The safety rules and procedures will affect the way you cover the One Young World Summit. Although security and safety is important for everyone, especially with such high profile counselors, it is not as intense as one might expect. This is not a high security event.
The only time that security plays a role is on Thursday night. “It’s not like the G20 where the area was shut down and you couldn’t move around there,” explained Steve Sokol, president of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. “We work with the Pittsburgh police department and secret service, so we don’t envision a lot of interruptions.” The youth reporters will be expected to use the buddy system, so you will always have a partner and a chaperon to check in with. Curfew times will be enforced, but they are ultimately dependent on what happens throughout the day. Mary Dodaro explains that rules are there for your parents’ peace of mind, but there will be flexibility. “In the real world of reporting, there’s no curfew. We do not want helicopter parenting to crush young people’s ability to problem solve and make their own way.”
Your goal at the One Young World Summit is to represent not only Pittsburgh, but the United States as well. This means acting professionally and being respectful at the Summit, dinner parties, and in the hotel. Within the convention center, you might see masses of people surrounding one person, and you will be competing with other news outlets like MSNBC, CNN, and the Post Gazette. Jen Saffron, professor of Documentary Photography at Grove City College, explains that while massive groups of reporters can be overwhelming, you need to get over that fear immediately. “Go to the action, all the time, but protocol is professional courtesy. Don’t abuse your press privilege”. With high profile people, you may have to go through their individual handlers or personal assistants. Asking for permission to speak to them is crucial here, which means your time is limited, so be sure your questions are short and to the point. You are not paparazzi, you are a reporter, but that does not mean to be rude. You have to act professionally while still getting the information that you want. It is all about balance. If someone says no, that needs to be okay. “Have interest in what you’re saying,” says Tony Norman. “If you don’t have genuine interest, or empathy, for what the person says, they will know it. A dog always knows whether you like it or not.” The way you carry out the safety procedures during the Summit will affect how the delegates and the world view the teenagers of America.