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Five Ways To Do Your Own Election Coverage

Easy-To-Do Ideas for Articles About the Candidates and the Campaign


Five Ways To Do Your Own Election Coverage

Republican Senate hopeful Christine O'Donnell and Democratic Senate hopeful Chris Coons participate in a U.S. Senate debate at the University of Delaware on Oct. 13, 2010.

Photo by Jacquelyn Martin-Pool/Getty Images)

Even if you're a student or citizen journalist you can do your own election coverage.

After all, even candidates for big races - governor, the House of Representatives and the Senate - have to campaign in the small towns that make up their state or congressional district. And the tighter a race is, the more they'll be out on the stump. All politics is local, the saying goes, and that means election coverage starts in your hometown - with you.

So here are five easy ways you can produce your own articles about the upcoming election.

Interview the Candidates

The closer an election is, the more desperate candidates are for media attention. Call their local campaign office to see if you can get one-on-one interviews with the candidates themselves or with one of their press people.

Cover Rallies, Press Conferences and Debates

You'll find plenty of campaign rallies and events being held in the weeks and days leading up to the election, particularly in hotly-contested races. Cover these, being sure to get quotes both from the candidates and from the people in the crowd. And don't forget to take pictures.

Interview Voters Before the Election

Talk to local residents - teachers, cops, business owners, schoolteachers, and so on - to see what their concerns are in this election, and whether they think the candidates are addressing those concerns. Is their mood upbeat or downcast? Why?

Interview an Expert

Talk to a political science professor at the local college or university to get their views on the election. Find out what the important issues are and what factors will ultimately decide the outcome of the balloting. Or talk to a polling firm doing election surveys in your area to see what they're finding.

Interview Voters After the Election

Ask people in your community if they're happy with the results of the balloting, and if not, why not. Do they think the winners will bring real change or support the status quo? Why?

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