On Thursday October 27, the College Radio Foundation brought college radio students from ten universities across the nation to attend a special College Radio Day visit at the White House. For all the students in the group, this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the historic building and to meet and interview high-ranking government officials. The group of students and advisors were credentialed members of the White House press corps for the day and were provided access to the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room.
During their visit at the White House, participants met with members of President Obama’s administration to discuss important issues relevant to current college students. Topics included college affordability, student loans, and climate change. The group also met with Press Secretary Josh Earnest to discuss his role in the media and the importance of college media in today’s society. Another highlight of the visit was discussing college affordability with John King Jr, the Secretary of Education, and Cecilia Munoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, and Senior Advisor to President Obama.
In their meeting about climate change, the group was delighted to learn that Brian Deese, Senior Advisor to President Obama, had a college radio show at WRMC 91.1 FM when he was a student at Middlebury College in Vermont. He started the briefing by talking about the ways that he engaged with listeners on campus about a variety of different issues and topics when he was a college radio DJ. During his time with the students, Press Secretary Josh Earnest also talked about the importance of college radio, and how working in student media at college can provide important experience for a future professional career in the media. Earnest also talked about his time at Rice University, and his respect for KTRU radio on the university campus there. Earnest also provided a fascinating insight into his day-to-day life at the White House and the unique requirements of his job in the public eye.
The audio that the group recorded during the day will feature in a special “College Radio Day White House Report” to be broadcast on College Radio Day, November 4.