By Amie Parnes, Politico.com, January 7th, 2011:
Tony Fratto, the former deputy White House press secretary, is about to take up residence behind a different podium: in the classroom.
Beginning Thursday, Fratto will be teaching a weekly class at Georgetown University, alongside CBS News White House correspondent Chip Reid.
The topic? The White House and the press, of course.
Fratto, who is now a managing partner at Hamilton Place strategies, tells POLITICO that the class will “take away the mystery” of what it’s like to work at the White House and to cover it as a reporter.
The former spokesman for President George W. Bush says he’ll talk to students about communications strategy, how the White House deals with questions from the press and how and why the White House gives exclusives to news organizations.
Reid will focus on the other side, assigning students tasks like television stand-ups and a feature stories.
“I think the biggest thing to understand if you’re a journalist covering the White House is just the breadth of topics and news that comes in and out,” Fratto said. “You’re riding this wave of what is news. It’s a wave out there that you’re trying to surf successfully and the waves are unpredictable. … Even for us, although you’re at the White House and you’re the most powerful megaphone, you’re still affected by that wave,” he said.
Fratto says he’s not nervous about taking to the podium again.
“The pressure is developing a course that is interesting and that gives both theory and practical experience to the students,” he said. “And I’ve never had to give grades before. So that’s something I need to do.”
Read the full article here.