Missouri university prepares for media arriving for debate

Campaign 2016

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Journalists are expected to arrive at Washington University in St. Louis as early as Wednesday to cover Sunday’s presidential debate.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2dBKvx7 ) reports that by the time Sunday’s debate commences, as many as 2,000 news professionals will be in place.

Leaders from the Commission on Presidential Debates call this media turnout “unprecedented” compared to past elections. Debate officials say the boom of online-only news outlets has played a role in the high number of journalists covering the event.

Hordes of media covered the sparring between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump on Sept. 26 at Hofstra University. The debate was viewed by a record 80 million people.

Some outlets are expected to bring crews of as many as 100 people.

The university isn’t spending money to host journalists except for waiving what was once a $200 wireless internet access fee.

Washington University has previously hosted four other debates, so the campus has experience when it comes to large media contingencies.

Student journalists from the university received credentials just like local and national groups. The student journalists are gathering ideas and guidance from professional journalists along the way, including Vox founder Ezra Klein.

Noa Yadidi, editor-in-chief of student newspaper Student Life, assigned her team to cover the journalists rather than the debate itself.

“I never imaged in a million years that I would be here for a presidential debate and editor at a time like this,” Yadidi said.