LJWorld.com weblogs Live from the Democratic Convention
Reporting 101 at convention
As the Democratic National Convention nears the finish line, I'd like to share a few thoughts from covering this. In reality, it is a Media Convention, kind of like summer camp for journalists, and one of our activities is to cover this group here in town. We even wear lanyards around our neck that have access tags.There are more than 10,000 reporters here from around the world, and the spectacle of it is amazing. There are several football-field size tents outside the Pepsi Center, filled with journalists curtained off from the public, filing stories, doing research, etc.Outside, along the 16th Street Mall -- a long avenue that is blocked off to vehicular traffic except for a shuttle bus service -- there are hundreds of video crews working the street by interviewing random delegates.Inside the Pepsi Center, the media presence is even more amazing. Stages are set up on the floor for the big networks. Then there are the TV booths on the next floor. Hundreds of radio shows are working at desks in the hallways around the center.All of this to witness and report on a four-day production -- a production that is planned to the second and will end Thursday night, as we all know, with Barack Obama delivering a prime time speech.You can't help but think that if all this manpower had been devoted to investigating health care or some other important issue -- the issue would be solved.Aside from some of the depressing thoughts this can bring on, it has been inspiring to see so many young people involved -- both as delegates and in the media. I can't help but feel that there is some change in the air.It really hits you in the face when you observe thousands of people, mostly young, who are so connected to everything that is going on through whatever hand-held device they are using. Instant media. But I've also seen a lot of people trip because they weren't watching where they were going. The BlackBerries and iPods need to have some kind of radar function.Anyway, if you've been observing the convention, share your thoughts on how you think it has been going.