Gardner-Webb Students Attend Forum Discussing Media and Presidential Campaign Coverage

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Special event included National Known figures from CNN And NBC
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Students from GWU’s political science department got the chance to attend a panel discussion entitled “The Evolving Media Coverage of the Presidential Campaign” at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. Panelists included Chuck Todd of NBC and Steve Brusk from CNN.

The event was part of a consortium involving universities and colleges in the region as a means for students to become academically focused on the political process and to promote civic engagement. The forum comes during a year in which the Carolinas are receiving national attention for the upcoming Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte and South Carolina becoming one of the first states in the nation to elect a 2012 G.O.P nominee.

Topics discussed at the event by the guest panelists included “The Media and its Polls” and “Today’s Technology.” Todd, who serves as chief White House correspondent and political director for NBC, told the audience that polls are seldom correct and expensive.

“The science of polling is degenerate now,” said Todd. “Is there still quality polling? You have to spend a lot of money to get accurate results. For instance, the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll costs over $50,000 each.  Most won’t or can’t spend those type of dollars, so there is untrustworthy polling.”

On the subject of today’s technology, panelists shared that people desire news and events more immediately than in the past. “The playing field has changed in politics and its media coverage,” said Brusk, CNN political coverage manager. “Due to technology devices (iPads, cell phones, TV), our resources can take us anywhere, at any time, regardless of how small or remote a location.  This is great for the politician and the news media.”

Fifteen GWU students from Dr. Ben Gaskins’ political science class on the President and Congress participated in the program while meeting the guest speakers. “They all had some interesting insight on how the Presidential debate is going right now related to TV media,” said Katie Spiro.

“Most students are not involved in politics,” said GWU student Ivana Hughes. “Coming to an event like this reminds us just how big technology is for our use, even in politics.” Jimmy Johnson added, “the media is going to do their job, but at the end of the day it’s up to us to decide who we will vote for. We should all find out information on a candidate before we make that vote.” Spiro and Johnson are both seeking double majors at Gardner-Webb, while all three, including Hughes, are majoring in political science.

Gardner-Webb will host the next consortium event, “Religion and the Presidency,” in the near future.

More information is available about Political Science at Gardner-Webb through Gaskins at 704-406-4466.