It was the most-watched debate in modern history, but it was not Hofstra’s first time in the global spotlight. On that day, Hofstra became the first university to ever host three consecutive presidential debates.
Submerged in the experience was the student body, namely, student media. On the front lines of election coverage alongside major news networks like CNN and MSNBC was Pride Productions, a group entirely made up of Hofstra students.
Pride Productions is a student-run club that broadcasts sporting and educational events on campus - live online. The club allows students to work hands-on with state-of-the-art technology in a professional environment that mirrors what they will encounter post-graduation.
Pride Productions had a hand in debate coverage from start to finish, including the weeks before and after Debate Day.
When the day finally arrived for #HofDebate16, Pride Productions was ready.
Hofstra’s Physical Education Center was transformed into the Media Filing Center during the debate. Here, journalists from all over the world converged to prepare and file their debate coverage. Not far away, outside the Student Center, was Broadcast Plaza, where outlets like CNN, FOX News, MSNBC and C-Span hosted their on-site TV shows and coverage.
With so many media professionals on campus, Pride Productions found itself working alongside industry leaders such as MSNBC Senior Director Geoff Hoffman (a Hofstra alum), CNN commentator Sally Kohn, and ABC7 Eyewitness News NY anchors Sade Baderinwa and Bill Ritter.
Besides the debate itself, Hofstra set up dozens of events across campus for students, including debate watch parties, panels and more. Pride Productions was there to capture the experience and reactions from visitors to spectators to student volunteers.
“Constantly moving really gave me the feel of what it might be like when I go out into the field,” Yee said. “As a student that’s a huge boost of confidence to know.”
If you were on campus on debate day, you most likely saw a member of Pride Productions hard at work, and it all was a part of a massive, professional operation that came together throughout the day, as well as in the days following.
“Being credentialed to have a bit more access to the debate on such an historic event for the campus, the world and the country, was amazing and I’ll never forget it.”