Four U of I journalism students are braving chilly weather in Springfield Wednesday covering President Obama’s visit to the Illinois capital. The students are covering the presidential visit for their Journalism 445 class and the weekly UI-7 Newscast. 

Students Brianna Hartsfield and Alex Ortiz are at the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport to cover the arrival and departure of Air Force One. Students Claire Lavezzorio and Alejandra Reyes Pena are at the Illinois Capitol where the president will address a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“Covering the president is one whale of an opportunity for these eager students,” said journalism lecturer John Paul, who oversees the Journalism 445 class. “I’ll never forget the opportunity I had to cover Gerald Ford when I was a U of I student in the 1970s ,” Paul said. The students lined up their own credentials for each location and developed story lines they hoped to pursue amid the tight security and protocol of a presidential visit. 

Brianna Hartsfield Brianna Hartsfield with Air Force One in Springfield, Illinois