Aspiring journalists, stop with the “email interviews”

Whenever I give journalism students assignments that require interviews, it’s inevitable that someone will ask whether email interviews are acceptable. And invariably, my responses are:

  1. In-person, Skype, Google Hangout or telephone interviews are preferable.
  2. A text chat is better than an email exchange.
  3. If email is the only option, call it an exchange, not an interview. An interview requires a conversation.

Aspiring journalists need to practice doing the real thing.

That last point is critical. Interviews are conversations between humans. Read Ken Metzlers’ classic, Creative Interviewing, and you will understand that proficient interviewing requires the development of research, affective and narrative skills that you develop over time and learn to apply under all kinds of constraints.  You don’t develop those skills by sending off canned questions and getting back canned answers.  While interviewing by email feels easier and safer, you need to practice taking the risk of asking people you don’t know to open up and share their knowledge and experiences. It’s uncomfortable, yes. It can be stressful, especially when you are on deadline, yes. But the only way to get good at it is to take the risk.

If you rely on email “interviews” usually won’t yield good content.

The email “interview” is also unlikely to the highest quality content, either. The best moments in interviews often emerge from digressions that don’t occur in an email exchange. Email interviews don’t allow follow-ups in real time. You don’t have the visual or aural that might tell you that your source might have more to say, or that you should proceed gently because you are treading on painful ground.

Besides, depending on who the interview subject is, you can’t be sure that your questions are being answered by a source. How do you know that the politician or executive you queried didn’t just fob your questions off on a PR staffer?

Some email “interviews” are really requests to co-author the piece with you.

If you send a series of questions that require a subject to write paragraphs in response that you then reproduce at length, who’s article is it?




Practical advice for journalism students

In every journalism class I teach, I have a session or two on some practical matters that fall under the heading, “Things I wish someone had told me when I was your age.” The tips often have to do with issues I have confronted on the job that weren’t part of the curriculum or management agenda when I started out in the early 1980s – how to deal with racial or sexual harassment, for example. Here are some notes on the advice I gave to my students in my undergraduate courses this semester that is particularly attuned to this moment:

As a discipline within the academy, and as a profession, journalism is an institution as well as an industry. At its best,  journalism has evolved norms, values and practices that are vital to a functioning democracy. It’s important that you understand these norms, values and practices and have your own informed positions on them. It’s also important that you develop a historical curiosity about these norms, values and practices, because these norms are being challenged. For example:

      1. Objectivity: Our tradition, at least for the last century, is that we strive to provide the best available version of the truth. As the American Press Institute puts it in their synopsis of The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know, and What the Public Should Expect  put it:

        This “journalistic truth” is a process that begins with the professional discipline of assembling and verifying facts. Then journalists try to convey a fair and reliable account of their meaning, subject to further investigation.

        Journalists should be as transparent as possible about sources and methods so audiences can make their own assessment of the information. Even in a world of expanding voices, “getting it right” is the foundation upon which everything else is built – context, interpretation, comment, criticism, analysis and debate. The larger truth, over time, emerges from this forum.

        In addition to transparency, your journalistic and personal practice should have built-in safeguards against confirmation bias. Be aware of your filter bubbles – the tendency to restrict yourself to  information that confirms your preconceptions. But more importantly, be aware of the implicit hypotheses in your reporting, and make a conscious effort to consider competing explanations for the data you find.  Think in terms of “researchable questions,” not foregone conclusions.

      2. Norms. The  Trump campaign and administration deals with the press in ways that are a distinct departure from the practices of previous presidential candidates and administrations. One reason for studying journalism history is so that you understand why these departures matter. Do a Google search for “Trump campaign journalism restriction” and you will see a slew of 2015-16 stories about ways in which the candidate and campaign kept journalists from obtaining the kinds of information and access routinely accorded during presidential campaigns. You will also see an analysis of how the Obama administration’s aggressiveness toward journalists working with leakers and whistleblowers gives Pres. Trump a precedent for targeting reporters trying to do legitimate watchdog reporting.One of the early skirmishes between the Trump administration and the national political press concerned access to  press briefings typically conducted by the President’s press secretary. In February, the administration reportedly blocked the New York Times, the BBC, the Los Angeles Times, Politico and The Guardian from a press “gaggle” – an off-camera press briefing.

