Teen Reporter in Iraq

Jason Roberts - WCTB/WHQO/WSKW maine.radio@verizon.net
Wed Jun 2 17:35:41 EDT 2004

Some of you may have heard the stories on WBZ in Boston or on WHQO 107.9 THE
Talk Station in Maine, but I thought I'd share it here for a couple of
reasons. First and foremost, I, personally, would welcome advice on how to
help this young man reach a wider audience. Other than buying a distribution
list, what is the quickest way to reach programmers? (I've been the one
being reached for so long that I've never really given thought to how they
track me down!)

Derek would like to get as many affiliates on board as he can, not for
financial gain (although I'd like to see the kid less in the red after this
than he currently is), but because he's gone through a lot of work to put
this all together and his reports will be different than those filed by the
networks. Unfortunately my own work -- nobody on this list knows what it's
like to be understaffed and overworked, right? <g> -- has kept me from
helping him with as much I would have liked to, and now the day is nigh.

Any feedback is appreciated. Following is the release.

Derek Mitchell is an impressive, driven young man. Along with the prom,
graduation, college prep, and other activities any high school senior might
undertake, Mitchell has added a trip to Iraq to his list of things to do in

Later this month, Derek Mitchell will spend two weeks in Iraq where he will
file reports for our WHQO 107.9 The Talk Station. This trip was planned and
paid for by Derek -- who sold his Jeep to pay the airfare -- most of the
necessary equipment for his trip, from complete body armor to a
top-of-the-line satellite phone, was donated by the manufacturers, and the
necessary clearances have been obtained. When he sets foot in Iraq, it is
believed he will be the youngest journalist to visit the war torn country
since the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Derek pitched the idea to me, and while I was initially both uncertain and
concerned about the idea, he has proven that he is ready for this challenge.
It occurs to me, though, that this is an undertaking that is worthy of
greater coverage than we are able to provide with our stations in the
Augusta/Waterville, Maine, radio market. Derek would like to file reports
for other stations, as well, and I believe this is a unique opportunity for
any media outlet to be a part of a story which is likely to get national

For additional information on Derek Mitchell, or to carry his daily Mitchell
on the Move reports from Iraq, please visit http://iraq.radiomaine.net .

Jason Roberts
VP / Station Manager
WHQO 107.9 The Talk Station

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