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Inside the Media Mind of DefenseScoop’s Mikayla Easley

As a reporter for DefenseScoop, Mikayla Easley is at the forefront of the latest emerging tech and Department of Defense (DOD) policies impacting air and space warfare. She is dedicated to providing her readers with the latest updates on how the U.S. Space Force, U.S. Space Command, U.S. Army and U.S. Navy are leveraging space capabilities. From the commercialization of space capabilities to utilizing AI to pilot an F-16, Mikayla has it covered.

On this episode of Inside the Media Minds, Mikayla dives into the latest news coming out of the Pentagon with me and my co-host Madison Farabaugh.

How the DOD and U.S. Space Force are Leaning On Industry

For years, leaders at the DOD and the U.S. Space Force have stated that they’ve wanted to lean on the commercial industry. This talk finally made its way onto paper this past April, when both the DOD and the Space Force published commercial space strategies, offering a roadmap to industry on how to collaborate with the government. 

Mikayla notes that both strategies aim to mitigate the risks that commercial industries face when working on national security missions, whether this relates to financial compensation, insurance or just better overall threat sharing. However, where they differentiate is that the DOD’s Commercial Space Integration Strategy aims to provide a guide on how the DOD can shift their mindset and begin breaking down policy barriers in order to work with commercial industry. On the other hand, the Space Forces Commercial Space Strategy outlines the specific use cases and missions that it intends to use commercial services for.

To hear more from Mikayla on the DOD’s Space initiatives, listen to the full podcast below or read the transcript


0:42 – Mikayla’s Journey to Inside the Beltway

3:38 – The Topics That Mikayla Is Keeping an Eye On

6:02 – How the DOD is Navigating the Final Frontier

9:38 – The Latest on Emerging Defense Tech

12:09 – AI: Moving Beyond Just a Buzzword 

14:58 – How Mikayla Gets Value from Events

16:32 – Trying to Pitch Mikayla? Here’s How to Grab Her Attention

18:40 – Winning an Azbee Award | The Tale Behind the Story

27:15 – Her Most Memorable Story? You Guessed It. Feral Hogs in Missouri

30:45 – Outside the Newsroom – Metal Music and Sports

Missed a past episode of Inside the Media Minds and want to catch up? Check out our past episodes here!


Intro: Welcome to Inside the Media Minds. This is your host, Christine Blake. This show features in-depth interviews with tech reporters who share everything from their biggest pet peeves to their favorite stories. From our studio at W2 Communications. Let’s go Inside the Media Minds.

Luca Pagni (LP): Welcome everyone to this week’s episode of Inside the Media Minds. I’m your host, Luca Pagni, filling in for Christine Blake and I’m here with my co-host Madison Farabaugh. We’re excited to be joined today by Mikayla Easley, Reporter at DefenseScoop, where she covers the Pentagon and the use of emerging technologies and the DOD community. Welcome, Mikayla!

Mikayla Easley (ME): Hey, thanks for having me, you guys.

LP: Of course, thank you for joining! So, to get into it, you know, as I already mentioned, you cover the Pentagon, the use of emerging technologies, a very niche kind of space. So, why don’t you have you could give us a quick overview of your background, what kind of got you into this industry? And what’s really keeping you engaged?

