Journalism Students Host Election Night Special

The Florida A&M University School of Journalism & Graphic Communication students produced and hosted the Election Night Special.

Election Day, held Nov. 4, is a day when Americans can cast their votes for their desired candidates and the final winners were announced.

Professor Kenneth Jones started the Election Night Special in 2004 with the 2004 presidential election of former Republican President George W. Bush and Democratic candidate John Kerry.

“I expect a very high quality news cast production, accuracy, good journalism and students learning skills that they can move further in the ream of journalism and public relations,” Jones said.

Jones started the show to increase the knowledge and the understanding of the power to vote and the election process. He also uses the show as training for students, not just in the Advanced TV News class, but also for other students to utilize their crafts and skills for the live newscast on a breaking news story.

“My favorite part of the show is to be able to work with very talented, great character students who are trying to do better and enhance their knowledge about the election process, the voting process, the power to vote, and their skills to become professionals and great citizens in the community,” Jones said.

De’Nisha Jones, a productions producer for the Election Night Show and a graduating senior in broadcast journalism from Jacksonville, Fla., said she didn’t expect to be the producer for the show.

“It just so happened, when I missed class one day that all of my classmates were telling me ‘Congratulations, you’re the producer for the Election Night Special,’ so I really feel honored, in a way, because it says Professor Jones sees something special in me,” she said.

Jones’ duties as productions producer consists of being involved in productions as much as possible such as: the graphics that are as the graphics that are being used as the news open, the graphics for the candidate races and anything that involves production.

“I also assist with the reading content, so we have to make sure that all of the facts are correct, the names are spelled right, and that everything is proof read before we air it,” Jones said.

The Republican candidates conquered the Democrats in the 2014 Election.

Republic Governor Rick Scott is re-elected, defeating former Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat Governor Charlie Crist with one percent advantage.

Along the candidates were Libertarian Adrian Wyllie, No Party Glenn Burkett and No Party Farid Khavari.

Governor Scott is Florida’s forty-fifth governor. Scott missions focuses on creating jobs, improving Florida’s economy and creating affordable, high quality health care.

Former Leon County school administrator Democrat Gwen Graham beat Republican candidate Steve Southerland with about 2,000 votes. Graham will be representing Florida District 2 in Washington D.C.

Graham is focusing on creating jobs, investing in education and balance budgets, keeping taxes low and protecting Medicare and Social Security.

One of the anchors for the Election Night Special, Donovan Long, a graduating broadcast journalism senior from Indianapolis, Ind., said that he wrote, produced and reported on a story regarding Wakulla County’s heated issue of the wetlands. Referendum A on the ballots intended to protect vulnerable wetlands that have reached a sharp pitch.

“I prepared myself by conducting research on each political position, referendum and amendment,” explains Long. “I also researched main issues plaguing Florida. Lastly, I consulted with Professor Kenneth Jones for additional information.”

Other countywide referendums included in the ballot were the penny sales tax to support Brevard Public Schools to contribute to improve the conditions of the schools in the county.

Statewide amendments on the ballot included the right to use medical marijuana for treatment subscribed by a physician and allowing the governor to fill judicial vacancies–in which both amendments didn’t pass. Amendment 1, which provides funding for the Land Acquisition Trust Fund was passed.

Jessica Tapp, a senior elementary education major from Denver, Co. said that she is not happy with the results.

“Everyone was against Governor Scott, but those same people could’ve went out and voted to try and make a difference,” Tapp said. “However, I watched the Election Night Special and I thought it was very well put together. The students did a great job.”

There will be another show special in the spring framed similar to the election show.