Another week of history in Washington DC

29 Mar

It has been way too long since I have written a blog post, but after some busy times, I have gotten around to writing a post. Last time, I was  rubbing shoulders was the CEO of Vox Media trying to talk my way into a part-time writing job. It went successfully and I’m going to talk with the managing editor of Mid Major Madness once the NCAA tournament is over. Sweet. Now back to what has happened in DC.

Last Tuesday, we began to review for our mid-term. Personally, I thought it was not going to happen, but we reviewed and then heard from Larry Van Dyne, a magazine writer for the Washingtonian. Van Dyne told us about an award winning story he wrote on an airplane crash in 1982 and the process he underwent to get the story. The story was 33 pages. 33 PAGES?! That is huge for a magazine story today, only one story in any magazine has been more the 30 pages in the past 10 years. What Van Dyne did was interchange the safety aspects of the flight with the personal stories of the passenger who died in the crash. He was nice, but it was a very lecture oriented class which I did not enjoy as much as the other classes that we had the past few weeks.

Last Wednesday, we heard from Jim Innocenzi. Jim works of Republican candidates and designs television ads for them. He explained to us the reasons behind why the Republicans lost and how he tried to revive Rick Perry’s presidential campaign. It was interesting to hear from a political PR firm, he was very committed to his party. However, he wasn’t the most adept with technology which was somewhat surprising. Later that night, I went to an event on JFK’s American University Speech moderated by Chris Matthews. Let’s just say the event turned into an episode of Hardball. Ugh. It was interesting to hear Marvin Kalb and Matthews disagree about JFK’s speech the entire night. I listened to and believed Kalb more because he was actually there.

After that, the next few days I worked at my internship until Saturday when I went to the National Zoo with my friends Dylan, Arlind and Gai. We saw the pandas, kiwis and all sorts of animals. However, the funniest happened after the zoo when we went to Starbucks. I went to order a coffee and I told the person my name “Charles”, but I don’t think he heard me and I saw him write something with a “T”. This can’t be good. So after waiting, I heard my supposed name, “Toros”, how on earth do you get that from “Charles”. We all had a good laugh about it, but that’s not my name.

Starbucks

After the weekend, Monday, we went to the National Press Club and heard from three young journalists who had carved out a successful career in Washington. One work at Sirius XM, one work at National Geographic and one work at the Huffington Post. They gave us some great advice about becoming a journalists in today’s age. They emphasized relationship building, knowing someone at an organization and having a strong journalistic core. It was great hearing how they managed their personal and professional lives.

After going to the Press Club, we heard from JJ Green at WTOP Sports. He was one of the best speakers that we have had in our class. He was personable and interesting. He talked to us about his job as a national security correspondent and having sources all over the world. He was able to explain the situation in Syria and why people should care about it. He also emphasized the importance of having direct sources and being able to the connect the dots. He thinks journalism is very surface level and does not do enough digging around to make connections. I really enjoyed hearing what he had to say.

On Tuesday, we had our midterm. I think that I did well then our class went to the Pulitzer Center . They are a unique organization that helps in-depth reporting on issues around the world. They work with journalists that have connections with major publications and help fund their work. It was a great place to learn about how private organizations are funding the future of journalism.

Wednesday was an amazing day to be in DC. The Supreme Court had oral arguments on United States v. Windsor. The case involves striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). I decided with a few of my friends to go down to the court to see the festivities outside of the building. It was amazing to be down at the Supreme Court for a moment of history. Not many people can say that. I got some great photos these are a few of my favorites.

Supreme Court 1 Supreme Court 2 Supreme Court 3

What a time to be in Washington DC. I cannot believe I have gotten to be in the heart of so much history these past two months.

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