ME: Yeah, so I started out as a journalist, kind of I say, later in life, I was I didn’t realize I wanted to be one until I was a senior in undergrad or yeah, senior in college. Um, so I wanted to, I always knew that I wanted to do something related to national security, international relations. Um, so I went to grad school at the University of Missouri’s journalism school where I academically focused, focused on international journalism. But, um, that’s where I began kind of learning how to be a reporter, I worked for the Columbia Missourian and I covered Missouri State House state issues, um, at the time, it was 2020 so, it was Missouri’s reaction to COVID. And then when I finished grad school, I moved to DC and very, you know, happenstance, um, came across a job at National Defense Magazine, which covers just the entire defense space, all the services, all of the issues, a lot of industry coverage as well, um, and started working there, I moved my way up from an editorial assistant to a reporter. And I say happenstance, because a lot of my, my friends from journalism school just don’t really get the chance to cover what they want to cover right out of college. So I feel very fortunate that I got to immediately go into something that I was interested in. And then I joined the DefenseScoop team about a year ago where I’ve been really focusing on like you said, the Pentagon and emerging tech, mostly from an air and space warfare perspective. Also, kind of doing some of the DOD IT modernization, cloud, um, cybersecurity, here and there, too. And yeah, that’s kind of my journey to hear something that I’ve always been interested in, was covering this. And I think the thing that keeps me engaged is really, that there was always something new to learn. Like, every day, I feel like I hear about something new, or I learned something about a specific technology or something that one of the services is doing, and then I go on this spiral deep dive of this tech. And that kind of, you know, scratches the itch in my brain that I, I like to learn, and that’s the best part of this job for me is there’s always something new to learn.

LP: That’s awesome and yeah, there definitely is a plethora of new things every day to learn.

ME: Yeah.

LP: And you just even listed a handful of interesting topics that you’ve covered over the past few months.

ME: Mhmm.

LP: So, what has been some of the like the key trends that you’ve noticed across some of these topics over the last few months? But then, is there anything that you’re like really looking forward to on the horizon over the next 6-12 months that you’d like to cover more of?

ME: Yeah, so I think the main thing that I’ve been following, and this is, the trend is I cover a lot of space. So, the Space Force, US Space Command, how Army or Navy are using space capabilities. The main thing that I’ve realized is or been covering has been kind of the blending of, or the want to use commercial space capabilities by the DOD. So, the DOD has routinely said a ton of times that we want to we they’ve recognized, we can’t go as fast as we need to in terms of technology development, that the commercial industry can. So, we really want to harness that innovation from the commercial sector, whether it be satellite communications, you know, space domain awareness, you know, anything and so they are really, really gung ho about, you know, covering or using commercial capabilities. And so, that is something that I’ve covered the last couple months. There’s just been a couple of strategies that have just came out, um, trying to do that more holistically, and I guess, streamline those processes and yeah. And I, I guess some of the topics going forward related to that is how, you know, I cover a lot of acquisitions, I cover a lot of, you know, the R&D part of these capabilities. But I’m, I’m really keen on more coverage of how warfighters are actually using these technologies in the real world. You know, I read stories about what’s happening in Ukraine, and in Gaza and other parts of the world where drones have completely changed warfare. And I really would love to know more about how, you know, space systems are changing warfare, and you know, doing those kinds of stories where we see, you know, how warfighters are actually using these technologies in the real world scenarios.

LP: Gotcha. Yeah, there’s definitely a wide, wide variety of different tactics. You know, you have GPS spoofing, jamming, and a bunch of other sort of electronic warfare tactics.

ME: Mhmm.

LP: So, it’s kind of a scary environment to you know, think of but…

ME: Sure.

LP: …you know, what really caught my ear there was, you mentioned that the two major space strategies that have come out the first one being the DOD Commercial Space Integration Strategy and then the Space Forces Commercial Space Strategy. So, what did you see as the greatest takeaways from those strategies? How do you see them kind of complementing one…

ME: Yeah!

LP: …one another? And where do you see this kind of taking the space industry?

