Monday, May 12, 2014

Students, political writer-turned-professor follow the nation's most important election in 2014

Welcome to Kentucky's U.S. Senate race, which is not only the nation's most important election this year but the name of a blog that will be staffed by a University of Kentucky journalism class covering the general-election contest between Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's secretary of state.

I'm Al Cross, co-instructor of the class with Bill Goodman of Kentucky Educational Television. I'm an associate extension professor of journalism and director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, part of the UK School of Journalism and Telecommunications.

I worked more than 26 years at The Courier-Journal, the last 15 or so as chief political writer, and still write a fortnightly column for the Louisville newspaper. I am a regular panelist on KET's election-night programs. I started my career in the weekly newspaper business in Albany, Monticello, Russellville and Leitchfield, and started out in radio in Albany.

Blogging with me this summer is Megan Ingros, one of the students enrolled in JOU 499-401, Covering the Senate Race, for the fall semester that begins Aug. 27. Because there will be plenty of activity in the race before then, students in the class will be following it and hopefully contributing blog items and even full-fledged stories.

We hope this blog will be a gathering place for people all over the nation who are interested in the race and want to keep up with it. If you have ideas for blog items, stories, social media, blog management or anything else that might help students learn while covering the race, as well as help voters sort out the facts from the opinion and spin, please let us know. Just click on our names to email us, or reach us on Twitter: @ruralj or Megan @kysenmeg.

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