September 23, 2004

Amanda Cochran, journalist, makes her way

My first press pass. My first real-life encounter with journalism. And the president was there. (I do not plan on turning this blog into a political forum, I never have, as far as I can recall, but now more than ever, I do plan on keeping my political views to myself.)

While I will do full coverage on the Setonian site for Friday, complete with student opinions, I would just like to look at the experience from my perspective.

After entering the area, being searched for pointy or overly fiery ballpoint pens and the like, my companions and I decided to fan out to interview. Suddenly, a man, I am guessing a volunteer, on a power trip, walks up to me, and asks me if I am part of the press.

Because the administrative people faxed our 'credentials' paper late, we were not permitted to get passes; however, to get my pass, I gave the turquoise-jacketed lady in charge (after I was apprehended and taken to the "misfit" regions of the Arnold Palmer airstrip) the address to the Setonian blog, where she would see my work! YAY for blogs!!!

After that incident, the man with the power trip, would not let me out into the general admission area anymore to question people or take pics; but the turn of events was not bad...I was ushered to the press area where, after about a half an hour, I was given my first official press pass--the White House insignia on it, no less. Needless to say, I was thrilled at my view, that I had a seat, and that my camera had fresh batteries.

In the course of waiting, staring out into the crowd, taking pictures, and awed by the network television stations cameras and tripods (I was so snooping), another man introduced himself, a radio personality from Indiana, Ken Hawk. We chatted for a bit, and he gave me his card, wherein I gave him our newspaper's blog address and mentioned that I desperately needed cards to save my hand from further duress and my pride from looking like a complete amateur. :-)

After a while, people started packing in to hear the band and the rest of the festivities, which I will highlight in my article, and I sat there or stood there amazed at the people I was seeing. When the president did finally arrive, the journalists, photographers, and camerapeople, I could hardly contain myself. I loved watching them in action. I learned so much from watching them prepare and execute their mediums: print, television, and radio, as far as I know were represented.

Their practices I will learn in theory in a classroom, but there is something about applying the craft in a real-life situation that I need to learn beyond the professor/student environment. I think I am going to start looking for a copy of that internship guide mentioned on the NMJ blog this week.

After Bush arrived, I took more pics and then got down to business being a journalist. The press pool was very cut-throat for space by then. I had to practically bend myself backward over the platform railing to get a decent picture.

Afterward, we waited in traffic for a very long time, and I took off my pointy shoes. I also drank about a three gallons of water. I would like to say thank you to Ken Hawk for the plastic dixie cup of H2O he sent up my way. What a lovely gesture.

Today I'll never forget. My press pass is scrapbook-bound and so is the article that I plan on writing (note to self: get going). Experiences like this make me more firm in my career path. Thank you Seton Hill University, Dr. Jerz, my advisor, Anne Stadler, my editor-in-chief, and Justin Norris, my ticket-getter, for making this one of the most memorable days of my professional life. I truly appreciated this opportunity.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at September 23, 2004 12:19 AM
Comments

Congrats! You fit right in with all of the other journalists up there in the stands... hell of a speech he gave. It's a shame you can't interview staff members... i have so much to say!!!

Posted by: Mike Rubino at September 23, 2004 12:38 AM

Actually I do want to interview you. I will mention your roles on the paper, but since you have the new group on campus, your input is needed.

Posted by: Amanda at September 23, 2004 8:46 AM

I'm so proud of you, Amanda. I'm glad you didn't let yourself get too awe-stricken by the reality of your first big event to miss out on getting the info. you're going to need for a great article. I'm thrilled that you had a good experience, and I'm sure that this will only be the first of MANY more to come (of which I'm sure you'll tell me about in detail!).

And blogging? Was there any doubt? ;) *woot*

Posted by: Karissa at September 23, 2004 9:01 AM

Amanda, that is sooo awesome! I feel special bc now I know a real live journalist :)

Posted by: Sarah at September 23, 2004 9:25 AM

Hey, Amanda!! I am soooo proud of you!! You are really making your way (was there ever any doubt you would?!). You are such a hard worker and have so much going for you. I bet that was a day you will never forget, Congrats!! Love you cuz!!

Posted by: Stacy at September 23, 2004 9:27 AM

I look forward to seeing your article, Amanda.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at September 23, 2004 9:30 AM

Amanda, I can't wait to read the article. This this blog and Mike's pre-port of pics, I am on the edge my seat for this article. Some big Bush supporters here at work walked by my cube while I was looking at Mike's pics and they now want to read your article too!

Congrats and I'll be sure to send them the Setonian site link on Friday.

Posted by: Brian at September 23, 2004 1:02 PM

No pressure, right? :)

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at September 23, 2004 3:02 PM

Congratulations on doing something "real world" with your journalism experience. I'm impressed and very happy for you. Let's see more active journalism like this!
-- Dr. A.

Posted by: Mike Arnzen at September 23, 2004 10:20 PM

Hooray! You're so well-known now! (popular? :) And no pressure is right--I know you'll do the story justice as always, dear. You're on the market now.

Posted by: Karissa at September 24, 2004 8:39 AM

I have to get the online Setonian up today too--pressure is right.

Posted by: Amanda at September 24, 2004 9:57 AM

The article will be up today. Delayed student opinions.

Posted by: Amanda at September 25, 2004 10:22 AM

Fabulous article, by the way. Fairly represented, in my humble opinion. And the pictures are quiet good, too. Great coverage :)

Posted by: Karissa at September 26, 2004 7:50 PM

Good job Amanda!! I knew those business suits you would wear to school all the time would pay off in the long run!

Posted by: Firefighter Chica at September 26, 2004 8:10 PM

Oh my. I don't wear them ALL the time.

Posted by: Amanda at September 26, 2004 11:20 PM

Haha, but you could since you own more of them than -I- do (which, if you asked any of my high school classmates, is quite a feat!). We do suits well, don't we? :)

Posted by: Karissa at September 27, 2004 9:12 AM

Suits are the majesty of wardrobe.

Posted by: Amanda at September 27, 2004 10:36 AM

Amanda Cochran, you rock my world. Enough said. (Congrats):)

Posted by: Lori at September 27, 2004 2:39 PM

How exciting! Congratulations! And you guys did a great job in class today, by the way.
Just had a quick question: How do I make my site look different? I am just sick of how boring it is, and would like different colors. I tried the link Dr. Jerz emailed me, but i couldn't figure it out. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Posted by: Sarah Elwood at September 27, 2004 4:55 PM

Thanks Sarah and Lori.

Sarah, if you want to change your colors, go to the NMJ site and type colors into the search engine area, something should come up concerning the stylesheets in your blog--Karissa posted an excellent entry on changing color.

Posted by: Amanda at September 27, 2004 7:37 PM

Amanda,
Awesome job on the poem today! Your group in general did really well, but your voice in particular set the poem off! It was definitely impressive!

Sara Remaley

Posted by: Sara Remaley at September 27, 2004 8:17 PM

Thank you so much, Sara. My alto/bass voice is kind of an oddity.

Posted by: Amanda at September 27, 2004 8:50 PM

Amanda,
I am so proud of your work! I loved the article and your post about it! My mom is so proud too and she is taking a copy for grandma to read! :) Everyone is so happy for you! Hope all else is going world up on "the hill!" Miss ya!

Posted by: Amy Collins at September 27, 2004 11:24 PM
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