Young Hillary gets exclusive story on Clinton

When Hillary Clinton came to town last week, media were banned from the Ashland fundraisers. But one savvy high school journalist who shares a name with the presidential hopeful got around the rules and scooped every other media outlet in the Valley.

Hillary Gorson, a freshman at Ashland High School, volunteered to help with the event, and wound up being the only reporter to get into the forum, which most attendees paid $250 to attend.

Gorson, 15, has never taken a journalism class or written for the high school paper before, but she is a teacher's assistant for high school newspaper adviser Bill Gabriel, and when she told him where she was going, she had an assignment.

"She said 'Hey, I'm going to go see Hillary,' and I said 'You've got the story,'" Gabriel said. "It fell in our lap."

Gorson was worried about how to cover such a big event and didn't realize that it was closed to media until Clinton started to speak.

"When I found out I was the only reporter, then it was really neat," she said. "I got to go for free and got a picture with her, and people paid how much money to do that?"

She took several short videos of Clinton and got a snapshot with the senator, which she has since set as her background on her laptop and transferred to her phone to prove to her classmates that she indeed met the candidate. Her first-person narrative of the event will be the cover story of the upcoming edition of the Rogue News at the high school, and will include a photo essay full of her shots.

Five different people have helped her edit her story so far, including her father, Craig Gorson.

"What I was really proud of was she didn't make an attempt to try to cover this as 'What does Hillary have to say?'" her father said. "She actually got into it from the event and the experience of going to it."

Despite her thrilling jump into the reporting profession, what Gorson really wants to be is an actress, she said. She is however, planning to attend a journalism workshop at Southern Oregon University this summer and is considering running for class president. She can even reuse Clinton's campaign sign, she pointed out, which reads simply "Hillary for President."

But Gorson, who wishes she was old enough to vote, does not support Clinton just because they share a name. She is impressed with Hillary's plans for education and believes Clinton has more experience than Barack Obama, although she thinks Obama will prevail in the end.

Regardless of the election results, Gorson will remember her night with Clinton for years.

"I was floating on a cloud forever," she said. "I'm still really excited about it."

— — Hillary Gorson, left, met with Hillary Clinton Thursday at the Ashland Springs Hotel.

Staff writer can be reached at 482-3456 ext. 227.

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