ME: Yeah, so I think for me, it’s kind of like the proof is in the pudding, if that makes any sense. Like, like I said, leaders at the Department and Space Force have just for years said, you know, we want to lean on commercial, we now want to lean on commercial. But there’s been a lot of, um, disconnect, where you here commercial industry talking about. Well, you hear this, but we need more of a demand signal, we need to know what you want, we need to know how much money is going to be allocated money is a big part of that, too, obviously. So, for me, it’s just kind of now they’re putting this onto paper, um, it offers a roadmap for new contracts, for using commercial space capabilities. You know, there’s talk of both of them about mitigating the risks that commercial industries may face when working in national security missions, whether that be, you know, financial compensation or insurance for some cases, or just better overall threat sharing with companies about what actually they’re going to be doing. And so those are two things that I think are really important. And then I mentioned the money thing, so both of the strategies don’t really say how much of the budget is going to go towards commercial integration or buying commercial services, but it does kind of indicate that, um, they want to put money behind the effort, which is, again, a been a long concern that there’s not any funding for commercial services. So that is something that I’m looking forward. Maybe it’s there’s no money in this year’s budget, really. But next year, you know, what’s that going to look like? And so I guess, also maybe to talk about how they’re different. So, the Pentagon’s it really focuses on the both of them look to break down the barriers that are, will be required to work with commercial more in space, which is historically very classified. So, the DOD kind of focuses on breaking down those policy barriers, like I talked about threat sharing, and classification, mitigating risks, contracting, you know, kind of a push to have a cultural mindset, mindset shift, you know, we, we want to do things differently, we have to do things differently if we want to work with commercial industry. And then the Space Force’s is really more service specific use cases and missions, you know, they list these are the missions that we want to use commercial for. And these are what we want to do it in the future. But we don’t have that capability yet, maybe. So, yeah, they do definitely complement each other, but they do do their respective kind of, you know, they have their respective lanes.

LP: Definitely, yeah. Again, I think that’s a good way to put it is that it is going to be a true mental shift to get used to the whole commercialization aspect.

ME: Mmhmm. Definitely. I mean, I mean, DOD does business a lot more a lot differently than the commercial sector. And that’s kind of the impetus behind this is, like I said, recognizing that we as the Pentagon can’t, we don’t have the mechanisms to move as fast as the technology can, but commercial can so how do we leverage that without totally restructuring? You know, the acquisition process?

LP: Definitely.

ME: Mhmm.

Madison Farabaugh (MF): Yeah. I love this whole discussion about kind of the differences between, you know, the DOD and then the commercial sector. And you mentioned just the strategies for dealing with different technologies, bringing those on board, the money that’s involved. Is there any new technology on the horizon that you’ve been kind of keeping an eye on between those two sides of the coin and maybe how they’re implementing those anything that really catches your eye?

ME: Yeah, I think a really good one. and this kind of connects to the commercial strategy as well is something called DOD loves acronyms, right SAML, it’s Space Access, Mobility and Logistics. So, when you think about like an airplane, they have the ability to refuel. Same with, you know, a ship, a Navy ship. Space doesn’t really have that capability, the Space Force doesn’t or Space Command, I guess this would be but, um. And in the commercial industry, this is a very new kind of capability where we can have satellites be refuelable on orbit, or we can add maybe I’ve heard, um, jetpacks is another thing like another fuel, um, that can be attached to a satellite labor later in its life to extend its lifespan. Also, just basic repairs, a lot of the times satellites aren’t repaired in orbit, they just kind of have to do orbit if they become you know, broke. And that that’s part of like the strategy when you are launching these big constellations. So, the Defense Department has identified in the Space Force to that they want to explore how Space Access Mobility and Logistics can play into operations. You know, US Space Command calls this dynamic space operations where they want to move in space without having to worry about wasting fuel, they want to if there’s a new threat on a different orbit, they want to be able to move a satellite without saying, oh, this is going to ruin operations for six months. So that is a really, that’s a new mission area for Space Force. And they’ve allocated some money to kind of talk about the the research and development this past or this upcoming year. But on the on the flip side, for the commercial world, this is really new too and they really want the DOD to be an anchor tenant for this commercial market and so they need that money. And so, I think it’s one of the capability or capability areas that’s listed in both of the strategies as where this could be really great for commercial investment and commercial growth. So, I think that’s something to really look out for, and how, how these strategies maybe play into the growth of that industry of the spaceport in the space industry.

MF: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I’m kind of along those lines of new things being implemented. Gotta ask the question, because, you know, it’s a hot topic for everyone, but do you see AI playing a role in any of that? Or is that, you know, between these strategies and other things going on? Um, is that being talked about a lot? Or what’s your take?

