Columbia Grad School of Journalism Covers 2008 Service Nation Summit

Photo Credit - Joseph C. Lin Photo Credit - Alexandra Cheney

Welcome to Columbia Graduate School of Journalism's coverage of the 9/11/08 Obama-McCain Presidential Candidate's Forum on the Columbia University Campus.

Browse through the topics at right and be sure to check out the photos, audio, and video.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Media Shows Up at Columbia

The broadcast establishment showed up in full force for the Obama McCain ServiceNation event tonight. Two entire blocks of Broadway between West 114th and West 116th streets are flanked with news vans from national news channels and local affiliates.

Fox News, Fox 5, CBS 2, NBC 4, and ABC 7 were among the channels holed up in their broadcast vans since as early as 5 a.m. this morning.

"It's long but it's easy work because we're not doing a lot," said Jay, a photographer and cameraman for Channel 2, the local CBS affiliate. He anticipated that the news teams will be on campus until 11 p.m or midnight tonight.

None of these stations are allowed inside Lerner Auditorium for the speeches from the candidates; they will all rely on pool video provided by All Mobile Video, a national video and audio provider, for footage of the actual event.

Jim Sebastian, 59, a photojournalist for Fox 5, said that the majority of his station's coverage will focus on the 9/11 anniversary and Columbia student reaction to the two senators on campus. "In their eyes, McCain is just as bad as Ahmadinejad," joked Sebastian, alluding to the speech made by the Iranian president last year at Columbia.

Sebastian and coworker David Dipuma, 37, were typical of the media here thus far: mostly cameramen and tech staff — few on-air reporters — sitting in their vans, reading newspapers and sipping coffee. The Fox van was unmarked and black, leading Sebastian to remark, "Rupert Murdoch didn't want to spend the money to put a logo on here."

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