A sixth-grade journalist showcased some top-notch interviewing skills during a press briefing with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday.
Rory Hu, a young reporter for the children’s network Nick News, impressed the briefing room as she asked Psaki some thoughtful questions.
When the young reporter introduced herself, Psaki acknowledged her with, “I know Rory. We’ve met.”
Hu immediately engaged with Psaki and brilliantly set her up for several questions, saying, “I just have a question and a follow-up.”
“So, first, there are concerns about the negative impacts of social media on the mental health of children,” said Hu. “Will the White House take any actions to prevent these adverse effects?”
“As a mom myself, Rory — my daughter is younger than you; she’d think you were very hip and cool, no doubt — this is a huge concern that I have, we have, the President has — is the impact of social media platforms, their enormous power, and the fact that it is largely unchecked,” Psaki replied.
“It is certainly something that our surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, has talked about, in terms of the impact of social media platforms and what the impact they’re having on the mental health, the self-esteem of young people,” the press secretary continued. “And so, I would say the President, the First Lady, all of us believe that more needs to be done.”
The attentive reporter pressed on, “And the internet has become a tool for children’s education. A lot of students use the internet to learn. So how will the White House prevent children from getting misinformed from the internet?”
“Such a good question, too,” answered Psaki. “Well, I know reporters, like yourself, and people that other kids listen to are good voices to provide accurate information. And you ask — coming here and asking tough questions is an important part of that.”
“I would say that, you know, one of the things that we encourage parents to do is, you know, make sure you are educating yourself on all of these platforms and what information is available, and working with your kids to make sure they understand what’s accurate and inaccurate,” she added.
Psaki then went on to advise parents to “keep educating ourselves about what’s out there so we can make sure our kids have access to good information, informative information — we watch a lot of animal videos in my house; that’s all good and positive — and not access to information that’s inaccurate and misleading or problematic.”
Hu, who temporarily took over the spot of White House Correspondents Association President Steve Portnoy of CBS News Radio in the second row, earned praise from other journalists in the briefing room.
When it was Bloomberg reporter Justin Sink’s turn to ask, he praised Hu and said she is “much better” than the WHCA president.
“Yeah. Hard confirm,” Psaki replied as the room burst into laughter.
In 2020, Hu was selected to be a reporter by Time for Kids, where she interviewed figures such as Apple CEO Tim Cook. She soon landed a reporting spot at Nick News.