Budding International Reporter on the Inauguration Day Protest

January 25, 2017

On Inauguration Day, NYIT student Vasiliki Sgourdou headed to Washington DC to cover the other news that day: the protest. The communication arts master’s candidate hails from Greece and hopes to one day to be part of a newsroom as a multilingual journalist. She’s off to a great start: This international student speaks four languages. She sat down with The Box to talk about her experience covering the day’s events for the Manhattan Globe (NYIT-Manhattan’s student newspaper).

The Box: Tell me about your experience at the protests.
I feel lucky to have been part of the protests on Inauguration Day. I didn’t protest myself, I was there to cover the event. The massive amount of people and their angry voices was astounding. This gave me a lot of inspiration and motivation to work harder and make myself better at reporting the news.

You covered the event for the Manhattan Globe. How did your studies prepare you for covering this event?
Our meetings in the newsroom taught us how things should be done as a team and how we should behave as individual journalists in the future. I have kept the most useful advice from our professor who has been in the field for years. He believes in us and always encourages us to move forward.

What did you find to be the biggest challenge?
Being myself and having to deliver something I had never done before. It sounds normal for a beginner in the field, but it is overwhelming and scary.

What did you take away from this experience?
To wear comfortable shoes next time! Next time, I know that I need better equipment, such as a selfie stick or monopod. I was out there by myself so I improvised a little. It worked out well in the end, but next time I will know better.

More importantly, what this experience taught me was that there is a right time for everything. You need to wait for the events to occur, for people to be ready to talk with you, and for the questions to come to your head naturally.

Has this experience changed your mind about your career or what kind of reporting you would like to do?
It has not changed my mind. Quite the opposite, I would say. This was my first experience reporting and I felt I was doing exactly what I go to school for. Writing means a lot to me, but being out there, when developments occur from moment to moment, and keeping others updated was thrilling.

Was there anything that surprised you at the protest?
It is surprising to me that the American people have taken to the streets. I am not used to seeing that very often. During the protest, I was mostly surprised by their passion in saying that they do not approve of the new administration, as well as by the widening ideological gap and polarization between the two sides.

This interview has been edited and condensed.