Howard University senior Curtis McCloud has been getting an up-close look at the workings of the nation’s capital. While some reporters may dream of covering the news in Washington, McCloud wants to return to Columbus after he earns his broadcast journalism degree next year.
“I’d like to come home,” the 21-year-old said. “I want to tell the stories of people who don’t get their stories told.”
On May 9, McCloud spent time with someone whose story is told every day, President Barack Obama. The occasion was the White House Correspondents’ Association Annual Dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel.
“He’s a real down-to-earth guy,” McCloud said of Obama.
McCloud attended the dinner with other college students who had been awarded $7,000 scholarships from the White House Correspondents’ Association. First lady Michelle Obama helped present the checks. Among the recipients were two other Howard journalism students, Erica Robinson and Melissa Noel.
“The president took time to address each of us one on one,” said McCloud.
The dinner was televised on C-SPAN.
McCloud, interning this summer for an NBC affiliate in Hagerstown, Maryland, has known he wanted to be a television newsman since the first time he held a video camera as a third-grader at Hannan Elementary in Columbus.
That love continued through his days at Arnold Middle School and Columbus High. Before he went to college, he gained journalism experience at WRBL and the Ledger-Enquirer.
The history buff has worked for several stations in the D.C. area and currently is the senior producer of the student training department at WHUT-TV, a PBS-afiliate in Washington.
“I like journalism,” said McCloud, who lives in Columbus with his grandmother Annie Owens. “Informing the public is important and the job also gives me the opportunity to be creative.”
Although he is eager to come back south to “get his feet wet” and begin his professional career, he said he realizes Howard’s location in Washington has helped him develop a “keen interest in politics.”
“I have a much better idea of how it all works now,” McCloud said.