By John Torrisi
Like many students in The School of Media and Public Affairs, I grew up immersed in the 24-hour news cycle. From newspapers to cable news, I consumed anything and everything that was remotely related to politics. Soon after arriving at GW, I realized that my true calling was political reporting instead of political communication.
I am a big believer in experiential learning and SMPA’s location in the heart of Washington, D.C. has given me plenty of opportunities to learn from veteran journalists. Recently, I had the privilege of covering the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) with Kevin Frey (JMC ’15) and Jonathan Csapo (JMC ’12) for GWTV, our student-run television station. We manned the conference from start to finish. While Kevin live-tweeted, Jonathan and I recorded the various speeches and also ventured out into the Occupy protests. Together, Jonathan and I filmed over 350 gigabytes of video over a three-day span, and we were immersed in at least three major protests.
This was my second year covering the three-day conference, which brings over 12,000 conservative activists to Washington every February. CPAC always is an interesting event to cover, not only because of its political importance, but also the unusual cast of characters it attracts. It is not uncommon to see tea partiers in full regalia or prominent politicians roaming CPAC’s hallways and interacting with attendees. The conference attracts a who’s who of conservative politicians and commentators, from Herman Cain to Ann Coulter. From 9am to 5pm each day, politicians take the main stage trying to sell the crowd on their policies and unique brand of conservatism. Read the rest of this entry »