The Shop Talk panelists discuss what it's like to cover appearances by presidents and nominees for president. They also touch on whether they would take advantage of an opportunity to cover the Olympics.
Panelist Emily Boyer said she would be interested in covering Olympic games held in a nearby locale such as Chicago. But she had no interest in going to Rio because of concerns over the Zika virus and the general conditions in Rio.
Jasmine Crighton said a fellow teacher (not from WIU) took around 10 students to Rio to report on the games. Crighton said that should prove to be an invaluable experience for the young reporters.
Crighton said she is trying to get credentials for some of her students to attend this fall’s presidential debate in St Louis. Crighton said she's required to provide a great deal of information for background checks and she must also provide photos of the students – and the photos must meet certain rigid standards.
Rich Egger said that’s more stuff than he had to provide to cover Democratic President Bill Clinton in downtown Quincy in 2000 or Republican presidential nominee (and Vice President) George H. W. Bush in 1988 near Elgin.
And Boyer said the requirements were not nearly as stringent when she covered a speech by Democratic President Barack Obama in northern Iowa a few years ago.
Crighton said it’s worth the trouble even though she’s jumping through a lot of hoops to get credentials for her students. She said covering major events will help students in their careers and will help them decide whether they want to pursue jobs in journalism. Crighton said she prefers giving students practical experience instead of teaching them theory.