Darlene Superville has covered the Obama, Trump, and Biden presidencies as an Associated Press White House reporter.
Darlene Superville has covered the Obama, Trump, and Biden presidencies as an Associated Press White House reporter.
Brandon Rodriguez

Associated Press Reporter Darlene Superville Visits the Advocate’s Newsroom

Work hard, check the facts, and produce good writing that blows readers away, advised reporter Darlene Superville in a roundtable with the Montgomery College Advocate newspaper held on April 12, 2024. The Associated Press (AP) White House team member appeared as a part of an ongoing Advocate guest speaker series. Superville discussed her educational and career journey, experiences with the past three presidents since 2009 and advice for prospective journalists.

The reporter initiated her journey as a journalism student at NYU. On the topic of education, Superville mentioned that aspiring journalists need not always major in journalism, rather, they could major in the area they aim to cover.

Darlene Superville led a discussion on her career journey and journalism with the MC Advocate team. (Brandon Rodriguez)

She began her career as an intern at AP in Newark, New Jersey. Then, Superville’s advisor and mentor got her into political coverage, following campaigns on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Subsequently, she joined the travelling press team for the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, going around the world with Barack and Michelle Obama.

Also, Superville spoke on her day-to-day responsibilities as a reporter. The Associated Press receives a background call before press conferences and a media preview the day prior to events. The international newswire services, AP and Reuters, have the first question at all White House press conferences, except during Donald Trump’s presidency.

Superville with Advocate photographer-writer Kyle Meister and incoming Social Media Manager Nijat Sharifov. (Brandon Rodriguez)
Superville and the Advocate’s incoming Assistant Editor, Samantha Flores. (Brandon Rodriguez)

To keep AP stories current, Darlene Superville explained, reporters publish a story to the wire in advance with this background information and add to the story as it develops with new ledes and fresh quotes. This updating requires the efforts of diverse sources, wranglers, reader critique and more, making the news a collaborative medium.

Press wranglers, the presidential assistants who lead around travelling media teams, must communicate effectively to ensure an accurate news cycle. The travelling press group relays remarks to writers in DC.

Many trust AP for its commitment to unbiased news. Darlene Superville noted that interviewing and quoting a wide variety of sources from all sides of the story and not promoting anyone achieves this fact-based approach, however, news writing itself has no formula. As news readers, never leave assuming the writer’s position, Superville suggested.

Advocate writer and political science major, Mhambi Mustafa, asked Superville questions. (Brandon Rodriguez)
Podcast Editor Pius Kitengie also participated in the conversation. (Brandon Rodriguez)

Superville added that some current political figures to watch include California Governor Gavin Newsom, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Maryland Governor Wes Moore, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. On the last three presidents, the reporter stated that, for journalists, Obama was “cerebral,” Trump was “chaotic,” and Biden is “reserved.” Overall, the students actively learned and contributed, with Advocate team members providing comments of their own on various politicians.

Associated Press White House reporter Darlene Superville’s informative guest appearance became a highlight of the Advocate’s semester, as multiple Montgomery College student journalists reflected. The Advocate will continue its guest speaker series, created by Editor-in-Chief Alana McCarthy Light, in the fall semester of 2024.

2023-2024 Assistant Editor Rebecca Fuchs, Editor-in-Chief Alana McCarthy Light, and Associated Press White House Correspondent Darlene Superville. (Brandon Rodriguez)

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