NOV. 26, 2014 — I woke up at 8:15 a.m. Nov. 7, 2014, to an email from Michael Bartanen, Chair of the Communication department, with the subject, “You’re famous.”
I came to PLU intending to focus my Communication degree on public relations and advertising. By the end of October, passionate faculty members and even more enthusiastic peers convinced me I was made to be a journalist.
In late October (after just declaring a Communication major with an emphasis in journalism), I visited my academic advisor, Professor of Communication Joanne Lisosky. With wide eyes and hands suspended in midair, she half-asked, half-told me that I was going to be reporting for The News Tribune on Election Night from parties in the greater Seattle area. (In 2014, eight students worked for The News Tribune, and four students worked at KOMO-TV. Each year since 2008, Communication students have worked with local media outlets to cover election night—one of the only programs in the country where students work Election Night alongside the professionals.)
I signed up with my best friend, Michael Diambri, a fellow journalism major (and my employee at PLU’s college newspaper, The Mooring Mast). We showed up at the TNT dressed in our best, excited to be first-years at an award-winning paper on election night, ready to report the news.
The political editor, Kim Bradford, briefed us in a conference room about the hashtag we would be using (#waelex) and where we were headed: the “Yes on I-591” rally in Bellevue, Wash., which was anti-gun-regulation.
She also told us what we were looking for: color.