Interviewing Tsipras (Biggest Name in Headlines)… NBD

This summer is a crazy time to report in Brussels, Belgium. At Thomson Reuters we cover a ton of topics, but the Greek debt crisis consumes most of our time and energy recently. It may not seem like that big of a deal to everyone at home, but it has consistently been at the top of media headlines from many countries this summer (including the US). I wanted to share some of the things that I have been working on with everyone at home because the videos we produce are bought by media companies all over the world. So many of the things we put out from Reuters in Brussels ends up on CNN and other American news channels.

So why exactly is Greece a big deal and what exactly have I been working on?

Last night history was made. Greece had been fighting default for five years, but last night Greece missed a payment to the International Monetary Fund and they are the first developed country to do so. The Greek crisis is far from over. Greece is headed down a path to leave the Euro and there is fiery tension between the Greek government and their creditors as well as other EU leaders.

I must say that reporting in a foreign country is difficult, but it is even more challenging to be thrown into such an important and complex story. The past two weeks have been a marathon for political reporters here in Brussels. Here are the three main types of meetings that we covered in regards to Greece.

  1. Eurogroup Meetings – The Eurogroup meetings are between all of the finance ministers from countries that use the Euro.
  2. European Summits – European Summits are meetings between the heads of state of all 28 EU member-states.
  3. Meetings between key EU figures and Tsipras – There were frequent meetings between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and key EU people such as Juncker, Dijsselbloem, Draghi, Lagarde and Schulz.

Working these events can be challenging, but I have interviewed some of the world’s top leaders regarding one of the biggest international stories of the year. I was standing just an arms length away from Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras when he said the highly-used quote about how EU leaders are blackmailing Greece. At this point in time, the world thought that Greece was wanting to reach a deal, but I got to see the expression in his eyes and the demeanor in which he stormed out of the EU Summit first-hand. I told my colleagues that did not see his it up-close that Greece was out. Sure enough, Tsipras called for a referendum later that night.

That video of my interview with Alexis Tsipras was bought by over 75 clients around the world. My video was on top news channels across the world including CNN. Here is the interview published on Reuters’ website (about 30 seconds in).

During the month of June, the Reuters Video News Team in Brussels produced an all-time record of 116 stories in one month. 116 stories does not sound like very much, but I would like to add that there are only 5 real employees and 2 interns at this branch.

I started thinking about all of the world leaders that I have either interviewed, held a microphone up to for a statement or filmed at a press conference. Here is the list.

  • Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
  • British Prime Minister David Cameron
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel
  • Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
  • President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz
  • European Central Bank President Mario Draghi
  • President of the European Council Donald Tusk
  • Eurogroup President Jereon Dijsselbloem
  • IMF President Christine Lagarde
  • And countless financial minister
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A resolution for all college students: stay updated on current events

It’s the time of year that everyone starts posting about their New Years Resolutions. Well I have a New Years Solution that all college students should have. Stay updated about current events.

Obviously I work in news and study political science as well, so I have an interest in what is going on in the world around me, but most college students do not. Earlier this year, I was proud to wear my “I Voted” sticker around campus, but almost nobody my age had voted. When talking to friends about voting, many of them either did not know that it was time to vote or they felt that they did not know enough about the issues to go vote.

Most college students prefer the “ignorance is bliss” approach. They do not have full-time jobs and they feel that a lot of things in the news do not affect them. It makes me sad that people think like this because current events DO affect you and I hope you will take the time to listen to my reasons why things going on in the world should be of importance to you.

  • Local News- You should pay attention to local news because this is what is going on at your back door.
    • There were shots fired at my apartment complex last semester and I was informed by a tweet from a local news station. My apartment complex tried to keep the incident quiet and did not inform their residence that a shooting occurred in my back yard! Sometimes local news has EVERYTHING to do with you.
    • They recently lowered the speed limits in Columbia on parts of I-70. As many students return to Mizzou today, I will not be one bit surprised if people get speeding tickets because they were unaware of the change. The news station that I worked at talked about it multiple times on the news and all of our social media platforms. It’s as simple as reading a few tweets to save yourself from ignorance.
  • National News- National news stories are big for a reason. They directly affect a lot of people.
    • It’s important to watch, read or listen to national news every once in a while too because these are the biggest stories in the country. They are big for a reason and that reason is that they are something many people need to know or have interest in. I don’t know about you, but I would like to know about new laws Congress passes and big natural disasters and new technology that emerges and all of the stuff that you see on national news. It’s national news because it is BIG news.
  • International News
    • This is the area that I notice people my age paying the least attention to because they do not see how it relates to their everyday lives. However, it does.
    • There was recently a terror attack in Paris. If you do not know about it, I suggest reading about it for a few minutes because it is important. Obviously we do not live in Paris, so many people don’t understand why they should care. The reason is that attacks like this are happening all over the world. Nowhere is safe and anywhere could be next. Just because it did not happen to you does not mean that it couldn’t. Our military is all over the world fighting against organizations like ISIS to PROTECT you. If you you do not feel like anything like that could happen to you then just think about the Boston Bombing or 9/11. It CAN happen to anyone anywhere at anytime.
    • If for no other reason, watch the national news to find out what exactly our soldiers are fighting and risking their lives for. Find out about the grave injustices going on around the world in order to be more grateful for the opportunities that you have.

