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Student Journalist Lands A National Scoop


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was going to announce his run for president on national television last Thursday. But de Blasio got scooped by a reporter, a high school junior. Seventeen-year-old Gabe Fleisher, who writes the Wake Up To Politics newsletter, joins me now. Welcome.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: So congratulations on the scoop. From one journalist to another, how'd you do it?

FLEISHER: Thank you. I - so each morning in my newsletter, I include the schedules for all of the 2020 presidential candidates. And so I'm kind of, you know, kind of scouring the Web to make sure that I can keep on top of all of them. And on Wednesday night, I stumbled upon a Facebook post from a county party in Iowa announcing that de Blasio would be coming there for the first stop on his presidential announcement tour. And that rings alarm bells since he hadn't announced yet. And so I tweeted out and was able to kind of pre-empt his announcement.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is a huge scoop. And it's great sleuthing. I mean, it's amazing attention to detail. And you also put out your news on the same day you were taking a four-hour Advanced Placement exam, which is extraordinary. That must have been a lot of work.

FLEISHER: It was. It was a big day, for sure.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You have been writing this newsletter since you were 9 years old. I mean, you've clearly been a journalism junkie for a long time.

FLEISHER: Yeah. That's right. I first started writing it as an email to my mom each morning. And it's kind of grown and grown since then. And I've got 50,000 subscribers now.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, my goodness. And why to your mom? You just wanted to keep her up to date?

FLEISHER: I've always been really interested in politics since I was really young. And I would always try to tell her things in the morning about what was going on - what I was reading in the news. And one day, she just said, I have to get to work. Just put this in an email - and so I did. And that's how it started.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: If there's one politician that you could interview, which one would it be?

FLEISHER: I probably would have to say that if there's one person I'd want to interview, it'd probably be President Trump. I think right now would be - to interview most. But, I mean, there's obviously - it's a huge field right now. And I'm definitely hoping that there'll be more than one of the 2020 candidates I'll be able to spend some time with in the next few months.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Gabe Fleisher, writer of the political newsletter Wake Up To Politics and current high school junior. Thank you very much.

FLEISHER: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.