How to Chase Down a Senator


Well, the first couple weeks are all done! And, oh my gosh, have I learned a lot. For some reason I thought the assemblymen and senators would a lot easier to access than they are. I think the reporters we talked to before this started made it sound really easy. Some are pretty friendly about talking, but others are a little harder.

Last week I knew I was going to need a senator’s opinion on the bill I was writing my story on, but as the committee meeting was coming to an end I was realizing how close it was to 11 a.m., which is when the Senate meeting was due to start. Finally the committee meeting let out right at 11 and I knew that none of the senators were going to want to take time to talk to me. I remembered Sean Whaley giving us advice in the beginning and saying sometimes you just walk with them to their next location because even if its just a minute, it’s a minute you didn’t have with them before. I knew that if there was any chance of getting a quote I was going to have to walk with them. So right as the meeting adjourned I jumped up and ran after the first senator I saw, Senator Scott Hammonds. I introduced myself and asked if I could walk with him and ask him a couple questions; he agreed. So there I was walking down the hall with him (at a pretty fast pace I might add), sticking a microphone in his face as I asked him about his opinion on Senate Bill 71. The whole time all I could think of was this video and trying to make sure that didn’t happen to me. Especially because on that 45 second walk we ventured around many corners, and also a set of stairs.

In the end, I didn’t run into anything, and I got my quote. But it was definitely a good experience on doing anything you can to get the interview- something that is key in good journalism. And I thank you Senator Hammonds, for letting me stick a microphone in your face and interview you during your one-minute break before your next meeting.


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