Florida A&M University public relations students are creating content for “TubeTheVote.com,” an online magazine, or e-zine, devoted to coverage of the presidential campaign.
Every week students are joining the University of California at Berkeley, Michigan State University and the University of Texas to create different pages for the political site. FAMU will design the page every Wednesday until the general election.
LaRae Donnellan, a professor in the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication, presented the opportunity to her students after returning from the second Annual Academic New Media Summit hosted by Edelman Public Relations Firm.
“The goal of the summit was to help faculty get up to speed about social media, and inform students,” Donnellan said.
When offered the chance for FAMU students to participate in “TubeTheVote,” Donnellan gladly accepted.
Donnellan’s PR Research & Strategies class constructs all the work involved in creating the page. Each university has a designated day to design the pages, only original content may be put on the site.
“TubeTheVote” has interactive activities on the site such as Best Parody and Quote Quiz.
Quote Quiz challenges readers’ political savvy and knowledge of the candidates. Best Parody features the top parodies about the candidates and the overall election.
Vanessa Scanfeld, a representative from “TubeTheVote,” said the site will be helpful in addressing political concerns and issues.
“E-zine is a next-generation, interactive political magazine, which looks at election issues through the lens of user-generated content from YouTube, Twitter, Flickr and blogs.”
Angelica Washington, 20, a senior public relations student from Atlanta and a student in Donnellan’s class, will participate in the venture.
“My duties vary from week to week,” Washington said. “This past week my partner and I had to develop the ‘Best Parody’ page.”
Washington thinks e-zines will open opportunities for publications and it is beneficial for students to understand them early on.
“Since e-zines are going to be the future of some magazines, its helpful that we know how to work with them now,” Washington said.
Donnellan said working on the site is definitely a learning experience for her students and allows students to cover a historic election, and to learn all about public relations strategies.
She also said it is important for students to know how to operate through many social mediums such as “TubeTheVote” which incorporates social media with in depth coverage of the presidential election.
Scanfeld said students designing the site search the internet to find interesting and influential videos and blogs as content. A team of five interns work as editors, however, the final decisions are not made by them.
According to Scanfeld, “TubeTheVote” aims to provide unbiased coverage of the election. She said they hope to attract young people from both sides of the aisle to examine the most important issues.
According to a “Mashable” review of the site, “TubeTheVote presents a fair and honest view of both parties.” The e-zine is managed by Blogform Digital Magazines, which is based in New York.