North Texas

Young Political Reporter Gets Journalism Scholarship From UNT

An eleven-year-old political reporter, who's made headlines himself around the country, got a big surprise Thursday during a visit to UNT.

Phoenix Legg has already met a President, interviewed Washington politicians and dozens of regular Americans. But during a tour of the journalism department at the University of North Texas on Thursday, he was surprised with a $5,000 scholarship from UNT's Mayborn School of Journalism.

"This is kind of my passion," said Legg. "And I'd like to stick to it."

Legg has already covered a career's worth of big stories. It began in 2016, inspired by coverage of a presidential race that's still being talked about daily. Legg said he was perplexed by what appeared to him as uneven media coverage, especially by major cable TV networks.

"I started to figure it out, the media tailors it to what their audience wants to hear," he said.

In 2016, the home-schooled student from Cedar Hills convinced his dad to travel the country in search of stories, told through his perspective. Living in an RV, they've racked up 50,000 miles, hit close to three dozen states, and interviewed hundreds of people.

When ask about the scholarship, Legg said he was shocked.

"I was surprised!" he said. "That made by a day a little different. I'm very excited about that."

His father, Matt Legg, said he's naturally proud of his son's accomplishments. He's even more thankful of the shared experiences it's brought them.

"I think the human aspect of it is probably what tugged at his heartstrings," said the elder Legg. "But his goal was he wanted to help unite the country, because he saw how divided we are."

Things you don't have to be a grown-up to figure out.

"If you disagree with this person, you're horrible people," said Phoenix. "But as Americans, we need to understand disagreement doesn't equal rejection. It doesn't equal hate. If anything, it equals diversity."

Whether he'll pursue a career in journalism remains to be seen. Phoenix Legg said he's blessed to have the opportunity.

He still has plenty of time to figure that out.

"Even though I'm not technically a student yet, I enjoyed it immensely," he said of his big day in Denton. "And it was a lot of fun."

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