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Tips From Chris Matthews
Interview by Ethan Ozelius and Christian Moquin
Scholastic Student Reporters

Chris Matthews talks to Scholastic News Student Reporter Ethan Ozelius at a hockey game featuring Senator John Kerry in Manchester, New Hampshire, in January. (Photo by Suzanne Freeman)
During a recent legends hockey game in Manchester, New Hampshire, Scholastic Student Reporters stopped NBC's Chris Matthews to ask him about his life as a reporter. Matthews, who was covering the game because Senator John Kerry was playing, squatted down to talk to his shorter counterparts. The arena was cold and Matthews was huddling over a cup of hot coffee. Everyone was bundled up in their coats and scarves, gripping their pens in gloved hands. Matthews made sure the reporters got everything down.

Matthews is the host of Hardball with Chris Matthews, a nightly hour of in-depth political analysis and debate on MSNBC. Matthew will also anchor MSNBC's election coverage through 2006.

In addition to his work on MSNBC, Matthews anchors The Chris Matthews Show, a syndicated weekly news program produced by NBC News and distributed by NBC Enterprises. Matthews is also a frequent commentator on NBC's Today, and a regular substitute anchor on NBC's Weekend Today.

He has worked as a presidential speechwriter, congressional staffer, and is a best-selling author. He spent 15 years in politics and government, working in the White House for four years under President Jimmy Carter.

SN: Do you have advice for young reporters?
Matthews: I think the important thing is to read the newspaper as many days as you can when you're not doing homework. Read the newspaper and learn how people are writing articles because you can learn from example.

SN: When you're covering politics, does it help to yell?
Matthews: Sometimes you have to yell to be heard. I also think that if you yell really loud, then you get to be on Saturday Night Live. (Matthews is often spoofed in skits on Saturday Night Live because of his tendency to speak very loudly and enthusiastically.)

SN: Do you get to travel a lot?
Matthews: Not enough. Ha! I love to travel. I was in Iowa; I was in Las Vegas last week; and here I am in Manchester, New Hampshire. It's great!

SN: What's the most fun event you've ever been to?
Matthews: This one. The New Hampshire primary, 2004. Getting to meet you and other important reporters like yourself! Meeting famous people like you is the key to my life.