LDS Public Affairs
Does the name “Mitt Romney” ring a bell? Well, I certainly heard it ring daily from the mouth of reporters for months on end. It was quite the experience to spend the seven months prior to the 2012 presidential election interning at the public affairs office of the church that Mitt Romney has membership in, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Even though the Church does not endorse presidential candidates or speak on their behalf, journalists around the world were still extremely eager to learn about Governor Romney's religion.
There was never a shortage of inquisitive journalists from high profile news outlets.
I conducted tours for more than 55 journalists from five continents.
My duties for hosting included conducting tours, fielding journalists’ questions, scheduling interviews, and organizing photo shoots. It was a fascinating experience to meet such a large volume of global journalists in a relatively short amount of time.
I assisted with the hosting preparations necessary for broadcast journalists – prepping journalist briefs, organizing interviews and providing fact sheets for broadcast journalists such as Barbara Walters, Brian Williams, and Harry Smith.
In addition to my hosting duties, I monitored news coverage and provided daily media status reports.
It Matters. My career in broadcast journalism lasted about 10 minutes. During my first and last broadcast my dad recorded me fashionably sporting his yellow raincoat, my little sister threw buckets of water on me, my mom blasted me with a hose and my brother crumpled aluminum foil in the background. I was “Barbara Swalters,” and I was reporting from inside the storm of a hurricane. An ‘A' was rewarded for my second-grade project; the VHS was marked for future posterity and life moved on. There’s no way I could have known then, that years down the road, I would be preparing to host the real Barbara Walters. With a women’s blazer on, I poured over buckets of information as I assisted with hosting one of the most successful reporters to ever live.