Press Pass Opens Window to Journalists’ World

Published: Aug 23, 2012
Chelsea Daubar ’15 and Joshua Napier ’13 will cover the 2012 Republican National Convention with the help of their press passes.
Chelsea Daubar ’15 and Joshua Napier ’13 will cover the 2012 Republican National Convention with the help of their press passes.
When Joshua Napier ’13 was named editor of The Minaret, he immediately started thinking about how he wanted his student journalist staff to cover the upcoming Republican National Convention.

The group started planning its coverage in late May and has been sending story ideas and content throughout August from around the country and around the world, from Switzerland to Maine. The 32-page special RNC edition will hit the stands this afternoon and will be available online.

“There will be some really useful information included, like maps, road closures, safety issues and security measures,” said Napier, a journalism major. “We think new students and parents will benefit the most from it.”

The RNC edition also was a good way for Napier to unite his staff and make sure they were ready to hit the ground running with classes and coverage of the political convention starting simultaneously.

“This month has really been their orientation,” said Napier. “I couldn’t have asked for better editors.”

Once Aug. 27 rolls around, Napier and his managing editor, Chelsea Daubar ’15, will head to the Tampa Bay Times Forum with press passes in hand. Napier said he plans to post live stories throughout the week as well as wrap-up features the week after. At least three other reporters will post stories from campus, and USA TODAY College plans to pick up The Minaret stories for its website.

“I'm thrilled Josh and Chelsea have the opportunity to cover this type of historic event, up close, alongside professional journalists worldwide. They are wonderful reporters and editors, and the leaders of our newsroom,” said Dan Reimold, assistant professor of journalism and advisor to The Minaret. “The event is political in nature, but for us it's all about journalism. They will hopefully gain invaluable experience and produce some outstanding reports along the way.”

Access to the big event came as a surprise to Napier and Daubar.

“The fact that MSNBC reporters will be wearing the same press pass as us is pretty cool,” said Daubar, a journalism major.

Napier said he’d like to get stories from inside the convention but said he assumes most of his content will come from protestors and those outside the convention itself.

“That’s where the richer stories will likely come from,” he said.

More significantly, the convention offers Napier and Daubar the opportunity to network and see national media at work.

“I’m coming with business cards, notepads and a recorder,” said Napier, who has 500 business cards in a box at his home in Brandon.

While he plans to take full advantage of the RNC, Napier said he hopes other students do the same.

“I don’t think they can ignore it. The buzz will be here on campus,” Napier said. “It’s why we put the magazine out to prepare them so they could take advantage of it. I think it’s a huge opportunity for all students.” 
 

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