Junior Alex Anderson made his anchorman debut at a state fair booth for a local news station in St. Paul, Minn. This summer, he made his entrance onto network-TV on CNN at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
After applying and winning CNN’s iReport “Your Political Ticket,” an online contest that sent the winning broadcast- ers to either the Republican or Democratic National Conven- tion, Anderson spent a week in Tampa.
Anderson worked at the CNN Grill, a high-energy lounge the network used as headquarters during the RNC. Anderson said he enjoyed news production, including the technical workings behind the scenes and the presentation in front of the camera.
“I love that industry,” he said. “I love the news. The business, the corporate net- work, seeing how everything works-I like that atmosphere.”
Another one of Anderson’s duties was to work with the “Sights and Sounds of the RNC,” tweeting updates of the convention and interviewing
people on the floor as a citizen reporter.
With his fellow contestant winners, Anderson also made a promo video for the upcoming election, entitled, “America’s Choice,” which will air in November.
The political enthusiast and Minnesota native was disap- pointed when in 2008 he could not attend the RNC held in St. Paul, but was determined to attend 2012 convention.
“It’s always been my goal to go the RNC. I was going to try any way that I could to get into Tampa,” Anderson said.
When Anderson stumbled across the CNN iReport con- test, he hoped it could be his ticket to Florida.
Contestants were required to submit a 45-second video and 150-word essay. Of the six finalists selected, Anderson was the only college student.
Anderson’s internship this summer at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., provided him with the camera equipment to film his video submission. He purposely chose to make his video apo- litical, instead focusing on the development of communication in his entry.
“Our generation communi- cates differently than any other generation,” Anderson said. “We have control of what we want to know at our fingertips.”
Abigail Schultz, a friend of Anderson who also interned this summer in Washington, D.C., assisted Anderson in
the early stages of filming his 38-second pitch to CNN.
“Alex has good people and communication skills,” Schultz said. “I could see him being very successful. After I saw his video, I thought it was great.”
Anderson’s father, Joe An- derson, who accompanied him on the trip, was impressed with CNN’s use of communication portals.
“Some of these mediums are very good to use because they’re quick and easy. But to me, it can only go so far,” he said. “Alex is always on my case to get updates. But I still don’t have a Facebook.”
CNN is not Anderson’s favorite news network, but he is grateful for the opportunity it gave him.
“The liberals have great communication with their fol- lowers,” Anderson said. “As conservatives, we can win the battle of ideas. We just need to learn to communicate a mes- sage, or we’re going to lose.” (905)