On the upcoming election night, Oswego State’s three media organizations, WTOP-10, WNYO 88.9 FM and The Oswegonian, will work together as one to bring the campus and Oswego community national and local election coverage.
The election night program will consist of live updates on races, interviews with students and roundtable discussions that will consist of students and professors who have opposing views on the issues that will be discussed.
Students from all three organizations have been meeting for the past month, collaborating on the best way to run a seamless show.
“I think it’s really awesome when three media organizations can get together and really do a cross platform show because that’s where media is going now,” said Ben Gordon, General Manager of WTOP-10. “You have to be on every platform and now students have an opportunity to work on multiple platforms at the same time.”
Gordon says the media organizations will be putting a heavy focus on the local 24th Congressional District’s election rematch from 2010, between current Congressional representative Republican Ann Marie Buerkle and former Congressional representative Democrat Dan Maffei. The election has had heavy media attention and a mass amount of television advertising, including political attack advertisements.
“We are covering such an exciting congressional race, one of the most funded races in the country right now, and they’re still at a dead heat, so it’s exciting for us to be covering such a huge race that will be getting some national coverage as well,” Gordon said.
Students from all the organizations will be present at both Buerkle and Maffei’s campaign headquarters on election night.
“We will have reporters live at the headquarters of Congressional candidates Buerkle and Maffei,” Gordon said. “They will be with us live for the broadcast.”
The media organizations will also be taking their election coverage to the Internet, as social media is a big part of today’s media.
“The three of our media organizations realize that social media is an increasingly important aspect especially when it comes to breaking news and getting information out on every platform,” Gordon said. “We decided that we needed lots and lots of content coming out online to compliment our broadcast.”
The broadcast will have a social media room that will be giving constant updates on social media sites Facebook and Twitter. The Twitter hash tag will be #ozlive2012 to check for updates from all three of the media organizations.
WTOP 10, WNYO 88.9FM and The Oswegonian all stress the importance of working together as one to cover election night. One of the main goals of the program is to show campus that the media department is one entity.
“It’s to show campus that the three media organizations can work together to accomplish a goal,” said Andrew Nicholson, General Manager of WNYO. “Our new thing is we are a media family now. We are working together with all different things.”
Nicholson says that media collaboration has been happening on campus for quite some time, but it has never been as out there for the public to see, as it will be Tuesday night.
“I have an Oswegonian radio show [on WNYO], we broadcast some of our radio shows on [WTOP], and also we have members that do all three organizations, but that’s all behind the scenes stuff,” Nicholson said. “We want to show everyone that the three of us can work together.”
The media organizations have made it so coverage can be found on multiple sites and platforms. Television coverage can be found on the WTOP 10 television channel, channel 96 and on wtop10.com. Radio coverage will be found on the radio station WNYO 88.9 FM and streaming on its website, wnyo.org. The Oswegonian will also have updates on its website, oswegonian.com.
The coverage will start with the Oswegonian Radio Show at 7 p.m. on WNYO, and the live television coverage will start at 8 p.m. on WTOP 10, with the audio streaming live on WNYO. The coverage will go into the late hours of the night of midnight or later, depending on the status of the elections.
The media organization leaders said they think the election night coverage offers an excellent learning experience for all the students who are involved. The all student-run and produced program will have students working on the air bringing viewers the latest updates on the screen, working behind the scenes on the technical aspect of the television and radio broadcasts, and on the web and at the headquarters finding the latest information on the elections.
“It will give them a very real experience,” Gordon said. “Even though you’re at the campus center or the headquarters, you’re doing the exact same thing the people who work for CNN would be doing right now. It’s really real world experience because people are watching us and you’re covering the exact same thing everyone else is covering.”
Gordon and Nicholson are really hoping the election night coverage will make a big splash on campus. They are promoting the event through all the student media outlets located on campus, and fliers can be found all around campus.
“We want to have a bigger presence on campus. We want people to know that they can come here for information if they want,” Nicholson said. “We want them to know they can resort to WNYO, WTOP and The Oswegonian for on campus happenings.”
Both Nicholson and Gordon said they feel students will have good reason to tune in to the student media organization coverage over other stations and national media outlets covering the elections.
“[Other stations] are orientated toward the 40-year-old working man working an everyday job,” Nicholson said. “We’re focused on college kids; we’re focused on the Oswego community.”
“This is your campus, these are the people you know you are watching on TV, we will have all the same information as everyone else,” Gordon said. “You’ll have a better connection to campus and watching your fellow students do a similar job as everyone else.”
The student media organization leaders are very excited for Tuesday night and working together on one of the biggest media events of the year. After all the time spent planning and preparing WTOP 10, WNYO 88.9 FM and The Oswegonian are ready to showcase their talents not just as students, but as professionals.
“I think if we work together we can get the best quality content, and it will be out on all of our mediums,” Gordon said. “It showcases what we can do as a campus together and it showcases the school in what we can do.”
“As Lou Borelli says, ‘we’re professionals with a GPA,’” Nicholson said.
Borelli is a successful alumnus of Oswego State, and for years has come back to campus to enhance student education, creating events such as the Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit.
“Especially with this election coverage, we are going to show how professional we can be,” Nicholson said. “We are still college kids, we have social lives, we have grades and we have other issues to worry about, but yet we are still all coming together and working toward this one thing.”