Journalist speaks on politics, Washington and media's role
Published: Thursday, October 3, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 3, 2013 00:10
On Wednesday, USU students and faculty heard from Matt Canham, a political reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune as part of the Morris Media Lecture Series.
Canham has worked for the Tribune since 2002, covering various sections of the paper. He started working for the paper’s political section in 2007 while reporting out of the Washington D.C. bureau. He spoke about the connection between politicians and journalists and how the news is reported.
“My job for the paper comes down to three primary responsibilities,” Canham said. “I report on who are politicians really are, what they actually do, and what they do not want the public to know.”
Canham also spoke about the main motivations of politicians. He said most politicians want to achieve their policies that can help the country move in a better direction, but said it is very difficult to get questions across.
“It was a long time ago that somebody could just go up to the president and ask him a question,” Canham said. “Since Obama took office five years ago, I have been able to ask him a question twice.”
Students in attendance asked Canham questions during the lecture. William Christensen, a sophomore majoring in journalism and communication, said being able to get his question across was a great benefit.
“He is a very knowledgeable person who had a lot of insider information,” Christensen said. “I knew coming in that he is a great reporter, and he definitely gave a good lecture.”
Canham also talked about how politicians look at journalists. He said some politicians view journalists as wildcards and how politicians have tried to shield themselves from them over the years.
“Politicians love to view us as aliens,” Canham said. “They always have that welcoming smile, but the look in their eyes says they don’t want to talk to us.”
During the lecture, Canham spoke about what his ultimate goal is. He said after the experiences he has had working in Washington, D.C., he wants to be able to write the big story. He has had experience covering big events, such as the Wall Street collapse of 2008.