A screenshot of the live blog on herblowe.com, contributed to by members of both the sports and elections class.
This weekend, I was bombarded by emails and Facebook notifications from my journalism professor, Herbert Lowe, about what my sports journalism class will be doing to cover the 2012 election. 

Now that sentence brings up questions in and of itself. Why is my sports journalism class covering elections? Well, the easiest way to explain that is that Professor Lowe also teaches an elections class with only five people in it. Since both the elections class and my sports class are on Tuesday, he probably thought we in sports class would enjoy the day off to do some live coverage of the election.

So instead of going to sports class today, we have to spend a minimum of 75 minutes at a nearby polling place interviewing voters and posting about our interactions into a live chat. For a sports journalism class. How many sports journalists do you know writing about the election today? To me, it signals that my professor doesn't feel that sports journalism is as important as covering elections. Which is a fine and honorable opinion to have, unless you are teaching a sports journalism class.

My real gripe with this whole situation is that the live chat the 15 members of elections and sports class will contribute to all day was located on herblowe.com, Professor Lowe's personal blog.

Professor Lowe is always encouraging us to tweet and post on our blogs in order to increase the relevance of our personal "brand." However, this assignment directly promotes his own personal brand. Sure, our names will be on the tweets and posts we send out throughout the day, but the traffic will all go to his personal blog, and not to ours. His name will be in every tweet as well, as #loweclass is required for all election day tweets.

However, I will say that I did somewhat enjoy what we did. My classmate, Chris Chavez, and I were able to engage with a few random voters and a few that we knew about why they voted, and even who they voted for. I found that the former was a far more effective question than the later. 

For the hour and a half-ish that we were at Centennial Hall on 8th and Wisconsin, roughly 100 people came in and out of the polling place. All range of people went through those doors. People of all ages and races were registered to vote at this particular location. I also got the opportunity to interview one of my good friends and my former residence hall director as a result.

It was cold, and we had to stand outside, and that was mostly awful, but we went inside occasionally to warm up. We didn't have any great chances to take pictures for the live blog, since we weren't inside. The people who we talked to painted us a decent enough image of the experience however. 

I'm not saying I didn't like the experience, but I wish it had been more in context of our class and on our own blogs.

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    Patrick Leary is a Seattlite studying journalism at Marquette University in Milwaukee. He writes the volleyball beat for the Marquette Tribune and loves the Seattle Mariners.


    November 2012
    October 2012
    September 2012