Among an estimated 15,000 journalists covering the Republican and Democratic National Conventions this month, GroundTruth reporting fellows – past and present – are finding creative ways to set their work apart.
Matt Negrin, who was part of GroundTruth’s 2011 “Covering a Revolution” fellowship in Cairo, now works for Bloomberg Politics and has brought his unique brand of humor to a series of short videos produced inside the convention halls.
One example: Negrin roamed the Quicken Loans Arena last week in Cleveland, inviting RNC attendees to play “Trump: The Game.” The game’s slogan? “It’s not whether you win or lose, but whether you win.”
Negrin built easy rapport with players like Texas Rep. Roger Williams and Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. He took a critical, irreverent look at how the rules of Trump’s game look a whole lot like the rules of Trump’s life (spoiler: every deal is open to interpretation).
— Mark Halperin (@MarkHalperin) July 25, 2016
Also reporting from both the RNC and DNC is Mohamed Abdelfattah, who was part of the same cohort of reporting fellows in Cairo. Abdelfattah, an Egyptian journalist, covered the Arab Spring uprisings and their aftermath. He now lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife, Jenny Montasir.
Abdelfattah and Montasir created a Web series called “America and I,” which immerses the Abdelfattah into the chaotic and often contradictory American political landscape. As part of our Generation T.B.D. series, the duo is working on a series of Arabic and English-language video vignettes that explore issues of race, inequality, xenophobia and gun control from an outsider’s perspective this month.
Natalie Kessar and Ben Schreckinger, two alums of the “A Burmese Journey” fellowship in 2013, have also been working the convention circuit.
Keyssar returned from assignment in Caracas, Venezuela to photograph the DNC for TIME, which published a vibrant set of images showing “scenes of peace and protest” in Philadelphia this week.
But Schreckinger stayed on the Trump beat. Earlier this month, he appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews to discuss the Melania Trump plagiarism scandal, as well as on ‘The Daily Show,’ where he helped with “Trump security training” for reporters covering the conventions. The training was offered by Global Journalist Security, a partner of GroundTruth.
Jenny Starrs has been covering the conventions from Washington D.C., where she now works as a digital video editor for The Washington Post. Previously a 2015 GroundTruth and Overseas Press Club Foundation fellow, Starrs created pieces such as this fact check on Trump’s nomination acceptance speech.