ME: Yeah, yeah, no, it is being talked about a lot. I mean, everywhere, you can’t, I can’t go to an event, I can’t listen to someone speak without AI coming up. And I think that there’s definitely an appetite, you know, to use it within the services, I think that one of the big things is, you know, you know, warfighters, from any service will log on to work. And they can’t do the same things on their computer that they they can do outside of work, just because there’s technology lags. But and AI is one of those things now where it’s it opens a lot of doors and even you know, from a weapon standpoint, you know, DARPA last week demonstrated a dogfight between two F-16s, and one of them was AI controlled, there was no human in the controlling it, it was uh, it was AI. So, there’s definitely an appetite but something that kind of frustrates me and I kind of get sick of is, I constantly hear, you know, we’re not doing enough to harness AI. We’re not using AI enough. And I rarely hear why. So, I always try and ask like, can you diagnose that for me? Why why aren’t you doing enough? Is it policy? Is it technology is that the cultural barriers? You know, we talk about all the time, too. So, I think it kind of becomes one of those buzzwords in a lot of ways. And I want more, I want more of the diagnosis of why aren’t we harnessing AI more? Where do you need it more? Is it you know, for data collection, or data tagging? And you know, you know, things like that, is it? There’s a ton of use cases? I think so. Yeah.

LP: Yeah, we’re definitely, at least in my opinion, I feel like we’re getting into the point where now that AI is no longer just the true buzz word.

ME: Mhmm.

LP: It’s now actually starting to get, you know, shown it’s getting implemented and we’re starting to learn a little bit more about, okay, here’s where we’re successful. Here’s where it needs to improve.

ME: Mhmm.

LP: But there’s definitely a need for more communication about well, if it’s not working well, why, so.

ME: Sure. Yeah. And I think that there is this is that’s for, you know, DOD leadership or people within the Department, but that’s also for commercial. I think that there maybe needs to be a little bit more synergy about needs and mission areas and goals with AI. I don’t know if it’s, I think it might be too early to tell, you know, maybe it’s too early to say what those exact needs are in some cases, but yeah.

LP: Definitely. And you kind of mentioned at the beginning of it that when you are going through these talks and you know, you want to hear more about that. Well, I’d be curious to hear of how do events play a role in your coverage? How do you find value in going to those events? Obviously…

ME: Oh, my gosh.

LP: …the talks, but what, what gets the most value for you?

ME: Yeah, we, I mean, a lot, we, I, go to a lot of events, every year, all of the individual services will have a conference, usually at least one most of the time, two, and they play a big role in my coverage. And it’s really helpful to know going in this is going to be the news for this event. And so that is, there’s always usually news made at those conferences. But I’d say another thing, too, is that it’s just face time with people. And it’s meeting people that you never would have met, if there wasn’t this big conference, or, you know, this gathering of people. And that is really valuable to me, because I, I truly do love to network. And I love to talk and I love to, you know, you know, meet new people. So that is really a great, um a great value for me is all events big and small. I mean, like even just like small luncheons around the DC area where I live are they’re, they’re really, really helpful too for that.

LP: Definitely, and yeah, those, those conferences are definitely massive. So, plenty of faces to see and people to meet.

ME: Mhmm.

MF: Yeah, and speaking of getting, you know, face time and everything and the value of those conversations. Just to get you know, we are PR people we would love to get your input on, what’s the best way to get in front of you. How do you like be pitched? You know, what are those maybe pet peeves that you have? Because we always, we always want to be tailoring our approach to the reporter and to make that process as smooth as possible. Because we understand, you know, from your side of things, there’s a lot going on just as much. So, we’d love to get your take on that.

