Presidential campaign gives radio/TV/film student learning opportunity

April 22 2008

The hotly contested race for the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination provided Indiana State University senior Rondrell Moore a real-world learning experience he will long remember.

As a reporter for “Sycamore Beat” - a student-produced newscast - the radio/TV/film major covered Barack Obama’s recent campaign swing through Indiana.

Producing a TV news “package” that captures the excitement of the campaign while remaining objective proved challenging, Moore said.

“It’s pretty easy to just fall into the pandemonium, chaos and excitement that’s a part of the election,” he said. “But the more I research and the more I learn about the issues and the candidates, it’s a little bit easier. I’m not coming at it as an enthused fan or even an average voter. As the media, it’s our job to give both sides and provide a view of what’s happening in society. As I learn, it becomes easier to do.”

The opportunity to travel with national media on the press bus that accompanied Obama and report on the Illinois senator’s rallies at Indiana University in Bloomington and at Terre Haute North Vigo High School “was quite an experience,” Moore said.

Dealing with large crowds, other members of the media, the rigors of the campaign trail and deciding on the “angle” for his report helped bring today’s 24/7 TV news environment into sharper focus for the future broadcast journalist.

“Since Sycamore Beat is a campus news show, we wanted to talk to the needs of the students and what they would find most interesting,” Moore said. “It is important for young people to get their needs across and pay attention to what’s happening.”

For the first time in decades, Indiana’s May 6 primary may make a difference in a major party’s choice for President, and the issues Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton are discussing - health care, the Iraq war and education - loom large for today’s college students, Moore noted.

Sen. Obama is not the first notable personality Moore has covered for Sycamore Beat. His previous interview subjects have included CNN anchor Nancy Grace, sports journalist and NPR commentator Frank DeFord, FBI profiler John Douglas and actress Marlee Matlin - all of whom visited Indiana State this year as part of the University Speakers Series.

Having been face to face with such notables, working alongside nationally known reporters covering the Obama campaign didn’t faze Moore.

“It's important to be yourself and to be confident in your abilities when dealing with "big time" reporters. They've started the same way I have, so I think they understood my position,” he said.

A Terre Haute North Vigo High School alumnus, Moore, who has served an internship with WTHI-TV, is one of 10 spring 2008 Hines Memorial Medal recipients. Named for Linnaeus Hines, ISU’s president from 1921 to 1933, the medal recognizes graduating seniors with the highest cumulative grade-point average.

Photo: Rondrell Moore, a senior radio/tv/film major at Indiana State University, edits a video feature about Sen. Barack Obama’s recent campaign swing through Indiana.

Contact: Jeffrey Perkins, director of student video production, department of communication, Indiana State University, 812-237-3234 or jperkins2@isugw.indstate.edu

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

The hotly contested race for the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination provided Indiana State University senior Rondrell Moore a real-world learning experience he will long remember. As a reporter for "Sycamore Beat" - a student-produced newscast - the radio/TV/film major covered Barack Obama's recent campaign swing through Indiana.

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