This 11-Year-Old Reporter Would Love to Interview Elon Musk

Titus Smith III is part of the 2016-17 Scholastic News Kids Press Corps

Headshot of Richard Horgan

For the latest episode of the podcast Scholastic Reads, the children’s book publisher did something a little different. It shifted the focus onto some of the young folks who make up its dynamic News Kids reporting endeavor.

Dialing in from various cities around the country to chat with Scholastic editor at large Suzanne McCabe, who oversees the News Kids initiative, were three-year program vet Adedayo Perkovich, 13, two kids who came on board in 2015, Esther Applestein, 12 and Maxwell Surprenant, 13, and 2016-17 “rookie” Titus Smith III, 11 (pictured below, center).

When McCabe asked this precocious quartet who they would pick if they could interview anyone, the answers were lively. Alongside the Pope and J.K. Rowling, there was this selection from Smith:

“I would interview my personal hero and idol, Elon Musk. He is the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and Green City. And I just love his work with technology. I want to be an engineer when I grow up, so his work with technology is totally inspiring to me.”

“The Teslas are my all-time favorite cars, they drive themselves, they’re so cool. And I love his business, his business drive. Everything like that.”

McCabe added, “If your’e out there, Elon Musk, give us a call.” Smith, a resident of Southfield, Mich., led off his coverage of the 2017 North American International Auto Show with a lede that suggests the technology on display would have made Marty McFly’s jaw drop.

As an added podcast bonus, McCabe closes out the episode with Scholastic News Kids alumnus Michael Cappetta, who has worked as a producer for Discovery’s Deadliest Catch, ABC’s Nightline and, currently, the NBC News Nightly News With Lester Holt and the Today show.

This latest school year, there were a total of 39 Scholastic News Kids reporters, with 15 of those being returning participants. Anyone interested in doing another year with Scholastic News Kids must re-apply. The deadline to be considered for the 2017-18 edition of this wonderful program is May 31.

Previously on Fishbowl:
Brooklyn Newspaper Applauds 12-Year-Old DNC Reporter

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.