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Student newsrooms take on the midterms


WASHINGTON – The invaluable role of student media during election periods usually translates into college campuses as breeding grounds for loud protests. But this rarely transcends to the voting booths during midterm elections.

Morgan State University, a historically-black college in Baltimore, is still getting back into routine for the year but has yet to report anything on the midterm elections regardless of Maryland’s animated governor race coming up in November of this year.

“We typically cover local elections. The biggest thing for us is that we try to make sure we follow candidates if they focus on any relation to Morgan specifically,” said Penelope Blackwell, Editor-In-Chief of MSU’s The Spokesman.

This past summer, Blackwell recounted an event at MSU of stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle endorsing Maryland's democratic governor nominee, Ben Jealous.

“We have a lot of students of color and international students, so often times I think that the highest interest is not towards politics, especially in this political climate,” Blackwell said. “But as a university as a whole, we pay attention to what is going on as it pertains to us.”

In similar light, in the DMV area, Catholic University of America’s The Tower’s most recent story about political events is from early May, covering CU Student’s concern with partisan gerrymandering. Comparing the views of liberal and conservative students on CU’s campus, current Editor-In-Chief Liz Friden reiterated the importance of covering the midterms with a bipartisan light.

“Our school is very interesting, being at a Catholic University we have the typical conservative students but then we also have a lot of liberal students expected on a college campus,” Friden said.

Meanwhile, Washington College’s weekly student newspaper The Elm is struggling to cover politics at all regardless of the competitive Maryland governor election.

“I haven’t seen anything about that,” Editor-In-Chief, Abby Wargo, said when asked about local election coverage. “Our opinion section writes about politics sometimes but we have yet to cover local or national news really.”

According to Wargo, The Elm’s opinion editor is the one mostly writing about politics with a pretty liberal stroke, portraying a majority of the university’s student and faculty population.

“Most of the news that we cover has something to do with the school and we relate it back to the students,” Wargo said. “So unless something in the elections are going to use something about Washington College in their campaign, I don’t see why we would cover something like that.”