By Nicole Dale ’16 MBA ’18
From July 15 – 20, 2017, students from Conant, ConVal, Keene, Kingswood, Souhegan, and Pinkerton high schools participated in The Presidency and The Press program at Franklin Pierce University, presented by The Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication.
This conference reaches out to our nation’s high school media. In one short five-day span, some of the country’s most engaged youth are introduced to dynamics of presidential election politics the role of the media who cover it, and the relationship between the two. Every speaker, every tour, every interview is designed to give these young people the skills and information they need for full participation in the Presidential Election.
Below are biographies of those individuals who helped students from The Presidency and The Press.
Peter Maer: Since 1977, Peter Maer has been a White House Correspondent for a variety of different news networks. When his time in the White House first started, he worked for NBC and then MUTUAL, and before his retirement in 2014 he worked for CBS Radio. In his time as a correspondent, Maer has seen 6 presidents take the head as Leader of the Free World. He has covered milestones, such as seeing America’s first black President, and some other moments such as the process of impeachment for Richard Nixon. Maer had always known that reporting was his passion since the age of 8. He started off at the local radio station while he was in high school, and quickly gained traction from there. Maer got his big break in news when he was assigned to cover Jimmy Carter’s presidential transition after the 1976 election.
Nancy West: Nancy West is the founder of the nonprofit New Hampshire for Public Interest Journalism in April of 2015. Currently, she is the the founder and Executive Editor of InDepthNH, an online, New Hampshire-focused investigative news outlet. Before she founded this website, West was an investigative reporter at the New Hampshire Union Leader for 30 years, and during this time she won numerous awards for her investigative reporting. She taught courses on investigative journalism at the New England Center for Investigative Reporting’s summer program for pre-college students at Boston University. West is interested in pursuing democracy, and in turn is incredibly passionate about government transparency.
Bruce Zanca: Bruce Zanca was the White House spokesperson and communications advisor for three administrations. He served as the Chief Marketing & Communications officer at Bankrate for 10 years. He was the Senior PR advisor to President Bush. He is currently self-employed.
Joe Sciacca: Joe Sciacca is the Editor-in-Chief, of the Boston Herald. Sciacca has been with the Herald for over 30 years. He has been a big supporter of the importance to link online media with print media. He was the winner of Fitzwater Medallion for Leadership in Public Communication in 2016, and has been a big supporter of the Franklin Pierce Boston Herald Partnership which has been going on for the last several years.
Laura Knoy: Laura Knoy is the host of “The Exchange” on NHPR. Prior to NHPR, she worked in public radio in D.C. as a reporter, announcer for WAMP, and a newscaster for NPR. In 2007, she was chosen as the New Hampshire Broadcaster of the Year by the New Hampshire of Broadcasters.
David M. Scanlan: David M. Scanlan is a Republican currently serving as the Deputy Secretary of State of New Hampshire under Democrat Secretary of State Bill Gardner.
Dave Soloman: Dave Soloman is a reporter for New Hampshire Union Leader. He was the Executive editor at The Telegraph Publishing Company 2001-2011, and also the Editor at Monadnock Ledger-Transcript 2011-2012.
Trent Spiner: Trent Spiner is the Executive Editor at New Hampshire Union Leader. He is also a Franklin Pierce University alum, and graduated in 2007 with a BA in Journalism and Political Science. He was the Assignment Editor and Web Producer at WMUR-TV as well as a Staff Reporter for the Concord Monitor.
Jim Breen: Jim Breen is the Director of News Operations at WMUR9, a local NH channel located in Manchester, NH. He is also a Franklin Pierce University alum, graduated in 1986.