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Question for Guest Speaker

October 16, 2007

I am going into PR (hopefully), so I will be in contact with a lot of people who work with the press or as press spokesmen or women. My question isn’t so much about Newt Gingrich or politics but more about how you handle your job. What is a typical day like for you?

Thanks,
Anna

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28 Comments leave one →
  1. bethechange permalink
    October 17, 2007 5:49 am

    Volunteering for numerous political campaigns, I have discovered that a popular belief amongst the candidates lies in the idea that college students are not interested in politics. As a young voter myself, I feel that it is not so much an issue of students being uninterested in politics, but the fact that many politicians simply refuse to reach out to young voters. Those politicians who do in fact attempt to reach out to this generation usually win support from them. What is your take on this issue?

  2. Joe Layman permalink
    October 17, 2007 5:16 pm

    Mr. Gingrich was a member of the House of Representatives for thirty years and obviously has a great deal of experience with politics. In June the approval rating of Congress dropped to an all time low, with just 14% of people having a favorable view. Congress usually has low ratings because it acts slowly and it is hard for Americans to see progress. But Congress was designed to act slowly, so do you think there is anything congress can do to be more effective or efficient? Or is it just the nature of the beast with an institution that has over 400 members?

  3. Charlotte permalink
    October 17, 2007 10:59 pm

    Do you feel that today there are too many media choices or too few? And are the lack of choices or abundance of choices hinders the American people from “fully participating” in the democratic system?

    This question originated from an article in the Wall Street Journal called “The Media Cornucopia: Too Many Choices! Or Too Few!” The reporter Adam D. made an argument that Democrats contradict themselves. Some for example Congressman Dennis Kucinich said that “real media choices, information sources included, remain scarce, hindering citizens from fully participating in a deliberative democracy.” And others argue the opposing side, the abundance of media sources makes it hard for citizens to “share common thoughts or feelings” in democracy.

  4. Mia permalink
    October 18, 2007 1:09 am

    As a journalism student, I am wary of public relations managers, press secretaries and anyone who speaks on behalf of another person. I believe that the way to get the most accurate news and the most candid quotes is to speak directly with the person involved. If my understanding of Gingrich’s speech to the National Press Club in August is any indication, he also believes that choreographed conversations don’t provide any answers. Just as thoughtful political discourse is dependent on debate, useful journalism is dependent on candidness. As a press secretary, and someone who presumably believes in the merit of his career, how do you reconcile your job description with Gingrich’s goals for open debate?

  5. alexthemanz permalink
    October 18, 2007 4:22 am

    What is the best advice that you can offer public communication/public relation students to further their chance in getting a great entry level job? Obviously, experience is important but what got you to where you are today? And what would you do differently?

  6. LexLaura permalink
    October 18, 2007 5:11 pm

    As you know, a large part of this class involves blogging. How much of an effect are blogs and youtube discussions having on voters? Through blogging, are we trying to personalized a nationwide event too much, or are we completely justified in expecting the candidates to respond to our ideas?

  7. Alf permalink
    October 18, 2007 7:28 pm

    Obviously, presidential debates are at their heart media events. Far more people view the debates via television than actually attend them, and they are organized to be seen on TV. Do you think the media focus of the debates detracts from the candidates’ discourse? How can we have intelligent, informative debates that still fit the TV format?

  8. AUblogger permalink
    October 18, 2007 8:20 pm

    I think we all agree that we want to see personable, passionate political debate and discussion. How would debate reform change the campaign process? Would we have as many candidates running for president as we do now? Furthermore, would candidates need to raise as much money as they do now or would debate reform change campaign finances?

    This questions comes from our in class discussion and the blog post on campaign finances and our on going mission to try and reform debate. We need to win people over with this idea in order to gain support. I think the benefits need to be outlined so people can see how this will better the political process in America. I am interested to hear Rick Tyler’s response on how/if debate reform would change campaign finances.

  9. mschellentrager permalink
    October 18, 2007 10:39 pm

    As we know, Newt Gingrich has gained attention for his advocation of renewing meaningful and substantial political debate.

    Yet republicans are notorious for framing debate with manipulative catch phrases, such as “cut and run” and “tax and spend”, which automatically put democrats on the defensive. They manipulate patriotism and the tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001 for political gain.

    How can you justify calling for meaningful debate while your peers are simultaneously hindering significant discussion in the public sphere?

  10. Tom Heijne permalink
    October 19, 2007 12:19 am

    One thing I always wondered is how does it feel to have your name attached to so many important bills that affect everyone in the country?

  11. staceface10 permalink
    October 19, 2007 12:57 am

    One of Newt Gingrich’s most recent endeavors is the 2006 publication of his book, “Rediscovering God in America.” The concept of God’s place in American government is a highly controversial issue. Has this book caused you to deal with a lot of negative backlash from secular politicians? If so, how do you respond to these attacks?