        The White House move was roundly criticized – even by the conservative National Review. My point in bringing this up is that as journalists, you should understand why these norms matter. (Here’s a helpful backgrounder from the Boston Globe about how White House press briefings usually work. Similarly, you should understand what it means when the Senate Press Gallery denies credentials to Breitbart News because of its close ties to Administration officials, including former Breitbart CEO and current Trump senior adviser Steve Bannon. You ought to understand why those norms exist, why journalists think they matter, and why we expect you to uphold them.

      3. Mind your business. Once upon a time, say, back when I graduated college, you could count on getting a reporting or corporate communications job in a company that paid a salary with benefits. More often than not, that company had a mentoring program, and managers had incentives to develop talent. It wasn’t unusual for your employer to invest in your professional development, including graduate school. While you may still land in such a workplace, there’s a strong likelihood that your career will involve a string of freelance gigs. Some of these don’t pay well, while others can be quite lucrative. But what all of them will require is that you learn some fundamentals about managing a small business – from deciding on a business structure, to filling out tax forms, to joining professional associations that can help you grow your business, secure health insurance and help you understand and protect your legal rights. (Tracie Powell has some good practical advice on choosing the organization that’s right for you. ) Poynter has an online course in entrepreneurial journalism that has helped some folks I know. The Small Business Administration also has good general advice on starting your own business.  My employer, The College of New Jersey, hosts a Small Business Development Center that has services specifically for student entrepreneurs.
      4. Invest in your professional development. I don’t have to make the case any more about the need for learning coding, design thinking, or community engagement. There’s lots of good advice on all of these things, and such groups as the Online News Association offer regular training. Since I teach undergraduates, I am often asked about graduate school. That’s a longer conversation, but fundamentally, choosing a graduate program should involve a clear-headed cost-benefit calculation. What return can you realistically expect to earn on your investment? But you should be reading the trades in your field regularly, and you should be participating actively in conversations in your professional associations, whether at conferences, local chapter meetings or online.
      5. Know your rights and responsibilities. In addition to your media law text and your stylebook, you should be familiar with these websites:
        1. The Digital Journalist’s Legal Guide from Reporters’ Committee for Freedom of the Press
        2. Legal Guides from the Student Press Law Center
      6. Take care of yourself. This can be a stressful business. Like law enforcement officers and medical personnel, journalists often see the worst of humanity. The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma has helpful resources.

What would you add?

A personal perspective on the Trenton Makes Music project

People who know me credit me with a few talents – but musical ability isn’t one of them. Not only am I not a musician, I have no background in music journalism So, it should come as no surprise that one of the questions I’m often asked about the motivation and inspiration behind my current drive to document the musical history of New Jersey’s capital city, known as  Trenton Makes Music: Cultural Memory, Identity and Economic Development. Along with our students, my TCNJ colleague, Dr.  Teresa Marrin Nakra and renowned Trenton-born entertainer Sarah Dash, I’ve been engaged in the development of digital archive, podcast series and public programs highlighting the significant but largely unrecognized contributions of Trenton music professionals both to the music industry and the economic and cultural development of the city.

Over the course of the last four years, we’ve learned that Trenton musicians were part of some of the most popular musical acts of the last century. What’s more, with its location between New York and Philadelphia, Trenton venues were considered important stops on the tours of musicians across decades and cultures: vaudeville, opera, classical, rock, R&B, disco, funk, punk, and hip-hop. Trenton music. The playlist below is just a taste:

So, the Trenton music story is an amazing and largely untold one, and as a journalist, I’m a sucker for a great untold story. But the origins of the project, and our hopes for it, go beyond that.

The Performamatics project

In June 2012, Teresa Nakra and I attended a Performamatics workshop at the University of Massachussets Lowell that was aimed at encouraging the development of collaborative courses that use music to foster computational thinking in students. Dr. Nakra is a professor of music and interactive multimedia at TCNJ who has done groundbreaking work in the areas of human computer interaction and on using computing technology to measure the emotional and physiological impact of music. At the workshop, we learned about such strategies developed by the Performatiics research team as:

Our materials teach concepts such as modularization by breaking songs down into their components, looping and subroutines by noting where musical phrases are repeated intact and with small variations (requiring parameters), logic flow by creating musical flowcharts, and algorithms by writing programs that generate music.  New materials will explore ways to teach more advanced computing concepts such as threads and synchronization by writing programs that play multiple parts simultaneously and use various Application Programmer Interfaces (APIs), allowing us to combine software platforms into systems that to do more than is possible by one alone.

