By Emily Bell | LSU Student
LSU Manship School Professional-in-Residence and Tiger TV Advisor Cindy Carter is trying something different for her advanced broadcast class: an opportunity for students to engage with high-ranking government officials.
Carter, who came to LSU this year from WZTV in Nashville, saw that her students were more comfortable using other students and professors as resources for their stories. The solution? She invited Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne to her class in the basement of Hodges Hall.
Dardenne, and LSU alumni, accepted.
"I want to show [my students] that you have to ask, you have to pick up the phone, you have to call people," Carter said. While at LSU, Dardenne responded to recent publicity surrounding himself and Gov. Bobby Jindal.
In August it was reported that Jindal failed to notify Dardenne, second-in-command, that Jindal was out of state. This posed a problem, considering Louisiana law stipulates, that in the governor's absence the lieutenant governor is to act as the governor.
Following the mock press conference, Dardenne told an LSU Student Media news producer, writer and anchor, Grant Yenni, on a recorded segment of Tiger TV Newsbeat, communication issue has been resolved. Dardenne told students he sees Jindal's national prominence as a positive for the state of Louisiana.
Carter said she invited the governor to speak to students, as well, but that Jindal has yet to respond.
Dardenne also expressed frustration over recent budget cuts to the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, an issue he has frequently touted in the state's news media.
Dardenne said that over his protests some $6 million of the tourism budget was "peeled back" to go to the Super Bowl in 2013, denying dollars he said would allow his department "to adequately market the state."
Dardenne earlier told students that the Super Bowl has a $450 million impact on the state of Louisiana.
"It's a great opportunity for us in the tourism world to grab people while they're here and make sure they know about other places to visit in Louisiana," he said. "Make sure they experience some of the great things to see in and around the New Orleans area."
Dardenne said tourism is responsible for employing one out of every 10 people in Louisiana and that for every dollar spent on tourism $17 goes back to the taxpayer.
"We ought to be investing more in tourism because it's going to generate dollars to take care of the real priorities of government, which are public safety, education and healthcare."
The press conference was video taped which Carter said she will make available to students for use on current and future projects.
"Any time if I can bring someone in here that's willing to let them do that and have that experience," Carter said, "it's valuable for them as future reporters."