Pamplona in DC: Running of the Interns

Jul 02, 2015
By Malinda Inthirath
Intern, Communications

Digital media is becoming an increasingly prominent part of our lives, to the point that some may forget  the importance of paper in our lives. That would be short-sighted. One distinguished example of paper’s value occurs during the season of Supreme Court rulings.

All recording devices are banned inside the Supreme Court, sticking to the tradition of handing out hard copies of decisions in the press room. In the competition to be the first media outlet to report breaking news, what’s a journalist to do? It’s time for the annual “Running of the Interns.”

“Running of the Interns” is a tradition where media interns anxiously wait to be handed hard copies of Supreme Court decisions, then dash outside to their news organization. After major rulings, interns can be seen sprinting across the plaza in dress clothes and sneakers, clutching the sheets of paper. It’s about a quarter of a mile between the press room and broadcasters pen, so they have to scramble through tourists, protesters, photographers and more to bring the ruling to their correspondent to report the breaking news.

It’s a reminder how paper still plays a huge role in the digital world, as well as in historic rulings. Democracy is cool, isn’t it? Hopefully I won’t have to be doing any intense sprinting for AF&PA this summer. There’s still another month and a half left though, so who knows!

Malinda Inthirath is interning in the AF&PA communications department this summer. She is an agricultural communications major at the University of Georgia.