  12. Arubus permalink
    October 19, 2007 1:08 am

    Being a press secretary and having to deal with the media on a daily basis, how do you feel the rise in alternative news and entertainment media (ie. youtube, myspace, blogging, The Daily Show) will effect the eventual outcome of the presidential election?

  13. Mescalero101er permalink
    October 19, 2007 1:23 am

    There is a movement in the American press to be unbiased. However, in foreign press, especially British newspapers, there is a clear division between conservative and liberal presses. What are your thoughts on unbiased press in America? Should we focus on creating a truly a-political body, or should we allowed the biased press to operate and simply read/watch the outlets that follow our own political bias.

  14. ilovelamp permalink
    October 19, 2007 1:30 am

    Though I was tempted to make my question “Vanilla, or chocolate?” and end it there, I realized this was probably not the soundest decision. So instead, my question is this: do you ever find that you strongly disagree with something you’ve been advised to speak about? In other words, are you ever opposed to the answers that you’re instructed to give? If so, how do you deal with this?

  15. jp4773a permalink
    October 19, 2007 1:46 am

    “what would you say your highest/best moment of your job as been?”

  16. Harrison permalink
    October 19, 2007 2:17 am

    Mr. Gingrich, in his speech on political debate reform, talked about the idea he called “9 Sundays,” which would be highly specific, weekly debates at the height of the campaign season so that the American people could get to know the candidates better when it comes to major issues. This struck me as an idea that has the potential to achieve better debate, and that also seems feasable. Is this idea something that is still being looked into?

  17. Donny Sheldon permalink
    October 19, 2007 2:30 am

    Apart from recent technological developments and the advent of the almighty Youtube.com, what do you think has kept the divide between politicians and the public in tact?

    Also, what influence does America’s growing skepticism regarding the Bush Administration play in Gingrich’s newfound interest in fostering debate?

  18. cynic@american permalink
    October 19, 2007 2:39 am

    Is being a press spokesperson for you a job, where you just happen to work for Newt Gingrich, or do you work for Mr. Gingrich out of a genuine passion for his unique voice and beliefs? Basically, do you come at your job professionally or passionately, and if it’s a mix, how do you find a balance?

  19. Medusagemini permalink
    October 19, 2007 2:56 am

    All year, the media has wondered “will he or won’t he” regarding Newt Gingrich’s bid for presidency. What do you think about the criticism that Gingrich may never have seriously been interested in running for president? And the controversy over the whole 527 thing…How do you deal with the skeptics and critics?

  20. Nick J permalink
    October 19, 2007 3:11 am

    Do you ever find that you disagree with a position on an issue that Mr. Gingrich has taken and if so, how do you balance your personal beliefs with the expectations of your job?

  21. Daniel Escoto permalink
    October 19, 2007 3:22 am

    It seems like a lot of the media is always against politicians; I don’t think I’ve ever seen a meaningful news story promoting a candidate or official (unless it’s FOX News, of course). What are your thoughts on this undeclared war between the media and the government and what do you think could be done to try and get the media more on the government’s side?

  22. amurph27 permalink
    October 19, 2007 3:31 am

    Was there any particular situation, being an internship class or just situation in general, that you believe really helped you decide to go into the field of public relations and essentially lead you to where you are today?

  23. Tess permalink
    October 19, 2007 3:36 am

    Our course has been discussing the deterioration of the quality of debate in America today. As a result, many young voters feel alienated and apathetic. Earlier this week, satirist Stephen Colbert announced that he would appear on the ballot in South Carolina. Do you feel like people are taking politics less seriously these days? How do you think politicians should deal with indifference?

  24. rachel permalink
    October 19, 2007 4:00 am

    Newt Gingrich has provided the public with so much political commentary through cable news and the internet it is hard not to know where he stands on the issues. That said, how does a candidate like Gingrich plan on transforming politics without running for office himself?

    Is there another way to create debate in the public sphere?

  25. Bonzo Goes To Bitburg permalink
    October 19, 2007 4:20 am

    As press secretary for Mr. Gingrich what has been the most interesting or bizarre story that you have had to spin?

  26. Chr1sAU permalink
    October 19, 2007 4:23 am

    with today’s influx of internet bloggers, YouTube’s growing popularity and influence, and more young voters taking an interest in the political scene, debate reform seems unavoidable. Politicians are currently campaigning in ways like never before, by embracing modern technology. with all these questions on debate reforms, when do you think the American people will be satisfied? And how will the political campaign scene look then?

  27. Tony Romm permalink
    October 19, 2007 4:28 am

    In today’s age of fast-paced campaigning and fundraising blitzes, to whom is the candidate most accountable, the lobbyist or the voter? Is this undemocratic truth the reason Gingrich believed he could capture $30 million in 6 weeks? Was it why he later recanted his statement?

  28. Lara Aqel permalink
    October 19, 2007 6:00 am

    Would Newt Gingrich support a Republican candidate who diverges from the party platform on such critical issues as foreign policy or traditional, conservative family values?

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