Source: Kevin Maloney, New Haven Independent
The news moves fast – too fast - in the age of the 24 hour news cycle.
That’s one of the biggest takeaways that Jodi Latina has experienced since her return to WTNH after a ten-year stint in politics.
Latina joined the Municipal Voice, a co-production between the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities and WNHH FM, to talk about her time in local government and news.
Stories can take time to unfold, or at least they used to.
“I do think the need for content and the fact that the news cycle is 24 hours a day washes over what might be big story today by tomorrow morning,” said Latino, WTNH’s chief political correspondent.
Not only does it create a bigger workload for reporters, but the fast-paced news cycle means that reporters and their cameraperson are constantly on the go. Gone are the “moon launch” vans. In their stead, backpacks are equipped with enough technology to go live from anywhere.
That was the world that Latina returned to after her time in government; first on the campaign of U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon, then with State Senate Republicans and in New Britain. She also held elected positions in Wethersfield on the Board of Education and Town Council.
She speaks of these stints as deepening her understanding of politics, whether it be building campaigns from the ground up or how to get a bill on the floor of the State Senate.
This street went both ways, too.
She used her experience in television to help craft stories about policies that Senate Republicans were trying to push in ways that could be told in effective ways.
While politics can be impersonal, Latina’s foray into local government was close to the heart.
Seeing the conditions her children had to get to the bus stop in, especially during wintry conditions, she ran for a Board of Education seat to make a change.
In her short time there, she was able to make that change – the town instituted a new rule that drivers would have to wait until the kids reach the driveway.
“You do what you do, you fight for your kids,” she said, “I need to understand more about my local community and what’s happening.”
After returning to her first love as WTNH’s chief political correspondent, she felt it was important that no one think that she’s in the tank for the Republican Party. Fortunately, the audience is there with her and knows her professionalism.
“And I say, ‘Listen, I’m here to tell a balanced story,’” she said. “If you think I’m being unfair, then you need to call me. You need to text me. You need to write me, and you need to tell me.”
To watch this episode of The Municipal Voice, click here.