ME: No, that’s a great question and something that I do like to talk about all the time, because, I mean, anyone, any reporter will get so many email pitches in their inbox, and I can’t realistically get to all of them. Um, my biggest pet peeve and something that I really harp on when I’m talking to people is to just know what I cover, and no might be, you know, I like I said, I primarily focus on air and space warfare, a little bit of the IT stuff, and I will get pitches for things that are, you know, maybe like a Navy story or something like that. Or maybe so I don’t really focus on personnel that much, but I’ll get personnel stories, pitches in my inbox. And it’s just that is something that doesn’t, it doesn’t annoy me, it’s just, I feel like, I don’t want you to waste your time, because it’s just never gonna work for me. And it may be a good story, but I’m not the person to write it. You know, that’s my biggest advice is just know what my beat is. And if you don’t know what my beat is, I’m always down for a hey, do you have 10 minutes to call? I want to introduce myself. That’s a lot of that’s a lot of it to is just more, knowing the people, the communications and the PR folks and you know, just hearing, just being able to talk to them on a candid basis of off the record, you know, this is what I cover or if this is what this company is doing. Is this any of interest to you? And I can be honest and say, Yeah, that sounds awesome. Or I don’t know if that’s for me at this time. But yeah, just be personable. And, and know my beat too.

LP: I think that’s definitely very good advice. Just across the board of, yeah, make sure that you are double checking the reporter be and just make sure that yeah, this would be a value to you. Now, speaking of stories that you’ve written, we know that you recently won an Azbee Award for your story on the Pentagon and telecom industry’s battle over spectrum. Could you tell us a little bit more about that award and the story?

ME: Yeah, yeah. Well, thank you that that happened very recently. I’m very shocked, but also happy that that story, got a little bit of recognition. Anyone who knew me while I was writing it, which took a couple of months, I was a little frazzled, and kind of it was a very complicated story to write. So, it started off actually last about a year ago, last Spring, during the Service’s budget hearings with the Senate Armed Service Committee in the House, the House as well. Their Senator Mike Rounds plus a few others kept asking the Service is about the spectrum. You know, what happens if you’re going to lose access to the spectrum? You know, these these very specific questions and the answers were, were it’s going to take billions of dollars to do this to do XYZ and it’s going to take over a decade to do XYZ and it was just something back to, I love to learn, it was something I had no idea what they were talking about. And so, I kind of took it upon myself to, okay, I’m gonna figure out what they’re talking about, I want to know, because in my head, I hear billions of dollars and years of time, you know, that sounds like an important issue. Are we kind of exaggerating here or is it real. And so, it is, it’s, it was a, it was a long labor of love. And the story behind it is the Defense Department many decades ago was given access to the electromagnetic spectrum. And they use that spectrum to conduct operations for radars, satellite communications, avionics, and airplanes, all of those systems in their, in their, in their platforms are specifically designed to use their allocated sector of the electromagnetic spectrum. And it just so happens at the time, it was okay, because this was back in the 80s and 90s. But it just so happens that now that portion of the spectrum that they use is like perfect for 5G and wireless and autonomy thing like the Internet of Things. Um, you know, something that commercial industry is really trying to develop and implement in this country. And so there has been this this battle, you could say, between DOD and the telecom industry to access that spectrum. You know, the Defense Department says we can’t give this up, because it’s going to impede our operations, it’s gonna cost billions of dollars to get new systems or reprogram for other reprogram them for other parts of the spectrum. But on the flip side, the commercial industry is saying, if we don’t have access to this part of the spectrum to develop these technologies, 5G, like I said, the Internet, wireless Internet, we will become so economically disadvantaged compared to other countries who do have access to this to develop this technology from the commercial sector. So it’s basically in a the story itself is just kind of outlining that problem finding its origins, which again, is decades ago, and it is just symptomatic of, you know, decades old policies and practices that which is this is a this is a tale as old as time in the DOD, don’t line up to how we do things today from a technologies, um, sector, or perspective, I guess. So that was what the story is. There, they did a study, DOD participated in a study with the Department of Commerce about what it would take for the Defense Department to share spectrum with commercial industry. It’s, it’s this, this concept called dynamic spectrum sharing and so, they released they finished it last Fall. They weren’t releasing it to the public, but they just released it, they just released a redacted version of it. Biden, really, a couple months ago, Biden also released a National Spectrum Strategy that kind of called on DOD to work on spectrum sharing technologies. So, it seems that that is kind of the avenue that they’re going so we’ll see what that means for DOD. I don’t think it’s going to be something that will see significant change within for at least for a couple of years.

