BYU students heading to D.C. to cover election night

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Gianluca Cuestas
BYU news media majors Sarah Averett, left, and Haley Hilton, right, sit with their adviser Carrie Moore, center, on the UNLV campus to cover the final presidential debate watch party. BYU’s communications program will send another group of students on a trip to Washington, D.C., next week to cover election night. (Gianluca Cuestas)

A group of BYU communications students is heading to Washington, D.C., next week to get firsthand experience covering election night.

The trip is a rare opportunity for the print and broadcast students who are participating because presidential elections only happen every four years.

Reporter Sydney Jorgensen is among those traveling to D.C. Jorgensen said she is looking forward to the experience.

“I am really excited,” Jorgensen said. “I think it’s a once in a lifetime experience, especially in an election like this. I’m really honored to be given such an opportunity.”

Photographer Maddi Dayton, who will also travel to D.C. to cover the election, said her role as a photographer is a bit different than that of the student reporters, but she is also excited about the opportunity.

She said her goal is to bring students coverage which will show the “ins and outs of the election process” and help them see the “repercussions” of the election’s outcome.

“As the photographer in the group, my job is to bring a visually compelling element to the stories that we choose to tell,” Dayton said. “This election has been insane so far, so as we head out to D.C., we honestly have to be ready for anything.”

Jorgensen said those traveling to D.C. are thinking of trying to contact current and former BYU students living there to help with potential story ideas. They have also considered seeing how the election has impacted students at Georgetown University. Though there has been some brainstorming on what they will write before they leave, Jorgensen said they will mostly find story ideas once they get there.

Regardless of the story topics, Jorgensen said she is excited to learn what it is like to be a “real-life” reporter.

“We’re stepping out of the realm of the BYU community to be able to do something real world that real journalists do,” Jorgensen said. “I think it is just going to be neat to learn more about what is going on and tie my interest in politics into that.”

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