NYT reporter shares experience as White House correspondent

by Sami Fisher,
J2000 student

Jackie Calmes was approached three times about covering the White House before she finally accepted.

The New York Times correspondent told the audience in her speech on April 21 that she finally accepted because she decided to try something new.

Calmes, who has been at the Times since 2008, gave the audience an inside look at the Times, telling the audience they were “Times insiders, without buying a subscription.”

Calmes-SpeechShe spoke about her experiences as a journalist working with Congress and the White House.

Calmes regaled the audience with stories about her career covering three presidents – Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barak Obama.

“Bill Clinton was larger than life, charismatic, tremendously gifted and flawed,” Calmes said.

Kathryne Rubright, a journalism major who attended the lecture for a class, said, “She had an impressive knowledge of information. Even though I had to [attend] for a class, it’s a great opportunity to listen to someone who is considered to have a prestigious position.”

Emphasizing that a journalist must not be biased and that one can benefit from seeing both sides of the story, Calmes said, “There is an interest to shine light on both sides.

Calmes spoke to an audience of over 100 people as a part of the annual Florence and Jesse Currier Foundation Lecture series in the Department of Journalism and Public Relations. The Student Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists co-sponsored the event.

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