LP: Definitely a very interesting topic to get into. And yeah, it is kind of hit the same pain points of you know, the speed to innovate, making sure that you can do the cross-sector collaboration.

ME: Mhmm. It’s a very weedy technology story. It’s very niche. It’s, I joke that it only matters right now to people who like are really into it, but, but the feedback I got from that story was really good. And I’m like I said, I was glad that I got some kind of recognition because it was a labor of love for several months.

MF: Was gonna say it definitely, it’s great that you got recognized for something that’s that much hard work, because especially as you had mentioned, I think how this goes back decades from when they were first talking about some of the stuff. So that’s a lot of digging. That’s a lot of it’s a good thing you love to learn for sure.

ME: Yeah, exactly. It was it was I would talk to somebody and I’d ask them a question. And they were like, oh, I don’t know the answer. It’s, I don’t really answer that question, you have to ask someone else. So, there’s a lot of yeah, there’s a lot of different ways to attack that story. And I tried to find all of them.

MF: Yeah. So, speaking of, you know, loving to learn and everything. Is there anything out of all of your time working in the space or just your career in general, any biggest lessons learned for you, of just how you go about your day to day that have made it more efficient and more productive, maybe just things you’ve learned about the industry that really stick out?

ME: That’s a great question. I think one thing especially covering technology and emerging technology is the value of humility. And recognizing that it’s okay to not know something and also recognizing it’s okay to ask and say, you know, I’ll be talking in an interview with somebody, and they’ll mention something. And I don’t know what they’re talking about. And maybe when I was a younger reporter, I would have just pretended to know what they were talking about to seem smart. But I’ve realized after you know, being burned a couple, one too many times doing that, it’s better to just be like, I don’t know what you’re saying, can you, you know, backtrack, maybe how does this relate to what we’re talking to. And so just recognizing that it’s okay to not know everything, because a lot of the times people love to talk about what they’re interested in, and they will then go on some great, some great tangents too. I think that is just, that’s honestly, the biggest lesson I’ve learned, especially in space, because I didn’t cover space before, a little over a year ago, as in depth as I do now. And thoughts been a big practice of mine is just outwardly being like, I just need to learn about this topic more. And not being not being embarrassed to do so I guess.

MF: Yeah, I think that’s really important, though, too. Because if you’re asking those questions, it’s probably safe to assume some of your readers might also ask those questions. So, I think when you do have those discussions and trying to get more detail, I assume it would make your stories, you know, all the more colorful, I think getting those extra details, the behind the scenes, perspectives, all of that.

ME: And it just helps me to when I don’t know something, and I even if I have that background, you know, maybe at another date, that background comes in handy. And I don’t necessarily write about it, but because I have some kind of background information on this that I just asked about, it makes my understanding of something, or a topic or technology, you know, way more nuanced for readers to I think that’s just really important.

MF: Yeah, especially between space, defense, policy and…

ME: Yeah.

MF: …we work a lot in cyber here at W2 Communications, too. So, it’s definitely a lot of nitty gritty details and understanding all that technical background definitely comes in handy. Even if it’s not, right then and there in the instance, you’re asking it really come in handy down the road.

ME: Definitely.

MF: So, is there any story that really was, I guess, really stands out to you as your favorite story most memorable, or I guess most well received any of those for your audience?

ME: You know? Okay, so this is this is this is gonna come from my days covering Missouri state politics and state issues. I always say this is my favorite story and one that I still follow it today was, did you, do, have you ever heard of the feral hog issue in rural US? Issue about feral hogs? Okay, so…

MF: Feral hogs? Were they on the loose?

