We had an unfortunate turn of events on Friday regarding our coverage of the Democratic Convention which is just preparing to start in Charlotte. Our Elon student at the event through the Washington Center Group will not be able to send us columns, stories or other publishable notes during his two-weeks at the site. Tanner Black, an Elon junior from Concord, was prepared to email his first submission Friday afternoon but found out that his assigned duties at the convention would not allow him to do so.
He was very disappointed and told me as much in what had to be a tough telephone call for him. He felt horrible that he was letting us down. After all, Patrick Brown, also a student at Elon at the Republican Convention with the Washington Center Group, was able to write for the Times-News last week. I still have one item left from Patrick to publish.
The problem stems from the assigned jobs the students have. Part of Tanner’s duties include working for the “Arena Team” for Fox News. Tanner said Fox would not allow him or other student workers to blog, Facebook, Tweet or write for a newspaper while working for the cable news organization. Tanner said Fox representatives told him they wanted the experience to be “off the record.”
Seems odd that a news agency would make such a request. The gathering of news at a convention should be pretty open — not to mention exciting and interesting. Closing access for no apparent reason — be it government or anythng else — always makes me wonder what there is to hide.
Anyway, Tanner did give me the name of another Elon student at the convention with the Washington Center Group who might be available to help. Luckily, Logan Rains answered my email Friday afternoon and said he would be happy to try and write for us. He is working with the North Carolina delegation. I expect to start seeing submissions from Logan Monday or Tuesday. Thanks very much to Logan for pinch-hitting at the last minute.
Nothing remains stagnant in terms of covering news or other events. Change is inevitable sometimes. Trying to stay flexible and finding alternatives is a big part of our jobs.
Speaking of the convention, thanks to Anna Gerow, the vice chairwoman of the Alamance County Democratic Party, we did find out about a large group of folks from our area who will attend the convention to hear the president’s acceptance speech. Reporter Molly McGowan will have that story in Monday’s Times-News. We will also do our best to cover the release Monday of an Elon University poll related to the presidential election.
It’ll be a hectic week in Charlotte I’m sure. We will be getting some coverage help from our sister newspaper in Gastonia. Let me know if there is anyone in Alamance County with a connection to the first party nominating convention ever held in North Carolina. It might be a story we’re interested in.