11th annual ‘Election Connection’ show to stream live on Nov. 2
A dedicated student crew at Western Connecticut State University will take full advantage of their technological tools and social media expertise to present WCSU’s 11th annual “Election Connection” news production providing local coverage of Danbury, Brookfield, New Milford, West Haven, Stamford and New Britain elections, as well as weather updates and exploration of important issues.
Since its debut in November 2011, “Election Connection” has provided election night coverage of news and race results featuring an anchor team of students and faculty, supported by student reporters covering key races and voter concerns. This year’s show airs from 8 to 11 p.m. on election evening, Tuesday, Nov. 2.
Election Connection will stream over the “WCSU Studio Election Connection” YouTube portal and on the WCSU website at www.wcsu.edu/live. A radio simulcast will air on WXCI-91.7 FM. Social media access is available on Twitter “@ElectionCT”.
Executive producer Dr. JC Barone, WCSU professor of Communication and Media Arts, observed that students participating in the interdisciplinary course that produces “Election Connection” have been staying late after class and working weekends because they are driven by a commitment to the program.
Under Barone’s supervision, the student production team is led by producer and director Bianca Pasqualone, of Bethel, and news producer Jack Dutt, of Danbury. Anchors for the show are Jacob Schultz, of Newtown, and WCSU Associate Professor of Communication and Media Arts Dr. Jacqueline Guzda.
Erich Ahlf, of Orangeburg, New York, will provide weather updates as a student meteorologist. The “Election Connection” race analyst is Jennifer Fajardo, of Danbury, and the associate producer is Sophie Baluzy, of Brookfield. Other students in leadership roles include assistant producer and technical director Nicole Speziale, of LaGrangeville, New York; and technical director Christian Moy, of Sudan, South Korea, as well as floor
manager Madeline Bocchino, of Shelton.
Other students performing various reporting and production roles are Ethan Fiske, of Middlebury; Gabriel Ortiz, of Danbury; Anna Schipf, of Babylon, New York; Ciara Santiago-Gamble, of Southbury; Mitchell Sullivan, of Colebrook; Richard Stefan, of Danbury; Clinton Sosna, of Torrington; Brenden Castro, of Stratford; Kathleen Dowling, of Naugatuck; and Hannah Benenati, of New Paltz, New York. Technical streaming support is provided by WCSU Assistant Director of Media Services Scott Volpe.
Barone has drawn from his extensive professional experience to design the course as a vehicle to train students in media, journalism and liberal arts for the demands of today’s job market. “Ironically, most students who enroll in this course are not initially interested in politics or news specifically,” he said. “Word has spread that this is an educational experience that will help them in their careers regardless of what their discipline is.”
WCSU’s “Election Connection” productions have earned recognitions from professional organizations in the communications field, including honors in the category of Studio Multi-Camera Production at the national Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts as well as numerous top awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Additional recognitions include Telly Awards for Live Coverage and a Communicator Award of Distinction from the International Academy of the Visual Arts. “Our goal is consistently to deliver quality programming to the community and Connecticut,” Barone said.