Students partner with WPSU, travel to Washington, D.C., for election coverage

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — When the presidential campaign culminates on Election Day, Penn State journalism students will gain ample hands-on experience with opportunities in Washington, D.C., and serving viewers in 29 Pennsylvania counties through a partnership with WPSU-TV.

Specifically, students from ComRadio (, the internet-based radio station in the College of Communications, plan to spend two days in the nation’s capitol, broadcasting from Judiciary Square and visiting polling places to conduct on-site interviews. The three students making the Nov. 7-8 trip will also compile footage and craft segments for use on “Centre County Report,” the student-produced TV newscast that airs twice a week during the academic year.

“It’s just an incredible opportunity,” said Dara Cooper, a senior journalism major from River Vale, New Jersey, who serves as news director for ComRadio and is and one of the three students traveling to Washington, D.C. “What could be more of a real-life experience than covering a presidential election on location from Washington, D.C.? I’m sure there will be challenges, but it’s exciting to have the chance to do this.”

As part of a separate partnership with WPSU, other “CCR” students will provide live cut-ins with election results on the PBS station on election night. That’s a first for Penn State students.

“We’re excited to add this additional partnership with WPSU-TV because it means our students’ election results coverage will be seen by viewers in much of central Pennsylvania. It’s the ultimate real-world experience for our broadcast students,” said Steve Kraycik, director of student television and online operations for the College of Communications. “And that’s what sets our program apart from many other universities — our student productions aren’t just airing on campus. TV viewers across the region see their work.”

Along with live TV updates on results from the race for the White House to statewide contests in Pennsylvania, “CCR” plans constant updates on Twitter (@CentreCountyRep), Facebook Live and Instagram (@centrecountyreport). 

“CCR” students were also featured in a WPSU promotional spot about the station’s election coverage. Penn State student newscasts or specials have been named as the nation’s best produced by college students in each of the past three years by different professional groups.

ComRadio plans a pre-election show from 6 to 7 p.m. Nov. 7 and live election coverage beginning at 8 p.m. Nov. 8. Along with the students in Washington, D.C., the station’s studios at Innovation Park on the University Park campus will serve as headquarters for election coverage, which will include analysis from political science faculty members, input from College Democrats and College Republicans, and additional commentaries and interviews.

Last Updated June 02, 2021