September 28, 2011

TV journalist to offer tips to aspiring candidates

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Former Southern Illinois television journalist Dana Jay will provide some insight and tips to aspiring political candidates on the media next week at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. 

Jay’s presentation is part of the Institute’s “Women in Politics,” series.  Her presentation at 11:30 a.m., Monday, Oct. 3, in the Institute lobby, 1231 Lincoln Drive, in the Forestry Building.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to attend the “Pizza and Politics” session with Dana Jay.  For more information, contact Matt Baughman, associate director, at 618/453-4009, or 618-201-0082.

 “Projecting the right image and dealing with the media are two things anyone in politics should know,” said David Yepsen, Institute director.  “I’m pleased Dana is willing to come back to Southern Illinois to share her insights in how women candidates can do both.”

The event is free, but as part of the “Pizza and Politics” sessions, Institute officials encourage registration.  To register, contact Institute project coordinator Christina Rich at 618/453-4078 or by email at

Jay is a general assignment reporter with a focus on government and politics for network affiliates WSYX ABC6 and WTTE FOX 28 in Columbus, Ohio.  She was an anchor and reporter at WSIL, the ABC affiliate for Southern Illinois, from November 2008 through June.  While at Channel 3, Jay covered the indictment, impeachment and criminal trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and co-anchored “Talking Politics,” a weekly segment on WSIL featuring political experts from the Institute.

Jay graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and earned a master’s degree in journalism while studying public affairs reporting at Columbia College in Chicago.           

Jay said she “jumped at the chance” to return to Southern Illinois, noting that it “was difficult to leave because people there were wonderful to me.”

She will discuss tips for dealing with the media and how to best prepare for on-camera television interviews.

Jay said she does not believe that journalists deliberately cover women in politics differently than men; however, for women, there are different issues.  Image is one of the issues, and Jay will discuss what she has learned about “what works and what doesn’t when it comes to appearing in public and on television.”  She will also give some tips for answering questions from the media, which can be helpful to both female and male candidates.

“Unfortunately, I think that anything from family issues to the fact that it’s been a traditionally male-dominated field make jumping into politics intimidating for women,” she said.  “The goal, from my perspective, is to give women a couple of tools that might help them feel a little bit more confident.”

For more information on the program, contact the Institute at 618/453-4009 or visit