Student journalist scoops major media on Trump envoy departure

US President Donald Trump. (Saul Loeb, AFP)
US President Donald Trump. (Saul Loeb, AFP)

News that US President Donald Trump's special representative on Ukraine had abruptly resigned didn't come from a high-profile newsroom in Washington or New York - a 20-year-old student journalist on the other side of the country scooped them all.

Andrew Howard, a managing editor of The State Press student paper at Arizona State University, broke the news late Friday that Kurt Volker quit his position at the State Department after Congress ordered him to answer questions in an impeachment investigation of Trump.

"I didn't take a different approach to this story than any other," Howard told The New York Times on Saturday. "Everyone's looking for an 'aha' moment that I don't think was there."

Howard said he was looking for a local angle to a major story, and Volker is director of a national security institute run by the university.

A school official told Howard that the diplomat had resigned from his government post.

"I'm not sure we ever expected to get the scoop that we did," he said.

Howard was actually at his other job - interning at The Arizona Republic newspaper - when he broke the news that was followed by dozens of major US media outlets, which scrambled to match his exclusive.

A whistleblower complaint accused Trump of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to supply dirt on former US vice president Joe Biden, the favorite to represent Democrats against Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

Volker allegedly met senior Ukrainian officials on how to "navigate" Trump's demands of Zelensky.

Committees in the Democratic-led House of Representatives ordered Volker to appear next Thursday to answer questions.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When a Covid-19 vaccine for under 16's becomes available, will you be taking your children to get it?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, immediately!
36% - 1858 votes
I'll wait to see how others respond
27% - 1401 votes
No, I don't think they need it
37% - 1889 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
14.48
(+0.40)
ZAR/GBP
20.49
(+0.21)
ZAR/EUR
17.63
(+0.22)
ZAR/AUD
11.54
(-0.36)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(+0.87)
Gold
1801.45
(-0.23)
Silver
27.85
(+0.78)
Platinum
1265.06
(+1.48)
Brent Crude
64.18
(+0.19)
Palladium
2435.99
(+4.70)
All Share
66200.76
(+0.42)
Top 40
60747.41
(+0.42)
Financial 15
12354.99
(+0.99)
Industrial 25
86550.38
(-0.10)
Resource 10
66735.02
(+0.89)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo