International media join Palin-mania

Not only were the U.S. media on hand in droves, but reporters came from all over the world to cover the vice presidential debate.

The Japanese Newservice, Agence France Press, Euronews and the BBC were among the international media on hand at the Athletic Complex. And, like their American colleagues, they gave a one-word answer as to what drew them there: Palin.

“There is a lot of hype in the U.K.,” said Claire Gibson of the BBC. “There is big speculation about (Gov.) Sarah Palin. There is more interest now than there would be for other vice presidential debates. Everyone wants to see her.”

Maurizio Molinari, a reporter for Italy’s La Stampa newspaper, echoed that sentiment.

“Most of the people in Italy don’t even know the name Joe Biden,” Molinari said. “They are all for Obama, but all of the attention is on Sarah Palin.”

Other foreign media in the Media Filing Center were Al Jazeera, RTE Irish Television, French 2 Television, Asahi Shimbun, Corriere della Sera, TV2 Denmark, ARD German Radio, EuroNews TVN Poland and TVP Polish TV.

Working with the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Press Center, WUSTL provided two days of programming for foreign journalists on campus, including private briefings with Peter J. Kastor, Ph.D., associate professor of history and American cultural studies, both in Arts & Sciences, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch Regional Political Correspondent Jo Mannies.

There also were briefings with the campaigns’ economic advisers; lunch with students from countries represented on the media tour; and a meeting with U.S. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond of Missouri.