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Journalism students cover caucuses and primaries

A group of Emerson Journalism students took part in the presidential caucus and primary action in Iowa and New Hampshire earlier this month. Students reported on campaign events; met candidates, commentators, and well-known journalists; and were interviewed by news outlets themselves.

During their stay in Iowa, thirteen students, two faculty members, and one staff member had the opportunity to interact with personalities such as NBC reporter and former anchor Tom Brokaw, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and The Nation’s John Nichols. Much of their coverage can be viewed at and will also be featured in a half-hour TV show on local cable stations, the Internet, and Emerson cable later this month.

WEBN reporters Ariana Sandillo and Emari Traffie interview NBC's Kelly O'Donnel in Ames, Iowa about the 2012 Iowa caucuses.

The local ABC affiliate WOI CH5 hosted the Emerson team and served as headquarters. In addition to reporting for Emerson outlets WEBN and WERS, the students broadcasted for WCAX-TV (Burlington, Vermont) and WJHL-TV (Johnson City, Tennessee).

The students were also lucky enough to get a glimpse from the other side of the camera, as they themselves were interviewed for TV, radio, print, and the Internet, including appearances on WBZ Radio (Boston) and the Andrea Shea King radio show on blogtalkradio.

WEBN Anchors Micaeli Rourke (left) and Ariana Sandillo cover the 2012 Iowa Caucuses from the Polk County Convention Center. WEBN's Emari Traffie operates the camera.

Iowa participants were: Dominique Banas ’13, Stephanie Greenland ’12, Wynn Harrison ’12, Satenik Karapetyan ’12 (executive producer), Elizabeth Montaquila (graduate student) ’13, Catherine Ross ’12, Micaeli Rourke ’12, Ariana Sandillo ’13, Katherine Spalla (executive producer), Emari Traffie ’15, Garrett Turner (graduate student) ’13, Patrick Welter (graduate student) ’13, and Christina Winske (graduate student) ’12.

School of Communication Technology Director Jonathan Satriale ’94, MA ’09, and faculty members Marsha Della Giustina and Carole Simpson (who is also a former ABC news anchor and political journalist) accompanied the students.

Students who covered the New Hampshire primary included executive producers Sarah Onufer (graduate student) ’12 and Colleen Shaughnessy (graduate student) ’12, and the rest of the crew: Samantha Edwards ’12 (graduate student), Brittany Haddad ’12, ’12, Katie O'Donnell (graduate student)’13, Terri Ogan (graduate student) ’13, Rory McCann ’13, Montaquilla, Tamara Sacharczyk ’14, Taylor Smith ’15, Madeline Smeaton ’13, and Welter.

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