BSM seniors discover politics with C-SPAN

Kaia Preus

Bright lights blinded BSM seniors and a handful of students from St. Bernard’s as they were briefed by C-SPAN officials on their role in C-SPAN’s Close Up. Close Up, airing early September 3, is targeted at creating awareness–showing what high school students have questions about regarding the elections while giving them a chance to better understand the complicated election process.

BSM was one of two high schools in the nation selected to participate in this event by C-SPAN and the Close-up Foundation, both of which work nationally to educate students about the election process. “It’s keeping with the philosophy that if you’re going to be assisting the country, you need to know how it works or how it doesn’t work,” said coordinator and BSM history teacher, Mr. Ken Pauly, “Some of the seniors will be voting this year and it’s important for all of them to be educated about the process. They’ll get a chance to speak with someone very close to the situation–someone that’s in the field…and ask questions that they’re curious about or any problems that they have…it’s just a really great opportunity.”

With increasing numbers of bumper stickers and commercials as the November elections draw nearer, the media is bombarding Americans with political information. On Tuesday, September 2, however, BSM seniors, no matter their party preference or level of interest in the matter, were unified in the chance to learn about the presidential election process and the work that goes on behind the scenes for journalists and all involved in the campaign from Michel Martin, a journalist who covered both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

Michel Martin, the host and developer of National Public Radio’s Tell Me More, has won several awards celebrating her 25 years in journalism. Starting in print, she wrote for the Washington Post and was the White House correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. She worked at ABC for ten years as a correspondent on Nightline and won an Emmy for her work on the ABC newsmagazine Day One, covering the international campaign to ban the use of land mines. Martin has also been a regular panelist on This Week with George Stephanopoulos and on PBS’s Washington Week and is also a frequent contributor to NOW with Bill Moyers.