White House Correspondent Visits Lynn For Dialogues Speaker Series
Project Civitas recently invited White House Correspondent Darlene Superville, a journalist with 30 years of service with the Associated Press, to speak to the Lynn community in the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center.
Established by Dr. Robert Watson, professor, author, historian and community activist, Project Civitas is a student organization that aims to promote civility in politics and public life. Part of the organization’s initiatives involves holding the Dialogues Speaker Series, events in which political figures visit Lynn to speak to the community about a variety of civic topics. The most recent Dialogues Speaker event began with the Marshall Turkins Honors Award given to Kristian Colato, president of Project Civitas, for his several campus initiatives including key club, voter registration drives, and student remembrance events.
During the Dialogues Speaker event, Dr. Watson interviewed Superville about her experience and day-to-day life as an Associated Press journalist in the White House. Superville has reported on several presidential campaigns including the Obama administration and the Trump administration.
“There is a small group of reporters that travel with [the President],” said Superville.“There are hundreds of reporters back in DC that are relying on this small group of reporters and particularly the one print reporter who has to write up a pool report.”
A pool report consists of specific events that occur with the president, such as times of travel. The pool system of White House journalists exists so that news can be accurately reported and shared across news organizations.
“The White House would always like to see softer coverage about first ladies,” said Superville. “We are getting into an era where first ladies are going to be subjected to a lot of the same questions that we ask presidents.”
Superville recently had the opportunity to travel to Morocco with Ivanka Trump, for she is overseeing a government program dedicated to enabling women in developing countries become financially stable. Superville shared her experience conducting an all-formats interview with I. Trump, an interview that involves creating a printed story, photographs, video, and recorded audio for the radio.
Superville also discussed how the pace of news has increased under the current administration compared to the previous administration that she covered. She expressed the difficulty of asking the president questions in a busy setting with multiple reporters surrounding him.
“It’s hard when we are out on the lawn because its like a huge mosh pit of reporters,” said Superville. “[The president] goes along and points at reporters [to take questions]. While he is accessible to talk to, and while he will talk about almost anything, it is challenging to try to follow up with him on certain topics.”
Superville encourages journalism students to work hard, proofread and re-write their stories. She concluded her interview with Dr. Watson by stating that journalism is a fulfilling career that allows access to places and people that most individuals see.