Pairs of faculty working at the same institution were invited to participate, with the hope that each pair would develop a class applying the techniques and concepts demonstrated during the workshop. Teresa and I had discovered a common interest in storytelling during our prior participation in the development and delivery of our campus’ videogame development curriculum.  As we brainstormed about course ideas, we began realized that we’d each developed an interest in the city’s music history.

Teresa’s digital baton research informed Paul Lehrman’s 1999 production of Trenton-born classical composer George Antheil’s Ballet Mechanique, and she’d developed an interest in Antheil’s life. She had also been getting to know some of the area teachers and students involved in local classical ensembles. I had known that Trenton had a history as a place to hear live music. Venues such as Joe’s Mill Hill Saloon were well known even during my undergraduate days at Princeton. And during the late 1990s, my friends and I regularly attended the Trenton Jazz Festival, where we heard such artists as Tito Puente, Patti Austin and Al Jarreau, along with local greats. My late colleague, playwright Don Evans, had created a History of Jazz class that included field trips to some of the city’s noted venues. Don’s son, Orrin, a notable jazz pianist in his own right, played a well-received concert on campus in 2002.

Meanwhile, my daughter Ja-Tun, a professional singer, had moved back to the area after college and was now performing with such local musicians as Grace Little, a former Philadelphia International Records vocalist whose talent garnered acclaim from the Apollo theater at the age of 13, and Kym Miller, the guitarist from the hitmaking disco band Instant Funk. Ja-Tun has since gone on to a career that takes her throughout the East Coast and overseas.

Kool and the Gang’s trombonist Clifford Adams often performed in the area, including at the school his son and my son both attended. I had visited Grant Chapel AME church, where members of Nona Hendryx’s family were still singing in the church choir. I learned that Hendryx’s Labelle bandmate, Sarah Dash, was also from Trenton, and I met friends and family of hers who were also musicians.

Before long, I met musicians who had recorded and toured with some of the biggest names in the music business, from Nelly to David Bowie. Teresa and I found ourselves asking, “What is is about Trenton? What was going on in Trenton that made this creative flowering possible?” Teresa had another question:” Is there a ‘Trenton sound’?” Can we analyze the music to identify a distinct musical lineage?

More questions: Our technology backgrounds had also made us aware of the region’s contributions to the music industry. As a music technologist, Teresa was aware of the legacy of the Sarnoff Center, the old research division of RCA. The Sarnoff Collection, housed at TCNJ, memorializes David Sarnoff and his company’s contributions to recording, radio and television technologies. We were both aware of the important contributions of Bell Labs, the former research arm of the old Bell System, an institution whose innovations in communications hardware, software, networks and distribution systems helped to revolutionize music production. Could the city’s proximity to these R&D powerhouses have played a role?

And of course, there was the relationship between the evolution of the city’s music scene and the ebb and flow of its economic fortunes, migration patterns, cultural sensibilities and social mores.

To answer those questions, it was necessary to document that history in a way that permitted both ethnographic and musicological analysis.

The Trenton Makes Music project is born

We kept talking about the idea over the next couple of years, as we worked on other projects. By the fall of 2014, we decided that I would offer a First Seminar class that would begin collecting oral histories of some of these musicians. Jazz composer and educator Dr. Anthony Branker put me in touch with Clifford Adams, with whom I had several phone conversations about his musical beginnings in Trenton, and the people in the city’s music community who needed to be part of any archive. Chief among them were two men that he cited as mentors: retired Trenton High school teachers Thomas “Tommy” Grice and Thomas  Passarella. I would soon learn that these men taught and mentored a number of professional musicians and educators. What’s more, they are still performing and creating learning opportunities for young people.

Dean John Laughton of TCNJ’s School of Art and Communication offered his support for co-curricular programming, including a campus lecture by Sarah Dash and a concert by the TCNJ Jazz ensemble. Our campus center for Community-Engaged Learning helped us make necessary community connections. As we started digging into archives and talking about the idea with the Trentonians we knew, we began to realize that the history was deeper, richer and more variegated than we knew, but very little of that history is in the scholarly or journalistic record. (Some of the prior online projects in this area that deserve recognition include:

  • Tom Krawiec’s Trenton Makes Music Facebook page: a photo collection that especially focuses on the city’s rock and roll history.
  • Dr. James Day’s  Trenton Soundscapes First Seminar class project on the contemporary Trenton music scene was featured at the Trenton City Museum in 2011
  • The book and documentary about City Gardens, the club that became a favorite destination for such major rock, punk and alternative artists as Nirvana, Iggy Pop and Green Day.
  • The documentary video and photography produced by Scott Miller’s Exit 7A studios.


