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Media, Political Experts Discuss Role of Young Voters

Spokespeople from the Barack Obama and John McCain campaigns will join journalists Friday, Oct. 3, at a three-panel conference.

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October 2, 2008 | by Wendy Leopold
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Spokespeople from the Barack Obama and John McCain campaigns will join journalists from the Washington Post, Realclearpolitics.com; huffingtonpost.com, Editor&Publisher.com and others Friday, Oct. 3, at a three-panel conference at Northwestern University.

The conference -- which is free and open to the public -- will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the McCormick Auditorium in Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston campus. Titled "Election 2008: New Voters, New Media, New Engagement," it is cosponsored by Northwestern's Medill School in conjunction with the University's Center for Civic Engagement.

"This may be the election in which young people play a pivotal role," said Ellen Shearer, William F. Thomas Professor, director of Medill's Washington Program and an organizer of Thursday's event. "The parties, candidates and news media are paying attention to them --and this conference will tap into experts to talk about this exciting phenomenon."

For young voters, the 2008 presidential election is breaking new ground. Not only have they been unusually engaged in the election so far, they are getting their political information from different places in different ways than older voters, Shearer added.

Speakers will include representatives of Illinois Public Interest Research Group; spokespeople for presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain; Washington Post Internet reporter Jose Antonio Vargas; Realclearpolitics.com Tom Beyans; Huffingtonpost.com Chicago bureau chief Ben Goldberger; Editor&Publisher.com columnist Maegan Carberry; and Vivian Vahlberg, director of digital media at Northwestern's Media Management Center.

For more information, contact Ellen Shearer at shearer@northwestern.edu or Konya Lafferty at k-lafferty@northwestern.edu.
Topics: Campus Life