SNHU’s Pop Up Newsroom: Covering The ‘Race of Modern American History’

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Megan Palmer photoi

Introduction to Journalism students hard at work in the newsroom.

By Megan Palmer,
Editor, The Penmen Press

As the 2016 election season draws to a close, Southern New Hampshire University’s Introduction to Journalism class is hard at work in SNHU’s first-ever Pop Up Newsroom.

Under instruction of Mary Helen Gillespie, the Pop Up Newsroom aims to cover the election results in real time, while allowing the students in the course to interview, connect and engage with the SNHU Community.

Working across various communication platforms, the students in this class are providing live news via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Live to the SNHU community. The students have been preparing for tonight throughout the semester, learning what the newsroom entails and incorporates.

Junior, Ericka Broderick commented on the skills they have been developing in class, saying, “We have been researching each race, what each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses are. We did exercises involving live video, doing some practice with live video, and we are bringing those skills into the newsroom now.”

Throughout the evening, the student reporters can be heard sharing information with their newsroom peers.

SNHU POP-UP NEWSROOM Mary Helen Gillespie's Intro to Journalism students.

SNHU POP-UP NEWSROOM Mary Helen Gillespie’s Intro to Journalism students. (Megan Palmer photo)

Communications major, Matt Montminy can be heard with the newest poll numbers, and immediately dives back into the web looking for more information.

Upon taking a moment away from the developing stories, Montminy shared the most important lessons he has learned in the classroom, as well as the newsroom.

“We need to have our facts absolutely correct,” Montminy says. “These facts can change in a heartbeat. As you see I can have three different news sources open (on my computer) all at one time, not counting WMUR running on the TV.”

The Pop Up Newsroom allows these SNHU students to take the practical skills and lessons and apply them to a real world scenario. Senior Jimmy Scheibel looking past the newsroom and towards graduation reflected on the applications these skills would have after his university career.

“I definitely think it’s going to help with public relations, just finding out how to talk to people and knowing what to say,” says Scheibel. “It’s a good class to take pointers from when you are going into the ‘real’ world.”

The Pop Up Newsroom is still going strong and will continue throughout the duration of tonight’s election results. In the midst of the flurry that comes with the newsroom, Mary Helen Gillespie shared her feelings about tonight’s event. “I’m thrilled and so proud of our students,” says Gillespie. “At the start of the semester I walked into an Intro to Journalism class and this was completely unexpected. I had no idea we would be covering the race of modern American history.”

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