One anecdote: One day in 2014, I was riding the bus from campus to town, and I got into a conversation with the driver about the Trenton Makes Music class. He says, “You have to talk to my sister.” Who’s your sister? Diane Jones, he says. It turns out that Ms. Jones sang backup for Taylor Dayne and Guns N’ Roses, during the 1980s and 90s. She came in and we recorded an incredible oral history interview with TCNJ first seminar students. The unedited audio of that interview is here:

What’s more, the bus driver, Vance Holland, was a session musician at Salsoul – the hot disco label of the 1970s. and became a tour bus driver for several major acts. And passengers on the bus began shouting out the musicians, music teachers, and musical accomplishments associated with the city.

What was most remarkable about that and other conversations that we have had with Trentonians is the near-universal pride and excitement that comes out when longtime residents start talking about their city’s music heritage. Like many faded rust-belt towns, Trenton has taken a beating in the last several decades, and its rare to hear residents speak about their town with pride. Our hope is that documenting and showcasing Trenton’s music history will foster conversations that reinforce and deepen that pride and rekindle the community’s spirit. Also, we hope that an accessible digital repository of both curated and original information about the city’s music culture will assist the city’s goal of strengthening the arts sector as part of its economic development strategy.

This fall, Teresa and I will be teaching two collaborating classes on podcasting in which students will work with Ms. Dash to create a podcast series that will be hosted on the on our project website. The podcasts will be based on our accumulated research and a series of public programs that will take place on campus and and in the community. We are hopeful that community members will begin using the website to share their stories, in addition to exploring the content that we have begun to collect.

We haven’t forgotten our desire to connect this work to our research on curricular models for fostering computational thinking. We’ve got some ideas for which the documentary project is a necessary foundation.

In one of those 2014 telephone conversatons Clifford Adams told me, “This could be a great project, if it’s done right.” Sadly, we won’t get to find out what he thinks of what we were able to accomplish. The innovative musician and educator died in early 2015. (Here’s his entry in our digital archive.)  If this work brings more attention to and support for the Trenton music community, I am hopeful that he would have been pleased.

The DNC and the politics of accessibility

The Democratic National Convention took place from July 25-28 in Philadelphia PA, and while everyone was focused on the protests over the nomination process, there were some conflicts over decisions made by the DNC and the local host committee. One particularly contentious local issue that got little national attention was the DNC’s and Philadelphia mayor’s deal with the Uber ride-sharing service. Local taxi and Uber Black drivers have been protesting for more than a year that competing ride services should be required to adhere to the same rules and requirements to which they are subjected.

According to the protesters, the DNC deal with Uber belied the Party’s stated commitments to workers and members of vulnerable populations.  Philadelphia taxi union president Ronald Blount told Fusion : “They’re supposed to represent us working people, people who are less fortunate, people with disabilities, but it’s like they’re just rolling over for a shrimp cocktail and a ham sandwich.”

As a disabled journalist, I found myself directly affected by this dispute as I navigated the Convention. While I found demonstrable efforts to make the Convention accessible for those inside the Wells Fargo Arena and Philadelphia Convention Center – the primary locations where Convention activities took place – the preferential treatment accorded Uber put me in a position that could have turned out very badly.

“The Most Accessible Convention Ever”

Rev. Leah Daughtry, CEO of the 2016 Democratic National Convention Committee, speaks at an interfaith service that was part of the pre-Convention activities on Sunday, July 24, 2016 at the Philadelphia Civic Center.
Rev. Leah Daughtry, CEO of the 2016 Democratic National Convention Committee, speaks at an interfaith service that was part of the pre-Convention activities on Sunday, July 24, 2016 at the Philadelphia Civic Center.

