When Humber College’s journalism students covered last month’s U.S. election, it was a cross-border experience – literally.
Three of the students – Katherine Aylesworth, Laura Dart and Lindsay Wadden – travelled to Buffalo to cover the election for the journalism school’s website, radio station and news program.
Twelve students worked in the newsroom, two went to the Democrats Abroad gathering in Toronto and two more were at the U.S. Consulate party.
“Covering the election was crazy, stressful and exciting,” said Aylesworth, a third-year Journalism – Print and Broadcast student. “It was everything I went into journalism hoping to experience. We were able to submerge ourselves right into the action during such a controversial and intense time for America.”
She, Dart and Wadden went to a Republican clam chowder fundraiser and rally the night before the election. The day of, they went to two polling stations and interviewed several voters, including Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.
Later in the evening the trio stopped by a local pub and the Erie County Democratic results party. The next morning, after Donald Trump was officially named president-elect, they took to the streets of Buffalo to get reaction from voters.
Back in the newsroom, Tyler Bloomfield was the key organizer of the team’s coverage.
“I was essentially directing traffic all night,” Bloomfield, who is in his final year of the Journalism – Print and Broadcast program, explained.
“I was the point of contact for the reporters as they were filing into the newsroom, I managed the resources flooding in and redirected them to our writers in the newsroom as we needed them. I assisted all of the writers in finding a unique angle for their stories and edited everything before it got published.”
Together the students (among many other tasks) ran a live blog, built a map that changed as votes were tabulated and kept the Humber News Twitter account up to date.
“I gained a better idea of what it really is like [to be a journalist],” Dart said. “We did a lot of multitasking, having to file audio and information for different outlets, plus take photos and update social media. This is what journalists now have to be able to do.”