Covering the White House is an amazing responsibility for any journalist, never more so than in 2019. Doing it for the Voice of America brings its own challenges and opportunities. The session “VOA at the White House: Covering the Administration” will be presented at The Video Show, a two-day event in Washington, Dec. 4–5.
In the session, Steve Herman, White House bureau chief for the Voice of America, will share his experiences, some of the hard lessons he has learned and how VOA approaches its role in today’s contentious media climate. How do you cram a pool of 22 reporters, videographers, still photographers and audio tech into the Oval Office anyway?
The Video Show caught up with Herman for a minute ahead of the show.
The Video Show: How is your approach to covering the White House different than the other correspondents there?
Steve Herman: VOA broadcasts to the rest of the world in 47 languages, we do not target a domestic U.S. audience. So our focus is quite different on White House issues than most news outlets covering the administration. Stories that have a geo-political angle—something about Russia or Africa, for example—are important to our audiences, who are less interested in West Wing process stories that might be consuming the attention of most White House reporters on any given day.
TVS: What have you found to be the most challenging aspect of the White House beat?
SH: Multitasking, definitely. When I’m in the Oval Office or on the tarmac next to Air Force One with the president, I’m simultaneously recording broadcast-quality audio for all the radio networks as the pool reporter, sending pool reports to those networks, also snapping a few photos or recording a video clip on my iPhone and then tweeting out the gist of what’s happening.
The Video Show will feature more than 100 sessions on nine presentation stages, as well as a dedicated screening room, demo areas, streaming studio and dynamic exhibit floor. Want to hear more about this topic? Visit the website to learn more and register.