Covering a major political party convention takes planning – even more so when you are doing it solo and you have a disability that impairs your mobility. So, I paid close attention to the press release that landed in my email inbox July 20th, outlining the steps that the Democratic National Committee was taking to assure that this would be, in the words of the press release headline, “the most accessible convention ever.” The release listed the measures taken by the DNCC, in conjunction with the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors’ Bureau to assure accessibility. It was an extensive list. that included everything from structural modifications to the convention venues, to masks for chemical sensitivity, reachers, tactile maps, etc. As for transportation:

  • Transportation: Daily transportation will be provided to the Wells Fargo Center and Pennsylvania Convention Center from all state delegation hotels. Each state delegation will receive ADA accommodations to ensure a safe and seamless shuttle service to and from convention-related proceedings, including Golf Cart transfers from the security entrance to the building entrance at the Wells Fargo Center.

I live in the area, so I take taxis when I am traveling alone at night. I don’t use Uber or Lyft because I can’t count on them to be helpful or patient with me. Their reputation for accessibility is not good.  I had the number of a couple of drivers and companies that I was accustomed to calling.   I told one of them that I would probably be calling him. “I might not be able to get to you,” he said.  I was sure he was mistaken – the literature I’d been given, and the DNCC website clearly stated that it would be possible to get to and from the Wells Fargo Center, the principle Convention site, by taxi.

The daily media routine at the DNC

Jerry Springer exits the room where media pick up credentials.

A photo posted by Kim Pearson (@journogeek) on

The DNC actually took place at two separate locations, about five miles apart. The televised evening events were at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia, while morning and early afternoon press briefings, caucuses, committee meetings and community events were at the cavernous Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Reporters picking up credentials for the Democratic National Convention had to line up outside of this small room at the Convention Center. Not all credentials were created equal. To get to into the Wells Fargo Center as a journalist, you have to have a Secret Service -approved photo badge. The people lined up on the right of the photo are waiting to pick up their credentials. In addition to the Secret Service badge, you have to get a pass giving you access to the Wells Fargo center. Some people get badges that automatically confer access to the Convention floor and press gallery and tent throughout the Convention. Some get daily access. My badge entitled me to daily access to a public, overflow area behind the stage. As I went to through the line each day, I heard journalists from domestic and international outlets on the phone with their bosses, trying to upgrade their access.

The credentials staff got to know me. I was allowed to sit until it was my turn in line. By day three, I could be in and out of that room inside of 10 minutes.

By the way, if you wanted to know what Jerry Springer was doing at the Convention Center,  check out this interview with the Young Turks.

Drivers protest Uber: “This is an example of what’s wrong in politics.”

After Monday night speeches at the Wells Fargo Center,  Pennsylvania  delegates were shuttled back into Center City’s Doubletree hotel for a party hosted by Uber. There, they were met by protesting taxi and limousine drivers from the Fair Ride Philly Coalition.
According to the Fair Ride Philly announcement of the protest:

One of the main concerns of picketers is the recent deactivation of 17 Uber Black Limousine drivers that the coalition believes were retaliated against for their organizing for fair wages. Moreover, the deactivation is a microcosm of the broader problems of a company that inserts itself into the city’s transportation system with absolutely no regulation. Rida Ahmad a limousine driver for Uber explained his dire situation, “Uber has wrongfully retaliated against me and put me in $70K debt.” He continued, “I can’t appeal or do anything because there are no proper regulations. I blame PA Democrats because they gave temporary permission for Uber’s ride-sharing service to operate without any rules or laws.”

Connecting the plight of Limo drivers to the plight of cab drivers, Ron Blount, the President of the Taxi Workers Alliance said, “This is an example of what is wrong in politics.” He continued, “Uber is attempting to buy and bribe the political process so the multi-billion dollar company can get away with refusing to pay the minimum wage, stop workers from unionizing and refuse to offer service to the disabled.”

According to the Philadelphia Business Journal story, Uber maintains that the 17 deactivated drivers were dismissed because they were falsifying their locations in order to collect higher fares. The drivers deny the charges.

At 9 am the next morning, members of the Fair Ride coalition pleaded their case again with the Philadelphia Parking Authority. Replay the Facebook live video of that session.

Meanwhile, I opted not to go to the Wells Fargo Center Monday night, because there were heavy lightning storms. Instead, I hung out at a Convention Center watch party and caught a cab ride home with one of my regular drivers when the storms ended.

