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Giving perspective to the GOP convention in Tampa Bay

SMU professors provide expertise — Student bloggers bring fresh points of view

August 30, 2012

Gathered with the GOP faithful in Tampa Bay for the Republican National Convention were scores of reporters and observers — and a handful of SMU students and faculty political experts. Here is what they were doing:


SMU students are attending the Republican National Convention in Tampa - and next week the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte - as part of a political communication studies program in Meadows School of the Arts.

Follow their blogs as they share their experiences in and around the convention center.

Election Coverage"Putting an event like the Republican National Convention on the air is eerily similar to putting a play on stage," writes Marc. "Dozens of tech people sprinkled throughout the forum tinker with lights and equipment, the talent sits patiently backstage waiting for their cues, and a few producers make sure every single second stays true to their vision. The news does not just happen. It is planned, rehearsed, and executed. I know this because I was a part of that rehearsal."

Read the blogs.





Cal JillsonSMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson is among the experts providing the media with authoritative commentary on the convention and the election.

"The real importance of Romney's speech is that he has one hour with the American public paying close attention to him to introduce himself and the central themes he hopes to conduct his campaign on," Jillson told NBC Los Angeles for a story on Mitt Romney's keynote address Thursday night. Read the full story.

"What (conventions) do now is provide both parties with the opportunity to present their platforms, message, and candidates when people are watching," Jillson told The Philadelphis Inquirer for a story on the importance of conventions. "A lot of people will be tuning in with a vague idea of who Romney is, and much of what they think they know will be wrong, based on Democratic commercials or skimming news stories." Read the full story.

Vote ButtonsClick here for more political experts among the SMU faculty.





Professor Rita Kirk, director of the Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility, and Dan Schill, assistant professor of communication studies, are conducting “Dial Test” research for CNN.

SMU Professor Rita KirkThey not far from the GOP podium for Wednesday and Thursday night during key speeches.

Dan SchillGroups of undecided voters turn knobs on monitors to indicate what they think of what they are hearing. The results will be used to analyze how well the speakers did.

Read the full story.