric Russell was working on questions 2 and 4 throughout the night.

“Be versed in all forms of media and learn more about the Web and audio,” Russell said to the students.

Along with election coverage, Leigh-Anne Hurley, a junior at NESCom, was able to interview Executive Editor Mark Woodward, who has announced he is retiring later this year from the BDN after 39 years. During the time in which the ballots were being counted, Hurley was able to get an on-air interview with Woodward.

Woodward recalled the 2000 Gore-Bush election, when other news outlets were announcing Gore as the winner.

“We were all here until 3 a.m., but it was too close to call. We are in the business of reporting the news, not forecasting the outcome,” Woodward said on the decision the BDN made to postpone the announcement of the winner.

Along with Hurley, students participating were junior Paul Wolfe, who provided the radio equipment and made sure the audio was sent to WHSN; sophomore Christian Wagner, who did radio coverage of the Twitter page and candidates; sophomore Wes Hart, who reported how the BDN covered the election; freshman Tim Simpson, who reported on how the Internet helped with the coverage of the election; junior Robert Nesbitt, who reported the updates and percentages of results in the election; and freshman Nikky Raney.

“It was fun for one night, but not every day,” Simpson said as the night was ending.

“I enjoyed seeing how the newsroom worked, and how much time actually goes into it,” Hart said.

Nikky Raney is editor of The Spectator, the newspaper that serves NESCom and Husson University.