Journalism students to cover Tuesday’s election

Tomorrow’s election will be a real-time learning laboratory for University of Maine students in an Introduction to Journalism class.

The class, led by assistant professor and CLAS-preceptor journalism Joshua Roiland, is putting out the UMaine Telegraph, an online publication that will cover voting and election results in local, state and national races. Roiland’s 29 students have split into campus, state, national, features, opinion, photography, copy and design teams. Each team has an editor, who will coordinate with his or her reporters and staff, as well as with the project’s managing editor and editor-in-chief.

“We’ll update the site starting in the afternoon,” says Roiland. Students will also post on Twitter, using the hashtag #mainecmj. “While they’re doing their reporting Tuesday, they’ll be tweeting out newsworthy elements of their stories.”

Student reporters will interview voters as they exit the polls at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor and in Orono, at the New Balance Field House on the UMaine campus. Tuesday afternoon stories will include a profile of a first-time voter and a piece on how the movement of Orono voting to campus is affecting traffic congestion.

Other student reporters will be following the state’s 2nd Congressional District, this year’s ballot measures and races for the state legislative seats.

“They’re actually doing journalism,” says Roiland. “For those who go on in journalism, they’re getting a head start, in being able to both talk about the news media and in getting skills that they don’t offer in other classes.”

Student editors will plan and monitor coverage in a newsroom set up in Roiland’s office and in a classroom on the first floor of Dunn Hall.

“It’s definitely exciting. It’s also hectic,” says Elizabeth Theriault, a freshman from Madawaska, who is the project’s editor-in-chief. “It’s a lot of work and there’s a lot of things to coordinate and organize and get set, because Tuesday is going to be a big day. But it’s definitely something that I’m glad I get to take on.”

Contact: Jay Field, 207.581.3721; 207.338.8068