William Taylor Potter
Hometown: Texarkana, Ark.
Major: Mass Communication
Why did you want to participate in the Manship School News Service, or MSNS, Statehouse Bureau?
I wanted to be a part of the Statehouse Bureau after seeing some of the great work the team did last year. I knew, from having other classes with Professor Shelledy, that it would be a worthwhile experience.
When reporting at the Capitol, what is a typical day like?
Each day is pretty different. We've been reporting on committees, the special session and some pre-filed bills leading up to the regular session. I think I enjoyed the special session the most – everything was high stakes and moved at a rapid pace. I loved that.
What news outlets have published your stories?
I've been published by NOLA.com | Times-Picayune, The Monroe News Star, The Shreveport Times and several others, mostly in the Gannett network.
What has the experience taught you?
I've definitely learned a lot about the inner workings of the Capitol. As an outsider, I never really understood why certain things passed and why others didn't, but after seeing the factions in the Legislature, its really enlightening.
What is the best part of your experience covering the Legislature?
It's really rewarding to see your work all over the Internet, especially when it's a smaller committee meeting that few other reporters attended.
Why should students, both current or potential, be interested in the Manship School News Service Statehouse Bureau?
I think it's definitely a good course for any Manship student interested in working in politics or covering hard news. It's legitimate real world experience that few other colleges in the country can offer.
What are your goals/hopes for life after LSU?
I honestly don't have a clear idea. Right now, I'm just gearing up for graduate school.
Would you rather be a journalist or a politician, and why?
That's a tough question. Before the session, I would have said journalist without hesitation. But I have to admit there is a certain attraction to politics.