This past fall break I was fortunate enough to be able to get a behind the scenes look at the DNC in Charlotte. My dad works for NBC and was able to get me some passes so that I could experience something that might be once in a lifetime for me. I’m not sure what I was expecting out of going but I know that what I saw was certainly surprising. Even though I went a few days before the DNC was scheduled to air I was at least expecting that there would be a lot of well-dressed politicians and important people running around looking classy. So I dressed up hoping I would fit in, but when I got there, everyone was in jeans and t-shirts moving boxes around. So I was the one who stood out, especially since I only saw one person remotely close to my age. Even though the DNC was held in the arena in downtown Charlotte, most of the news work was being done in the convention center a few blocks away. The whole basement of the convention center was transformed into a news warehouse with each station getting their own curtained off workspace. The NBC section was huge, but the real cool thing was seeing C-SPAN, ABC, Telemundo, and basically every news station you can think of in one place. I got put to work pretty much right when I got there, setting up phones and helping find places for the boxes that were shipped up from the RNC in Florida just a day or two before. After a while of sorting through all the piles of things we filled up a van and finally headed to where the DNC was actually being held. I’m pretty familiar with the arena, so when I finally got there I was surprised to see how different it looked.
They totally changed the arena, even tearing apart and rebuilding some of the VIP suites to build newsrooms inside to shoot coverage from. Even though it was still a work in progress, what I did get to see was really cool. If you watched it on TV, you know there was a lot of blue carpet and very patriotic looking decorations, which I can assure you, are not usually there. Even though I’d spent my morning feeling awkward and getting in the way of the NBC reporters at the convention center, seeing the arena made the trip totally worth it.