ME: Yes! So they are an invasive species in Missouri. And a couple years ago, they it was becoming such a problem that it kind of made some national news. It, it became really popular on social media, because this this idea of, you know, feral hogs running around was so, uh, and, you know, destroying, you know, farmlands like I mean, it was like, so basically, in Missouri, there was an issue, I think there still is of feral hogs running around destroying farms, millions of dollars in damage. And there were pushes to allow people to hunt them, but because of the psychology of hogs, I mean, they’re pigs, they’re very smart. Hunting them made, you know, eradicating them much more difficult. So, there were a ton of there was a, I think, an elimination team leader at the Missouri Department of conversation, uhh, Conservation for feral hogs. And so it was, you know, we need to [inaudible] them effectively. And I think today, it’s still technically illegal to hunt them on public lands, and it’s strongly discouraged to hunt, like for hunting them on private property. But it was it was a big issue in one of the, one of the, the legislative sessions in Missouri that I covered and multiple bills would come up. I think the one of my biggest regrets was there was once, um, an operation to shoot the feral hogs from a helicopter that I got invited to, to join on the helicopter ride. And I tried my hardest to get on that flight. And my editor at the time very kindly rejected it, because I think it was a safety issue. But I still regret not being able to go on that flight because it was just kind of, uh, it was just a silly thing that I really wish I could have done. So that was one of my most memorable stories and I miss covering kind of the silly things like that silly but real impacts, um, when you cover like state politics.

MF: Yeah, I was gonna say out of asking many of our guests for their most memorable story. I think that’s definitely up there for one of the most interesting stories.

ME: The stories that I have from covering the State legislator, legislature are, are truly. I mean, I, for lack of a better word insane like some of the some of the most crazy things I’ve I’ve ever experienced doing that.

LP: Yeah!

MF: I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the Great Emu War that happened in Australia…

ME: No!

MF: …but that to look into if you haven’t heard of that…

ME: Oh, I will! Oh my gosh.

MF: …that’s a little homework assignment after this.

ME: Oh, I love it.

LP: Yeah, that is definitely quite a memorable story. I have to agree with Madison I don’t think, I think that tops it. I think that’s, uh, that goes down Inside of the Media Minds history right there.

ME: Oh, I’m so honored. I’m so honored.

LP: So, wrapping up here, just one final question to close things out of, you know, we’ve been talking about everything that you’ve loved to do as a reporter. But, outside of work, what’s something that you’re really interested in? Maybe something that our listeners want to know about you?

ME: Yeah! So, I something that people don’t know about me, it’s really hard because I very famously, never shut up about my interest. Like I am a big sports fan. I’m from the St. Louis area so, I’m a big Cardinals fan. I went to the University of Michigan for undergrad. So, I’m a diehard Michigan fan, like one of the annoying ones. So that’s a great way to you know, talk to me about anything is sports related. But another thing too, is I really, I really love music. I specifically listen to a lot of metal and rock music. I go to metal shows by myself all the time because none of my friends really listen to the same music I do so, I have to go by myself. Always happy to though it’s always a good time. And yeah, those are those are some those are my two biggest interests were probably sports and metal music.

LP: Nice! Did you happen to go to the national championship game for U of M or no?

ME: I did not. I unfortunately, the those ticket prices were a little bit too much for me. But I do know that my the managing editor…

LP: Matt!

ME: …for FedScoop. Yes, Matt! FedScoop and CyberScoop. He is another Michigan grad and I he was on the fence about going and I kind of really bullied him. I was like you have to, one of us goes you have to go. So, I’m glad that he got to go. It was great hearing about his experience. I was very jealous, but who knows in the future, there will be more national championships for me to go to.

LP: Exactly! Well, awesome, Mikayla, thank you so much for joining Inside the Media Minds. We really appreciate you taking the time.

ME: Yeah. Thanks for having me. Really great to talk to y’all.

LP: Likewise and thank you to everyone who tuned in to this episode. We’ll catch you next time.

Outro: Thank you for joining us on today’s episode of Inside the Media Minds. To learn more about our podcast and hear all of our episodes, please visit us at and follow us on Twitter @MediaMindsShow, and you can subscribe anywhere podcasts are found.