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Wednesday, Jan 20, 2021 at 2:15 pm

CitrusTV Speaks to DC Reporter Scott MacFarlane

Louise Rath, SYRACUSE, N.Y. – While one Syracuse University alumna was being inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States, another alum was focused on everything other than the inaugural platform. SU alumna Scott MacFarlane is an Investigative Reporter for NBC4 Washington, who was tasked with what he calls a “free-roaming assignment” on inauguration day. 

MacFarlane said his job is to cover the behind-the-scenes news of the inauguration. “I won’t be covering the speeches. I won’t be covering the parade… I’m the one person who has to keep his head on a swivel,” he said. 

MacFarlane said he anticipates his coverage will include reporting new insurrection cases after the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol building, and the unprecedented security perimeter for the inauguration. 

On a traditional inauguration day, the NBC4 news team would report from locations such as the Capitol building, the White House lawn, or the inaugural parade route, MacFarlane said. 

This year, however, MacFarlane will spend inauguration day in the NBC4 newsroom, due to COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings. 

“Because we have to [social] distance, there are so few people permitted out on the parade route or near the Capitol. It’s either you go into the newsroom or you’re going to report from your home,” MacFarlane said, “it’s just safer and more efficient to have me on-air in the building.” 

In his coverage, MacFarlane hopes to emphasize the continuity within the federal government despite the change in Presidential Administration, he said. 

He noted that while the famous names of the President and the cabinet members change, the people who “make trains run on time and give you your IRS checks” will stay the same. 

MacFarlane accredits Syracuse University’s student-media organizations as helping to develop his journalistic instincts while covering national events such as the inauguration.  

“They give you real reps at this. I mean, it’s true work. You get what I call the ‘muscle-memory’ you’ll use for the rest of your career.”