IPJ Conference: “Journalism, Politics, and the Presidential Campaign of 2012”

A couple of weekends ago, the Institute on Political Journalism presented “Journalism, Politics, and the Presidential Campaign of 2012” in Washington, DC. This year’s conference brought students and faculty from 38 colleges and universities to hear from speakers on topics ranging from religion and politics to getting a first journalism job after school.

The conference opened with remarks from Gallup.com’s first and only journalist on staff, Lymari Morales. Morales talked about her work as the managing news editor of Gallup.com and gave tips how to use data-driven news when covering the presidential campaign. Later in the day participants heard from Elizabeth Tenty Galle of The Washington Post and Mollie Ziegler Hemingway of Getreligion.com, who spoke about religion, politics and the media. They shared insight on topics like how Mitt Romney and Jon Hunstman’s Morman faith will continue to play a role in the campaign of 2012.

Attendees were then taken on location sessions to either C-SPAN’s studio for “Your Government 24/7” or to Capitol Hill for “The Press vs. the Press Office” before dinner with our keynote speaker, Karen Travers a National Politics Reporter at ABC News. Travers, who completed the Institute on Political Journalism summer program in 1999, shared stories about her early work as a desk assistant at ABC News, to covering the Bush and Obama White Houses more recently. She concluded with some advice for the aspiring journalists—“Be humble and be the intern that works hard and stays late.

The second day of the conference featured breakout sessions focusing on career options within the field of journalism, including covering Capitol Hill, the police beat and the business beat. One of the attendees left The Trenton Times reporter David Karas’ presentation on “Covering the Police Beat” saying, “I think I know what I want to do when I graduate!

The conference ended with our keynote lunch speaker, Kenneth P. Vogel of POLITICO, a visit to the Newseum, and a live-taping of NBC’s Meet the Press with David Gregory that featured Jon Huntsman. IPJ Director, Joe Starrs, was impressed with the level of engagement by the student participants and the quality of questions.

To learn more about conferences, awards and institutes sponsored by the Institute on Political Journalism, please visit www.DCinternships.org/IPJ.

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