Irish woman Kelly Fincham will lead the online news production at the award-winning Long Island Report at Hofstra University which is hosting the second presidential debate on Oct. 16.

Fincham, the creator and founder of Long Island Report, is a professor of journalism at Hofstra’s School of Communication where she teaches social and digital media skills. She was formerly a founding editor at

A veteran journalist, the Drogheda, Co Louth native, set up Long Island Report at the school in Fall 2010, when she was hired as a fulltime professor.

The site is aiming to crowdsource the stories it will feature on the website. “This is such a huge story,” she said, “and we can’t possibly hope to cover it all with our limited resources.”

The site will feature stories aggregated from students inside the media filing center and across the school’s 240 acres.

Students will file to the site via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. Fincham and a handful of grad students will use those social media posts to build stories using Storify and WordPress from the content.

“This is a social media election so it makes sense to use social media journalism,” she said.

The 2012 election is being widely described as the social media election and Fincham is teaching a special topics course on that subject.

“Social media is playing such a huge role in this election that it can really be compared to the disruptive effect that television had in the Kennedy/Nixon debate in 1960.”