As a student news organization, we have a unique voice in political coverage. Because we are so young ourselves, we are able to deliver news about the policies that matter to young adults in a way that many outlets cannot. We did this in several ways over the course of our election coverage. Specifically, I was inspired by the work we did in reaching out to first-time voters in local high schools.
As is the case for nearly all news outlets, our duty is to report the news that matters most to our audience. For Annenberg Media, that means we are responsible for covering races and propositions that directly impact students and the South Los Angeles community. I think we did that in our coverage of Proposition 6, a measure that sought to repeal the gas tax that funds road repairs. We also did this in our in-depth coverage of Proposition 10 (a measure that sought to increase local government’s power to expand rent control) through multiple web articles and a video news story.
I think it was also imperative that we focused much of our coverage on the logistics of election day. We made students aware of their polling places. We also showcased the free transportation methods our viewers could use to get to the polls. On Wednesday, I was able to find a student whose registration information was lost at the polls, which allowed for a broader discussion about nationwide logistical problems at other polling places.
What inspired me the most about the course of our election and post-election coverage was the diversity of content. On Wednesday alone, we were able to fill roughly half our show with different political stories re-capping the election. All of these stories had different angles and perspectives.
This coverage took weeks to prepare and dozens of students to create. I’m proud of the work we produced throughout this election cycle because I know it informed our audience and generated meaningful conversations throughout our campus.