Manship State House Bureau Reporters | LSU Manship School of Mass Communication

Manship State House Bureau Reporters

photo: matt houston

Matt Houston

Hometown: Tyler, Tex.
Major: Mass Communication
Year: Junior


Why did you want to participate in the Manship School News Service, or MSNS, Statehouse Bureau?

I wanted to participate in MSNS because of Professor Jay Shelledy. He's an excellent teacher, and I feel like I've learned so much about the state AND journalism since I've started. 


When reporting at the Capitol, what is a typical day like?

A typical day at the Capitol just depends on what meetings are scheduled for that day. Sometimes it's hectic; sometimes it's relaxed. I come in for the first meeting I'm assigned to, sit through it and try my best to understand what's going on. As the meeting progresses, I begin writing my piece from a chair on Press Row, then grab quotes and background information at its conclusion. After the meeting, I head back to the newsroom to edit audio, video and the script.


What news outlets have published your stories?

I have been published by | Times-Picayune, Houma Today, Best of New Orleans and the Ouachita Citizen.


What has the experience taught you?

I've learned so much about politics. I have a better understanding of why Louisiana is in the shape that it's in, and the long-term effects of legislation. We're still recovering from legislation signed into law decades ago.


What is the best part of your experience covering the Legislature?

I feel like all of the work we do matters. That's the best part. Every story I've written affects someone, which means someone is holding me accountable for what I write. I have to be accurate, and make sense.


Why should students, both current or potential, be interested in the Manship School News Service Statehouse Bureau?

Students should care about state politics because it controls higher education. Federal legislation may be more interesting, but it simply doesn't affect students here in Louisiana the same way local politics does. MSNS is a way for students to understand local politics. We're just like any other newspaper, but we may write stories on things that matter more to us as students than other news outlets. 


What are your goals/hopes for life after LSU?

I want to work in television and radio when I graduate. My dream job is anchoring SportsCenter.


Would you rather be a journalist or a politician, and why?

I would much rather be a journalist than a politician. I can't imagine how frustrating it is to have good legislation get shot down because of partisan posturing. I'd much rather watch that from the sidelines than be directly involved.