Student journalists Amy Wells and Brandon Pho from Cal State Fullerton teamed up outside Anaheim's Marriott Hotel as night descended, assigned to cover Stephen K. Bannon's speech and protesters targeting him.
"We don't underestimate how movements can pull in more youth, especially if they hear other youth pushing it on social media," said Pho, a sophomore majoring in journalism.
"We're always on the lookout for more policy to dig into because we have a lot of undocumented students on our campus and they're way aware of national issues," added Wells, a senior pursuing a journalism degree.
Pho and Wells said reporting on the small crowd of protesters will prepare them for much larger turnouts when provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos visits their campus at the end of this month.
"While Bannon is more provocative, he doesn't have the reach of someone like Milo who knows how to engage an online audience," said Pho, 19. "We learn from watching how different public figures do outreach."
Wells, 22, described the night's gathering as having "the feel of a college campus protest. And of course, that feels familiar, with people here maybe figuring out what to do next. Small steps."