Heard on Campus: chief AP White House correspondent Ben Feller

March 29, 2011

"On this night I was in the pool, I was in a military helicopter flying to Dover. When we got there, it really hit me like it never had before, the incredible importance and power of this job. At that moment, nobody was seeing what was happening except for us. There was no live TV coverage. The only way this was going to get out was through us. We were standing on a very cold, dark tarmac in the middle of the night, and you could feel the gravity of what was happening. I was doing my reporting by getting details from Air Force officials and observing everything around me, because this was a story where the atmospherics and the color were not a luxury anymore. They were not secondary. They were essential."

-- Ben Feller, chief AP White House correspondent and Penn State alumnus, speaking at the opening session of the Penn State Foster Conference of Distinguished Writers about his experience as a member of the press pool that accompanied President Barack Obama to Dover Air Force Base to honor the return of fallen soldiers from Afghanistan. His story won the Merriman Smith Award for presidential coverage under deadline pressure. Feller's talk took place in the State Theatre in downtown State College instead of in its normal location of the HUB Auditorium to accommodate an extra-large crowd that attended. For a photo of Feller speaking at the conference, visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/pennstatelive/5572609693 online.

Last Updated April 14, 2011