And So It Ends…

June 5, 2007

It’s hard to believe, but after five of the longest days I can remember,we’re done with the debates — for now. The candidates have departed, the media is packing, and even the CNN folks are starting to tear down their extensive array here in the media center. Although Anderson Cooper is still live on the network, the majority of the CNN folks are moving through the Cushing Student Center where a reception is being held for all of those involved in the production.

Before returning here to blog, I made a quick stop at the reception, and was greeted by the CNN executives, technical workers and on-air journalists who have been so welcoming and helpful over the past week. It seems impossible, but in about a day over 300 staff will pack up and dissapear, moving on to new assignments around the country, and around the world.

…And so it ends…for now.

Community Members Participate in Debate Watch Party at the NHIOP

June 5, 2007

Jay Severin and Michael Graham fans began arriving around 5 p.m. to ensure a front-row seat for the debate watch party on the big screens. Applause, laughter, and cheers have filled the NHIOP Auditorium this evening, as community members are fully engaged. Nearly 200 people currently pack the Auditorium, which has been turned into a make-shift radio station. 96.9 FM WTKK’s Michael Graham sits in the back row, actively pounding the keys of his laptop, prepping for the radio call-in show that will begin in about an hour. Jay just arrived from Boston, after finishing his 3 to 7 call-in show on TKK.

Following the debate, Michael and Jay will take questions from both the audience and via call-ins from cars and homes. Spirited questions are anticipated until 11 tonight.

The Republicans Are Here

June 5, 2007

IMG_1914.JPGT-10 minutes until the Republican Debate begins. I’ve been roaming the campus since 3 p.m. this afternoon taking photos and trying to capture all the excitement on campus. I started my afternoon taking photos of supporters and protesters at the entrance to the college on Saint Anselm Drive and then traveled down to Sullivan Arena for a look behind the scenes.

You can view the the photos on Flickr at www.flickr.com/photos/saintanselm/tags/republican. A Flash slide show is available at www.flickr.com/photos/saintanselm/tags/republican/show. Be sure to check back later this evening and tomorrow morning for additional photos submitted by the team of photographers covering the debate.

I’ll watch the debate in the media filing center and then travel over to the “spin room” in Stoughtenburg Gymnasium at the conclusion of the debates.

CNN Reporter John King Speaks With Students

June 5, 2007

CNN Political Correspondent John KingCNN Chief National Correspondent John King spoke this morning with 15 Saint Anselm College students assisting the network with debate preparations. The informal conversation covered everything from how King broke into TV journalism to his work covering six presidential elections and reporting from south Asia following the 2004 tsunami.

King explained the importance of getting outside of Washington and New York and visiting small-town America to get the real perspective on the issues. “The best thing you can do whether you want to cover city hall or the White House is to go visit a community you’ve never been to before and sit in the back seat of a school committee meeting and listen… that’s where the issues that matter are discussed,” said King.

On the current front loading of the presidential primaries, King thinks a spread out system of primaries is better for the country and for the two political parties. “There is a balance that can preserve and protect Iowa and New Hampshire and the charm at the beginning of the calendar and bring some of the [other states] up. How to rotate or regulate that is the hard part.”

CNN Political Correspondent John King and Saint Anselm College StudentsKing discussed how TV journalists in his position have to always be mindful of the information they are reporting. “If you are talking about stuff that is sensitive, you will, in the course of your speaking, move financial markets,” he said, recounting a specific instance where he was reporting from the lawn of the White House following the resignation of President Clinton’s Treasury Secretary Robert Rubins in July 1999.

TV is an entirely different medium than print. It’s in many cases radio, since people are going about their daily lives and listening rather than watching. On TV, you need to get people’s attention.

“An average TV live shot is about a minute and a half, so the pictures have to complement what I’m saying. I’ve got to get you to watch, so I need a line or two at the top that makes you stop what you are doing and look at the TV.” said King.

“You get one shot, so you better choose your words carefully.”

For the complete conversation in its entirely, click on the audio file included with this post.

 
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Eye of the Storm

June 5, 2007

We’re awaiting some severe weather to roll through the area shortly, but the threat of downpours and wind doesn’t stop the action. CNN crews have moved inside, their live shot is set up about 50 feet away from my table inside the press file center. Outside, crews are still busy moving about campus as we prepare for the Republican debate at 7:00 tonight.

This morning, Saint Anselm students were invited to join chief national correspondent John King for a candid breakfast conversation. Many of us then visited the CNN “Election Express” bus parked on the quad for a private tour. As of 1:00 this afternoon, many students reported to their supervisors to begin last minute preparations for the action coming up tonight.

It’s hard to believe that about ten hours from now, everything will be over, and Saint A’s will once again be our quiet college campus, and not the backdrop to an international media event.

We’ve Got the Issues with 96.9 FM Talk

June 5, 2007

Although the main action was up on the hilltop Sunday night, where the eight Democratic candidates squared off in their first debate in the first-in-the-nation primary state, the action continued at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics where 96.9 FM Talk radio personalities Jay Severin, Jim Braude, and Margery Eagan broadcast spirited post-debate analysis in front of a live audience in the NHIOP Auditorium.

Callers from the region and New Hampshire natives in the audience peppered the trio with questions and issues were discussed and debated ranging from supporting the troops in Iraq to the future of the New Hampshire Primary. Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico joined the fray by phone and former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel participated live in the NHIOP Auditorium.

The 96.9 FM Talk insight and analysis continues tonight with Jay Severin and Michael Graham as the Republican candidates take the stage. The broadcast will again be open to the public with a debate watch starting at 7 and at 9, 96.9 FM Talk will begin their live broadcast. Join us down at the NHIOP to hear what the issues are and what they means for the 2008 Presidential election.

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