Spring, Bob Schieffer and NBC

14 Apr

It’s spring in Washington and the Cherry Blossoms are out. The weather is nice and April is here! It has been a while since I have written a blog post and there have been so many amazing opportunities and experience that I have not written about until now. So, let’s go back to April 1st.

Cherry 8

On April 1st, I got my midterm exam back. I got an A! Wooo! After, I got the midterm back, our class met with Jeff Rutenbeck, the new dean of the journalism school. Nice guy, but I wondered if he was in the right field. He spoke about information technology most of his presentation and how it relates to journalism. Some of the technical aspects were over my head, but he is clearly passionate about the relationship technology to journalism.

Later that night, I went to the Kalb Report to hear about the future of the Washington Post from their two top editors. I went with my friend Alyssa from my journalism class. It was odd to hear from the top editors, on some level they seemed to be in denial about what was happening to the Washington Post. I asked them a question about why they removed the ombudsman position at the Post and I got a interesting response. They talked about how everyone now has direct access to the writers and there were many critics online. The problem with that line of thinking is that it clouds transparency by not having an independent monitor over the paper and calling out someone if they plagiarize.

On April 2nd, I heard from the executive producer of Meet the Press, Betsy Fischer Martin, an American University grad. Professor Kransow was moderating and asking her questions about her experiences and early life in Louisiana. However, the next day was the biggest event of the semester, meeting Bob Schieffer.

On April 3rd, our class met Bob Schieffer, CBS’ Chief Washington Correspondent. An American journalism legend! Bob talked to our class about some his experiences including: meeting Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother, covering the Nixon White House and many other experiences. He also us to be passionate about what we do in life because that goes a long way. After he spoke, we heard from his assistant who was not much older than me. She just got the job after working at Global Post and 60 Minutes. I mean to be 24 and be Bob Schieffer’s assistant, you have to be doing something right. Bob signed my copy of his book and took a picture with me. It was a great day to be in class.


Last Friday, I then went to NBC to interview the Bureau Chief, Ken Strickland. He spoke to our class previously and I thought he would be a good subject for a profile piece. He was great. We talked for 45 minutes about his current job, his past and his rise through NBC. We laughed a lot and he gave me some great stuff. After the interview, I spoke with his wife and a long time colleague. They gave me some great information and I think I put together a really good profile piece.

This Monday, my classmates and I went to Kirkland & Ellis, a major law firm in DC to meet Thomas Clare. He is an attorney that has represented different companies that sue careless journalists. He has represented Chiquita, Ford Motor Company and Shirley Sherrod. He gave us some advice of libel, slander and defamation which are major issues for journalists. He gave me some good perspective and introduced me to a field of law that fascinates me.

On Tuesday, our class sat in on a Washington Post editorial board meeting. It was just like the editorial board meeting we had at the University News, except there was a section devoted to web coverage and other such information. We also met with two reporters at the Post. They were very nice and told us a lot of insider information about the Post.

On Wednesday, our class met with Mishi Ebrahim, who works for AU’s Investigative Reporters Workshop. She worked with 60 Minutes, Brian Ross and Dan Rather. She told us about a project that she had worked with for PBS Frontline on immigrants being stuck in jail. It was an interesting perspective.

Well, it has been a great couple of weeks, but things are starting to wind down which is sad because it has been an amazing semester, I don’t want it to end.


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