Tampa prepares for 15,000 journalists covering the RNC

While local broadcasters in Tampa Bay prepare to cover the Republican National Convention next week, the area is preparing for the 15-16,000 journalists who will arrive Sunday and stay for five days. Ken Jones, President & CEO of the 2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee for the RNC, explained on WUSF's "Florida Matters" program this week. In an interview with John O'Connor, Jones said:

You have to communicate with people. ...That's the biggest goal. ... Make sure that they understand, 'Why are we having the convention?' And there are a couple reasons. One is it's a political function for the party. They are nominating their candidate for president and vice president. So it's a legal process. ... That's the Republican National Committee piece. Then you've got the Host Committee piece. That mission and goal is altogether different. That goal is to make sure people visiting Tampa see what a great place it is. ...

We need to give the media what we call nutritional value. They've got to have the ability to write good things about Tampa while they're here, and not talk about hurricanes, let's say. We want to keep them on message about something other than that. We want to give them good content. Happy media write good stories, so we like to take care of our media friends.

How much attention will people (outside Tampa) pay to the convention?

"We're back to doing gavel-to-gavel" convention coverage, Marc Burstein, senior executive producer for special events at ABC News, told The Wall Street Journal's Keach Hagey. "We're just not doing it on television." Instead, networks will stream coverage online.

Convention coverage plans:

Related: James O'Keefe to speak on citizen journalism at RNC (Politico) | What to do if you're arrested while covering the conventions (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press)


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