Two UA Journalism Students to Cover Presidential Inauguration

UA journalism majors Amer Taleb and Sami-Jo Roth will cover President Barack Obama's inaugural ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 21.
Jan. 16, 2013
Extra Info: 

Sami-Jo Roth is blogging about her Washington experience at, under the "SJ in DC" tab. You can also follow her on Twitter @IamSamiJoRoth and on Instagram @sjroth19.


Amer Taleb is blogging on his website, He also can be followed on Twitter @taleb52 and on Instagram @amert52.

UA journalism student Amer Taleb in the Senate Radio-Television Gallery.
UA journalism student Amer Taleb in the Senate Radio-Television Gallery.
UA journalism student Sami-Jo Roth
UA journalism student Sami-Jo Roth

When Barack Obama is sworn in for his second term as president of the United States on Jan. 21, two University of Arizona journalism students will be there covering the historic occasion.

Junior Amer Taleb, an intern with the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire, is already working on a preview stoy for the inauguration on the economic impact of the inauguration on Washington, D.C. On inauguration day, he will be recording video, taking photos and writing at the Capitol.

Fellow journalism major Sami-Jo Roth, who arrived in D.C. on Jan. 13, expects to be at the inaugural ceremony in the press area, assisting other reporters and photographers. She’s one of only 10 students nationally selected to take part in a political journalism program through the Fund for American Studies, which involves taking classes at George Mason University’s D.C. location and interning either in journalism or with Congress. 

Roth, a Scottsdale native, will split her time at internships with CBS News and in Time Warner’s D.C. bureau. With Time Warner, she expects to assist reporters covering congressional delegations from New York, South Carolina and Texas. She also plans to use the multimedia reporting skills she gained in the School of Journalism and with UATV – the UA’s student-run television station – to report on the Arizona delegation.

“I will shoot stories on my own that are relevant to Tucson and the state of Arizona,” said Roth.

At CBS, Roth’s duties are likely to include logging tapes, coordinating scripts, researching stories, conducting preliminary interviews and selecting footage.

“I am so excited to be immersed in the political atmosphere of our nation's capital,” Roth said. “Living and working here in Washington, D.C. allows me to combine my love of both journalism and politics. Having the opportunity to intern in both local and national news was something I couldn't turn down.”

Taleb, a Tucson native, was captured on C-SPAN in his first week on the job while covering a briefing about U.S. construction failures in Afghanistan. (See 48:23-48:47 and 49:20-4:34 of the video clip.) The article he wrote appeared on the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire on Jan. 11.

“I’m 21 and covering the political capital of the world,” Taleb said. “Frankly, I don’t believe the words exist to convey how honored I to am to be in the heart of D.C., reporting on issues that influence the entire country and recording historic moments as they unfold.”

Taleb already has extensive journalism experience. He has reported for the Associated Press, The Nation, the Arizona Daily Star, Arizona Public Media and the Arizona Daily Wildcat.

Taleb said the achievement he’s most proud of is launching The Tucson Minaret, a news blog about the local Arab and Muslim communities that he started as a freshman.

“By the time I left Tucson for this internship, it received several thousand page views a month, a print edition was circulated to prisoners around the state and my blog had given a voice to a segment of Tucson that rarely saw itself represented through the local media outlets,” said Taleb.

The UA School of Journalism is a nationally accredited program that focuses solely on journalism. In the school’s computer laboratories and seminar rooms, students work on stories that appear in real-world news media and study the political, economic, legal and ethical issues that journalists face in the global information age.