By Alex Malm ’17
During 5 days in late July, students and faculty from Franklin Pierce University, as part of PoliticsFitzU and Boston Herald, covered the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
This marked the third convention that PoliticsFitzU has covered. The previous two conventions were in 2008, and 2012.
A normal morning consisted of the team waking up early, with red bulls and coffee in hand, and going out to cover the New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island states delegation breakfasts. Every day they would hear speeches from top political figures. During each breakfast the team would live tweet speeches, write articles, interview politicians and delegates, and even periscope full speeches.
During the convention we stayed in the same hotel as the New Hampshire delegation, and New Hampshire media. On my way to breakfast one morning I noticed Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas being interviewed by a TV station inside the hotel’s breakfast room which doubled as a meeting space. After the station was done with their interview I was able to interview the senator, a moment I will never forget.
Throughout the week, passes to the convention hall were shared due to the limited number we had. But because of our strong work during the week, we were rewarded with more passes on the last day. Fitzwater Center Director Kristen Nevious bumped into New Hampshire G.O.P Executive State Director Ross Berry who gave the team the extra passes needed to get everyone in the hall for when Donald Trump accepted the nomination for president.
Inside the convention hall it was hard work at all times. Work was being done in the hallway as we would file stories, and interview delegates, and guests. We would live tweet speeches, live tweet the roll call for the states, take photos, and take videos. During Trump’s acceptance speech, a code Pink founder, Medea Benjamin made her way in the press section holding a sign saying “Build Bridges Not Walls.” In this unexpected event our student reporters Maggie Bell ’18, and Ashley Stevens ’17 were standing feet away and had the instincts to take out their cameras and iPad to take videos of what was happening. After all the commotion, we were able to upload the videos and send them to the Boston Herald.
It were moments like these that characterized the excitement the team experienced in Cleveland during those 5 days spent at the convention.