Monthly Archives: September 2008

An Eleven-Year-Old’s View from Outside the Convention Gates

By Denise Tejada

Listen here!

Eleven-year-old Davyon Williams had no idea what was in store for him when he showed up at his second day of school at Paul and Sheila Wellstone Elementary. The school is just steps from the Republican National Convention’s headquarters at the Xcel Center in St. Paul. Youth Radio enlisted him as a tour guide and hooked up with Davyon during his social studies class, where his teacher, Ms. Witt, integrated themes from Presidential politics into her lesson. Davyon’s own biggest hope for the Presidential election is for whoever comes into office to end the war so his big brother can come home.


A Bellicose Commentator and a Bulldog Dad

by Denise Tejada

Now that the RNC is rolling out of town, and our on the ground coverage is done, we have time to reflect on a couple of characters we met, and experiences we had during our week in St. Paul. Here are two stories from the week that touch on the role of conservative talk radio and TV in U.S. politics and families–with perspectives from young people who make the media and consume it everyday. 

It’s His Party and He’ll Talk if He Wants To

Nationally syndicated talk show host Ben Ferguson at the XCel Center's Radio Row in St. Paul.

Nationally syndicated talk show host Ben Ferguson at the XCel Center

Ankitha: Conservative talk radio has always had a rep for being loud and in-your-face. Well, everything the medium is known for is embodied in 27-year-old Ben Ferguson, a nationally syndicated talk show host.







My Dad the Conservative Bulldog

Denise is a graduate of Youth Radio's class of 2003. At 19, she's a production assistant in the newsroom, helping students develop stories for both our National and Local outlets. Denise is also helping produce much of the immigration coverage for Youth Radio.

Nineteen-year-old Denise Tejada is at the RNC, getting her first exposure to young Latino Republicans en masse. Her father, a strident conservative, has ingrained his values in Denise through stories of his personal history, debate, and Spanish language talk radio and TV.


Watching Talk Radio

Nationally syndicated talk show host Ben Ferguson at the XCel Center's Radio Row in St. Paul.

Nationally syndicated talk show host Ben Ferguson at the XCel Center

You can meet conservative talk radio host, Ben Ferguson, in audio form in our next post. But here you get to check him out in moving pictures. Ever wanted a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of conservative talk radio? That’s just what Youth Radio’s Ankitha Bharadwaj got–in a big way–during her visit to the RNC in St. Paul.

She tagged along with conservative talk radio personality, Ben Ferguson, who’s been broadcasting live all week from the RNC’s Radio Row. Ben got his start in radio before his 13th birthday. Now he’s nationally syndicated–and a force on and off the mic. Meeting Ben is shook some of Ankitha’s assumptions about a media landscape she’s been coming to know as an emerging young producer.

Youth Radio reporters on the streets of Saint Paul

Youth Radio reporters Ankitha Bharadwaj and Alana Germany have been working hard all week covering the Republian National Convention. Here are some of their thoughts on their stories, and their experiences in Saint Paul.

Youth Radio’s Denise Tejada turns the table on mun2 reporters

Youth Radio’s Denise Tejada told us about one of her frantic days at the RNC a few posts ago.

Well… if you were wondering how the whole interview with mun2 TV went down… here’s a little video for you. Just to remind you, Denise met up with Renato Lopez and Xochitl Dorsey of mun2 TV to be interviewed for a feature… But when the interview was over, she decided it was time to conduct an interview of her own…

Palin-drama: Is Bristol Palin the new Jamie Lynn Spears?

by Alana Germany

Photo credit: Ashley Barchas

Minneapolis-Saint Paul__Youth Radio’s Alana Germany surveyed opinions at the RNC about VP nominee Sarah Palin’s daughter and her pregnancy.

Is Bristol The New Jamie Lynn?


Convention is the New Nightclub

Listen to it it here!

Minneapolis-Saint Paul–Now before you get your baffled face on, let me explain.

When Youth Radio was preparing its RNC team, the first question they asked us was…

Youth Radio: “How old are you?”

Ankitha: “What? I’m 18, why do you ask?”

Youth Radio: “That’s good, because only journalists 18 and over are allowed into the RNC.”

Seems like a lame rule, doesn’t it? The obvious reason might be that only people over 18 are allowed to vote, so if there are die hard political junkie journalists who are on the younger end of the spectrum, they’re denied the chance to play a vital role in this year’s political process.

And much like this convention, many nightclubs across the country require partygoers to be at least 18 to enter. The resemblances don’t stop there. If you’ve ever been to a club, I’m sure you’ve had interesting experiences with the huge bouncer, who guards the club doors to make sure only the “worthy” are allowed in. Similarly, the Xcel Center in St. Paul was guarded by security officers, metal detectors, and scanners. Moreover, just as you’d need to have your name on a special list, the convention requires credentials for anyone to enter the Xcel Center, and getting those credentials is tricky business if you’re under 18.

Maybe it’s just me, but isn’t it a little weird that the RNC didn’t allow journalists under 18 when they’re trying so hard to appeal to the youth? And moreover, this just gives the democrats more power, since the DNC happily welcomed underage reporters.

We spoke with folks from YPress, a media organization similar to Youth Radio headquartered in Indianapolis. They were frustrated when the RNC denied them any credentials, forcing YPress to look elsewhere for RNC coverage. And the worst thing is that they’ve covered both the DNC and the RNC for years now, so it’s a little confusing why they weren’t credentialed this time around. But the YPress team got some pretty awesome stories; they interviewed Fred Thomson, Mike Huckabee, and a few other cool cats. So take that RNC.