The secret is out: my dream job is to be a producer, or a reporter. It’s one of the reasons that I was interested in Wake The Vote. Not only could we see mainstream reporters in Iowa and New Hampshire, but we could also come back to Wake Forest and “report” what Wake the Vote noticed and observed.
So, as I was thinking about ways to expand my opportunities at the RNC, I decided to contact WKRN, the ABC affiliate in Middle Tennessee. I discovered that they could use some freelance reporters at the convention. Through different connections, I got the Republican Tennessee delegate schedule and began to plan out some of my interviews.
Nick Boney, another Wake the Vote student from Nashville, joined in on my project. We “snuck” our way into breakfasts, hotels, lunches, and more. With just an iphone, a fancy microphone (kindly donated by Nick’s sister), and a list of questions, we “snuck” our way into breakfasts, hotels, lunches, and more. I have had very little experience of being a reporter but it was not that hard to just jump in and get the people that you wanted to interview.
For me, I was extremely nervous about approaching people to ask for an interview. However, I improved on this as the week went on. I also improved on not saying “um” or “great” all the time. Throughout the week, I learned how to form questions based on the answers that I was getting; I also got much better at coming up with questions on the spot.
I do not agree with the Republican party, but I noticed that as a reporter or as a researcher, it’s much easier to have an open mind toward the beliefs that the subject holds. I have not quite processed how I feel about the way that I acted during the interviews versus the way I act during conversations with Republican students in Wake the Vote. This experience as a reporter, made me more willing to listen to the opinions of the “other side” and consider what in their past experiences makes them have these opinions. It’s a great approach for me to have more civil discussions with Republican students to fully understand their policy ideas. As I mentioned before, I have not fully processed all of this yet. However, I get frustrated when people say that reporters should be fully unbiased. I agree, and I do understand why this is the case. But on the other hand, I do not think reporters or news anchors noting that Donald Trump is “racist, sexist, islamaphobic, mysogynist,” and all of the above, means that the reporter is actually just describing the candidate in it’s truest form. Just food for thought.
I could not post the segments WKRN made about us because WordPress is telling me that “this video is not available.” Below are some of the interviews Nick and I did with Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), Michael Hensley (the youngest TN Republican delegate), and Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).
- Hannah K. Dobie