New Yorker Reporter On Florida Politics: Idealistic Parkland Students Confront Legislative Reality

Feb 23, 2018

This week’s student march on the Capitol in Tallahassee attracted media from all over the country.  That included The New Yorker Magazine.   Tom Flanigan caught up with the correspondent Emily Witt, who came to Florida to cover the impact of the Parkland school shooting, and where it fits in the larger debate over gun control, mental health and mass shootings.

New Yorker Correspondent Emily Witt
Credit Noah Calina /


Witt's impressions of Florida's political process, legislative reaction to the student march:

  • Interesting to come from South Florida where there was a sense of urgency…to come up here, inside the Capitol, the pace of the Florida legislature was not going to be disrupted by this event…many lawmakers took no interest in the fact the students were there.”
  • “It was watching the idealism of the students encounter this political reality.”
  • “Noticed posters hanging up the building advertising seer sucker suit day, fortunately most lawmakers didn’t wear their suits.”
  • “Students told me [they felt] there was an unwillingness to meet them with the urgency they were feeling.”