Life was very different for James Villalobos just a few months ago.
This year, Fuse and VotoLatino teamed up to find two aspiring reporters to cover the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions for its Crash The Parties program, and James stood out as a top candidate among hundreds of picks. Now he’s on the scene at the RNC in Cleveland, to report on one of the most-watched political events of the year.
A senior at the University of Massachusetts, James is the only U.S. citizen in his family; as such, many of the central issues at the RNC hold a special interest for James, but he has an important mantra that he tells himself.
“I have to remember that I’m a journalist, and not an activist, so I can’t take anything personally. This business has built thick skin for me. I’m here to report the facts,” he says.
Here’s what the first day of the RNC looked like for James: