“Guys! This is amazing!”

4 Feb

What an amazing week in DC! Where to begin…

Last Monday had to be one of the best days of my life, but it did not start out that way. The icy roads cancelled our trip to The Washington Post. We were going to meet Valerie Strauss who covers education for the Post. However, our day was not snowed in, the ice quickly melted and our classes resumed for the rest of the day.

We started the delayed day at the Newseum. I had been there when I was a little kid, but it was such a different experience. We had another journalism ethics class, but this time we had a lot of case studies to outline and decide what we would do in the situation. After the class, we explored the museum. The six-level museum is unbelievable. It has everything related to news. The two things that struck me were: going into ABC’s “This Week” studio and the 9/11 commemorative memorial they had in the museum. They both struck me for different reasons.

The “This Week” studio is just amazing. Seeing all that goes into a national TV production was unbelievable. The crew gets there at 4:00 a.m. in the morning to do the Sunday talk show and the commentator’s arrive at 5:30 in the morning and the show starts at 9:00 a.m. The 9/11 commemoration is very different. The stirring tribute is focused around a 50-foot piece of the communication tower that once stood on the North Tower. The tribute had newspaper front pages from all over the world and each state in the USA. It even shared the story of a freelance photographer who died that day getting photos of the day’s events.

After some time in the Newseum, I headed back to campus and dressed up for the evening festivities. Professor Klein, got us tickets to The Kalb Report which had three of the four presidential moderators speaking about the debates. How is this possible? Because Professor Klein created The Kalb Report in 1994 and it has been running strong ever since. I got lost going to the National Press Club and was one of the last people to arrive and sat up in the balcony. It one of the coolest things that I have ever seen. I had a blast just hearing from all of them. Jim Lehrer had a very good perspective on the debates, he has done 12 debates and really held his own against Martha Raddatz and Bob Schieffer. Then they opened up the floor to questions. Bad idea. Two people from breitbart.com asked questions to Raddatz about whether Obama’s attendance at her wedding affected her debate performance. I thought the questions were  uncalled for, but Raddatz handled the questions with grace. I had no clue what breitbart.com was before, but when I looked up it is apparently a conservative website founded by former conservative icon Andrew Breitbart. The funniest thing thing is when I attempted to look up the website, my computer said, “This site may harm your computer” so, yes, I can confirm my computer has a liberal bias.

The next day, we had a writing class and I turned in my first writing assignment on the inauguration. Then we did in class profiles, however, I could not remember the name of the girl that I was interviewing, I was hoping she would said it, but I screwed up and said a different name. Luckily, she did not hold it against me (hopefully). After a 10 minute interview, I took the questions that I asked and worked it into a profile. After the interview, I headed down to the National Press Club once again.

This time, we spoke with Ron Bonjean, the only man to be a press secretary for the Speaker of the House (Dennis Hastert) and the Majority Leader of the Senate (Trent Lott). He was very interesting and provide an insight into the Republican party and its various crisis management and admitted that the Republican Party is light years behind in social media and Web 2.0 and 3.0 means of communication against the Democrats. He really gave us some good career advice. The best idea was to write a press release as a cover letter when applying for a PR position or Communication position in Congress or the White House.

However, back to Monday night, as I walked out of National Press Club, I walked out with my friends Alyssa and Kelsey to the metro. As the cold air bared down on us, Alyssa still has a bright and warm smile on face from the evening’s events.

She said to Kelsey and I, “Guys! This is amazing. Think about in two weeks we have gone to Inauguration and met so many amazing people in Washington, this is the best thing ever.”

I didn’t response, but I just nodded and agreed, it was too cold to response. However, she was right. This is amazing and every day in this program is truly a blessing.

Today will be another amazing day with a visit from Michael Isikoff, NBC’s senior investigative reporter, and going to Politico. I can’t believe it has only been a month in and there is so much more to do.

 

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