Tips for Finals

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Pools are open, the sun’s out and summer is on the brain. As a college student, there is nothing worse than studying for finals when it is nice outside. There are so many other things that you could be doing. Here are some tips on how to finish off the semester strong despite the distractions.

1. Update your planner

There are so many tests and deadlines around finals, so keep your planners updated and look at your schedule every so often so that you know when everything is due.

2. Portion it out instead of procrastinating

If you have three finals in one week, don’t wait until the night before to start studying. Take a little bit of time out each day to work on each class. If you have a project or paper, make sure you start working on it a week in advance, so that you don’t freak out at the last second.

3. Make to-do lists

Every night make a list of everything that you need to get done the next day and do not go to sleep until you get it all done. It sounds harsh, but you need to hold yourself accountable to the to-do lists you make.

4. Go somewhere secluded

Don’t study somewhere that you know you will get distracted at. If you do not study well in your room then go to the library or somewhere where you can focus better. We all like to think that our bed is a good place to stud, but at the end of the day our bed is only good for sleeping and Netflix.

5. Don’t procrastinate so you can take some time out for fun

It’s the last weeks of school, so you want to make sure you get to say goodbye to all of your friends. Get your work done so that you can reward yourself with study breaks.

I know that finals week is the worst, especially when summer is around the corner, but if you muscle through it, you’ll be okay!

7 Types of People From Your High School A Few Years Later

A few years after high school, it is fun to see what everyone is up to. Here are seven different types of people from your high school now.

1. The one who is still stuck in high school after all of these years

tumblr_mzsn1kDZD21tq4of6o1_250These are the people that even after leaving high school, still haven’t expanded their friend group. They come home every summer and live for winter and Thanksgiving breaks. They still go to high school sporting events and people that are still in high school can’t stand how they are always coming back. They have yet to discover that they have graduated and the rest of their high school class is moving on.

2. The person that hated high school and everyone in it

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This person took wanting to leave high school to the next level. Not only did they move on, but this person defriended you  and everyone else from Facebook.  They  will never move back home, just to make sure he or she never has to see you or anyone else from your school ever again.

3. The ones who live at home while going to a small school

tumblr_mwtwa3G8yI1qli1dto1_500This person is the one tweeting song lyrics and updating their status about how hard community college finals are. You will likely sense the boredom that they face by reading their depressing updates. They often take trips to visit their high school friends that go to larger colleges.

4. The one who is off traveling the world

tumblr_myca2fAIoX1s8hnhko1_500This person seems to have gotten to do everything. He or she has already studied abroad and traveled the world and it makes you insanely jealous. Their constant updates are sad because it’s not you, but you can’t help but read about their amazing adventures…. and wonder how they pay for it.

5. The partier

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All of their pictures on Facebook have millions of people in it and they tweet about Greek life more than about their own life. Their life seems like a never ending party based on their Facebook pictures, but their GPA is slowly dropping due to their constant weeknight partying.

6. The one who grew up quickly

tumblr_mzxk10rkid1qh9nffo1_500This person grew up super quick. They are either married or engaged and might already even have a kid. They seem super happy with how quick their life is moving, but most people your age’s biggest concern is about your upcoming exam.

7. The ones who are still trying to figure things out

tumblr_mx9dcsnz9u1rs4naxo1_500This person probably wasn’t the best student in high school and decided that school just wasn’t the path for them. Many of these people just haven’t figured out what they want to do.

College Isn’t All Fun and Games

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College is supposed to be the best time of your life. At least that’s what everyone says when they’re older. Don’t get me wrong, college is great. I live in a house with 70 of my best friends. I am learning so many new things.

All you see about college is the parties and the fun. What Hollywood and your parents forget to tell you is how much responsibilities you will have. I work 30 hours a week for no pay. Schoolwork is time consuming. Running two different organization’s social media is time consuming.

People always glamorize college. They talk about the parties and the fun, but they forget to mention that you’re always broke, tired and hungry.

They forget to tell you that the coursework is hard and that you have to spend just as much time as you do on school on extracurriculars to even learn what you actually need to survive in the real world.

I wouldn’t trade anything that I have done, but when I watch movies about college, I think about how off my ideas were about what this time was going to be. College years aren’t stress-free. Not if you’re doing what you need to succeed later in life.

Too much hate over Greek Week pairings at MU

Last night they announced Greek Week pairings by randomly selecting names. This process took away decision-making and politics and based the pairings on chance. This process might be new and it might not make everyone happy, but that’s just what it is.

What I saw at the event and over social media made me very disappointed in the Greek community. Some people laughed, some people complained and some people ran out of the building all because they were upset with their pairing. Honestly, there are so many talented chapters at MU and trash-talking the people that you will work with for the semester is not a good way to start Greek Week. If you express how much you do not want to be with someone, you are acting like you are better than them and not even giving them a chance.

Not to mention complaining about who you are with makes you and your entire chapter look bad. So what if they are not your first choice? So what if you don’t know anyone in those chapters? So what if they haven’t won before? I have found that with Homecoming and Greek Week pairings, you get what you put in. If you trash talk your pairing, they won’t work hard. If you try to get to know them and are nice, they’re going to want to win with you.

Everyone needs to make the most of their pairings because you never know someone or a chapter until you get to know them. It’s supposed to be a Greek community. There is no need to be pessimistic and mean.