Communication Studies, National Conventions 2012

In fall 2012, SMU students are attending the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, as part of a political communication studies program in Meadows School of the Arts. They are attending with Professor Rita Kirk, director of the Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility, and Dan Schill, assistant professor of communication studies, who are conducting “Dial Test” research for CNN.

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The power of The Shirt

An update from Devin at the Democratic National Convention:

Being a runner for CNN has its benefits. Aside from the unparalleled learning experience and the incredible access I have to the political process, I also get to wear a navy blue T-shirt emblazoned with “CNN” on the front and “RUNNER” on the back in large white letters. There is certainly something to be said about the amount of amusement the shirt provides while out running messages for various CNN journalists.  Here are some experiences my fellow runners and I have had (with a touch of sarcasm) while sporting what will henceforth be dubbed “The Shirt:”

  • During a protest march, a protestor pushed pamphlets in my face, looking to recruit a major news network into his multitude, I suppose.  When I politely declined to take his material, he took one look at The Shirt and shouted, “This is exactly why you should take it! They don’t want you to have any fun!”
  • While on a particularly hurried task, someone shouted, “Look! The runner is actually running!” How original!
  • One runner had to endure shouts of “You’re biased!” while wearing The Shirt.  People are not shy at political conventions.
  • A group of Secret Service agents begged a runner to write down their sizes so she could attempt to get them all one of the beloved Shirts.
  • My favorite comments are when people tell me how much they love CNN.  I have been honored to work for them this week at the Democratic National Convention!
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