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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Reflecting on election coverage

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SPJ Leads | 11/8/2012
Reflecting on election coverage

By Christine DiGangi, SPJ Communications Department



Covering the 2012 election provided many learning opportunities for journalists. What outlet had the best interactive graphics? Which social media tool was most helpful for reporting the news? Which coverage best served the public?

Take time to reflect on the lessons of election 2012. Here's a sample of journalists' Internet activity on Nov. 6, and we want to hear about how the election coverage will impact how you report and what tools you'll use in the future. Weigh in on the conversation on Facebook or send us an email. You can also check out this blog post analyzing the SPJ Storify collection from Election Day.


"Journalism, Fair Use and Copyright Law," an episode of "Studio SPJ," airs Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EST. Understanding fair use -- a doctrine under which courts have permitted copyrighted material to be used without permission or payment under certain circumstances -- is vital to journalists working in the digital age.

This 30-minute episode features Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, American University professors who wrote "Reclaiming Fair Use - How to Put Balance Back in Copyright," and gives you the chance to ask questions and improve your understanding of fair use.

You can also listen to the podcast at a later time.


What do you think -- is Instagram a form of journalism? Instagram has experienced a huge influx of traffic in the last week, with Hurricane Sandy and the election generating a lot of photos. A lot of news organizations use it, too.

We're curious on your thoughts when it comes to using the app for journalistic purposes. Take our Facebook poll on the matter, and we'll continue the conversation.

The application has also developed Web profiles, so you can view all of spj_pics' photos online! Visit to browse.


We like to hear what you have to say, and we enjoy engaging with you on social platforms like Twitter and Facebook. With everything that keeps a journalist busy, we know it's a challenge to keep up with every discussion we have online, so we have started to compile some of these conversations on Storify.

Topics vary -- ethics, paywalls, industry tools, anything in the news -- and you can read the interactions at any time. We'll always let you know if you're quoted, and check the account for added conversations.


Student SPJ members! Frank LoMonte, the Student Press Law Center's executive director, wants college students to help him show how flawed the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act has become.

LoMonte's "Let's Break FERPA" campaign asks students to contact their schools and ask for copies of their FERPA records. LaMonte says the point of the exercise is to show that schools use FERPA to hold back records that should be public. Visit the campaign's website to find out more about it and participate.


Twitter user @comfortablysmug started the rumor that the New York Stock Exchange flooded during the storm Sandy. CNN and the Weather Channel reported the false information, and@comfortablysmug was later identified. Whose Twitter handle is that?

Answer: Shashank Tripathi, a former hedge fund analyst and a former campaign manager for Christopher Wright. BuzzFeed revealed his identity.

And the winner is ... Ginny Frizzi! Ginny is a marketing manager at the University of Pittsburgh and is a member of the Pittsburgh Pro chapter. Congratulations!


The Weather Channel decided to name winter storms. What did it name this week's nor'easter?

Submit your answer to Christine DiGangi.

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