Diary Of A Presser
I wear a tie to work every Tuesday as an intern for Planet Money. This tradition is, imaginatively, named “Tie Tuesday.” Despite my best efforts, nobody else at NPR’s New York Bureau joins in — most of the reporters dress like interns.
But today, Tie Tuesday paid off. When it was announced this morning that Hillary Clinton would finally discuss her growing email scandal,
NPR needed an intern on scene, and I was dressed the part. My navy blue tie
signaled my seriousness of intent. I packed up a kit, spare kit and camera, and
got ready to roll tape.
Then the fun started. MSNBC reported that the presser would
follow Hillary’s remarks at the United Nations, and that journalists needed to
apply for credentials 24 hours ahead of time.
The Twitter jokes started immediately:
Veteran political journalists are apparently used to shenanigans
when it comes to covering the Clintons.
I set about obtaining press credentials with two instead of 24
hours’ notice. 31 emails, seven phonecalls and one press credential later, I
was in a taxi on my way home — reporters needed to bring their passport to the
UN’s Media Accreditation and Liason Unit, referred to by flacks, reporters,
and UN Security Guards alike by the Orwellian acronym MALU.
Hillary was scheduled to give her UN remarks at 1:30 p.m. I
reached MALU at 1:20 p.m., and took my place behind 12 other journalists,
all there for the same reason.
While there were several MALU
reps dealing with incidental staff and visitors, only one was assigned to the
press. By 2:15 p.m., I was at the front of the line. Thankfully, things were
I pinned my badge to my coat and ran across the street to UN
headquarters. At this point, I should apologize to the sixty-odd tourists
waiting to go through the UN’s TSA-style security checkpoint. I cut all of you
in line and pretended to be busy on my phone so you wouldn’t notice. I’m sorry!
Once inside, nobody could point me to the room where the press
conference was taking place (update: it was in a hallway between two other
rooms). I approached a desk labeled “information,” and was told very
politely by the attendant: “I have no idea what you’re talking
about.” Onward and upward.
I found a Fox News cameraman who worked the UN on a regular
basis, and followed his directions — across the UN headquarters, down an
elevator, then up an escalator. When I reached the hallway, it was closed and
guarded by several security officers — the event was at capacity. Tourists and
UN interns strained for a glimpse of the former Madam Secretary.
I took a picture of a guard holding the crowd back, and nearly
got kicked out for it. She let me stay after we went through my phone and
deleted the photo. Finally, a MALU rep took pity and let me sneak
through a side door to a tiny spot behind the scrum of television broadcasters
and their rampart of equipment.
From there it was a quick slip under the guard rail to the press
pit. A producer for Japanese television was taking a #stakeoutselfie on his
After all that, the event was streamed live with broadcast-quality audio, and NPR didn’t need mine. Thankfully, I’d brought a good camera, and
managed to stay useful by getting some up-close photographs when the presser
began, just before 3 p.m.
Sales of tabletop games (including cards, board games, and role-playing games) at hobby stores have jumped 15 to 20 percent for the last three years in a row, according to a recent report from ICv2. In New York City, a few business owners are hoping to get gamers to their brick-and-mortar stores where people can play hundreds of games.
Forget Scrabble and Monopoly (though yes, they have those too); we’re talking Cards Against Humanity and Settlers of Catan.
Hi, I’m Lauren, the Social Media Desk’s intern. I’ve learned quite a bit in my brief stay here. So Wright and Mel encouraged me to share some of my experiences with you.
Much of my time is devoted to curating posts for the main NPR Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest and Twitter accounts. (I have…