At the Wells Fargo Center

Entering the Wells Fargo Center
Entering the Wells Fargo Center on the Second day of the Democratic National Convention

On Tuesday, the day that Secretary Hillary Clinton became the official Democratic Party nominee, I made it to the Wells Fargo Center. As soon as I came through the security tent at the Wells Fargo Center, a staff member greeted me and offered to hail  a golf cart to take me to the door of the Convention. Not everyone was so lucky.  According to this story from Philadelphia’s NBC affiiliate, one Idaho man had to rely on his fellow delegates to help him over a curb at the Wells Fargo Center. The curb cut was blocked by a security fence erected to keep protesters at bay.

Entering the Wells Fargo Center is like coming upon a media bazaar. There’s a carnival of broadcast outlets, but instead of barkers, there are interns and production assistants button-holing people for interviews. I’ve got some more walking to do to find my assigned spot.

I’m almost in the top tier, on the right side and behind the stage. To see the speakers, I have to look at monitors on the side of the stage backdrop. I can see the bank of major print and online reporters on the floor working at tables with power outlets. I had almost been allowed by one volunteer,  but then another volunteer looked at my badge, consulted a color-coded chart and sent me up here, which is regular stadium seating.  I’m texting with delegates to line up interviews, but I have to persuade them to leave the floor. I can see the roll call, hear the excitement. I can also see some of the rows of seats empty out right after Sen. Bernie Sanders calls for Clinton’s nomination by acclamation. I get a text from a newspaper reporter friend about the protest in the media tent, but I’ve been told I don’t have access to it. I don’t even know where it is.

So, I’m alternating between the crow’s nest and the main floor, catching people in the hallways and elevators.  When I get back, the seats are gone, and a Convention staffer is trying to hand me a Hillary poster to wave after the roll call. I hold up my  press badge and say, “I can’t. I’m a journalist.” Everyone else, even the people who have been tapping away on the laptops on their knees the whole time, has a sign.

Any way,  below are some of the images I gathered while running  back and forth between the crow’s nest, hallways and elevators.  And here’s an interview I did in the hallway with a Bernie Sanders delegate, right after the roll-call vote.

Taxi? What taxi?

At the end of the night, I asked the Wells Fargo staff for directions to the taxi stand. “Uber is right across the street, past the security tent.,” they say. “Not Uber, the taxi stand. They look at each other, confused. So does the man who meets me when I get out of the golf cart at the end of the security perimeter. So do the people at the lot, where there is a very big Uber sign. Okay, if there’s no taxi, how about a shuttle, I ask?  I get directed to a tent where mercifully, someone tells me that the only shuttle available there are to take employees to a distant parking lot. Nobody seems to know about any lot for taxis.

A police officer tells me to take the subway – the subway I didn’t want to take because the stop where I would have to get off doesn’t have an elevator,  and getting home from there involves walking several blocks. But it’s nearly midnight, and no one can come get me. Maybe, one Wells Fargo staffer offers, I can get a taxi from the Holiday Inn at Packer Avenue, a mile away.

I take my chances with the subway, which people are running for as if it’s the last train that will ever be come to any subway station ever.  The operator sees me and holds the door for until I board. A nice couple from Jersey who is volunteering at the Convention offers me a seat. They are taking the train back to City Hall and picking up their car from a lot there.

I make it up the steps down the four long blocks to home. The streets and tunnels are empty except for the people who have had to make their beds there for the night. The step counter on my phone registers 22,549 steps. Thank God for Epsom Salts.

The next day, I read that the taxi and Lyft drivers are complaining about being Uber staff denied them the ability to pick up and drop off customers at the arena. According to the story on the dispute:

Most car services were allowed to drop off passengers at the Wells Fargo Center at Lot V, while Ubers were assigned to Lot T, DNC spokesman Lee Whack said, adding that all legal car services had access.

“Any and every legal transportation service has access to the parking lots of Wells Fargo Center to pick up and discharge passengers,” he said.

I’m here to tell you that none of the people I talked to Tuesday night knew anything about a lot V. No signs pointed to a lot V. I took a very big chance that night, and I was fortunate. Needless to say that my family and friends were livid when they found out what happened. I did get a lecture that I should have just downloaded the Uber app, but that wasn’t a solution at 11:30 at night in a dark parking lot among strangers.

Putting on  a Convention is a complex endeavor, and I’m not mad at anybody. But complex undertakings often lead to unintended consequences, and this is just one example.

I watched the rest of the Convention on television.


Broadcast media area

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The view from the general press gallery.

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Rep. Rosa Delauro

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DC Mayor Muriel Bowser

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