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COM student honored to cover inauguration

Police Officers line Constitution Avenue leading toward the West Front of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on the day of the 57th Presidential Inauguration. PHOTO BY BILLIE WEISS/BU NEWS SERVICE

Police Officers line Constitution Avenue leading toward the West Front of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on the day of the 57th Presidential Inauguration. PHOTO BY BILLIE WEISS/BU NEWS SERVICE

College of Communication senior Deedee Sun said, while covering the presidential inauguration, she was struck by the energy of the American people and the historic significance of the moment.

“You could really feel the enthusiasm of the crowd and it was just an amazing experience.”

Sun is one of the students Boston University News Service sent to Washington, D.C. to cover the 57th presidential inauguration Monday, along with other associated events.

Walter Montaño, BU’s Washington, D.C. program intern director, said Sun was one of 13 students covering the 72 hours surrounding Obama’s second inauguration.

“They are out in the crowd and covering the parade — doing all of the reporting,” he said. “Anything political or historic we try to have a student cover.”

Sun covered the Inaugural Parade and interviewed Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick for news outlets local to Boston, she said. She was on the National Mall at the same time as Obama.

Sun’s interview with Patrick was later aired on New England Cable News.

“One of the things we asked was if after his term if he [Patrick] is going to work for the Obama administration because that is rumored and going all around,” Sun said. “Also, [we asked] if he is going to appoint someone for [Secretary of State nominee John] Kerry’s position.”

Sun said she and her fellow student reporters contacted Patrick through his media team and benefitted from R.D. Sahl’s journalistic reporting experience.

“It was really helpful to have a College of Communication professor who was established in the field there, even though I feel as if BU students are very proficient at what we do, it was helpful to have R.D.,” she said. “He knows D.C. like the back of his hand and was able to give great pointers.”

Montaño said faculty members accompany students while they are reporting to give guidance and advice.

Spectators cheer along Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C. as they listen to the swearing-in ceremony for President Barack Obama on the day of the 57th Presidential Inauguration. PHOTO BY BILLIE WEISS/BU NEWS SERVICE

Spectators cheer along Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C. as they listen to the swearing-in ceremony for President Barack Obama on the day of the 57th Presidential Inauguration. PHOTO BY BILLIE WEISS/BU NEWS SERVICE

“We have two to three faculty members working to set up roadmaps for what stories we are going to cover, such as inaugural balls, interviews with Deval Patrick and various people here,” Montaño said. “Here we show students what political reporting is all about.”

Sun had the opportunity to go to the Green Inaugural Ball, an event thrown in Washington, D.C. by environmental communities and other similar organizations to celebrate the President and Vice President.

Sun said she gained valuable experience because their pieces had quick turnarounds and because there was a lot expected of her as a reporter. She also had the opportunity to work with BU News Service, which is a multimedia content outlet.

“Everyone is going to be a multimedia journalist whether you’re studying print or broadcast or photo,” Sun said. “Everything is going to have to do multimedia content and that is what BU News Service really is.”

Sun said the weekend exceeded her expectations and was a great opportunity for her as an aspiring journalist.

“I applied just because it’s such a big opportunity,” Sun said. “It’s the nation’s capital and the inauguration is a day in history … You’re experiencing history in the making.”

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