With the upcoming election just days away, many are engaged in the discussion of political issues not only in conversations with colleagues and loved ones, but also, undoubtedly, on social media.

One Mercer University student who is contributing to those conversations and starting some of his own is Christian Watson, a junior philosophy major with a minor in journalism.

Watson has made numerous strides toward becoming a political writer and commentator during his tenure at Mercer, including being selected as a Young Voices contributor last year, which has given him a platform to publish his work in outlets like USA Today, The Washington Examiner and more.

While Watson is making great strides with his writing, he also has found a niche in being a political commentator and media personality through the platform of podcasting.

Watson hosts a podcast, titled “Pensive Politics,” which addresses numerous subjects, such as free speech, LGBTQ issues and criminal justice. Although the podcast is less than a year old, it already has garnered many streams and positive reviews on various platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Watson also has been able to interview notable individuals on his podcast, such as Nobel Peace Prize nominee Joshua Wong and Libertarian presidential candidate Adam Kokesh. Watson aims to facilitate meaningful dialogue and discussion with additional voices that possess objective expertise.

His passion for politics began in his adolescent years when he became enthralled with television news.

“I was about 11 or 12, and I had an affinity for watching cable news,” Watson said. “Whereas a lot of kids my age were playing games as hobbies, it was my hobby to watch Erin Burnett and Piers Morgan on CNN. That’s what gave me joy.”

Watson was encouraged by watching these influential individuals deliver their viewpoints and became determined to achieve the same renown they had by using his own voice.

“These people seem to make an impact by being able to shine a light on various situations that may not be covered or give people a more holistic view of the situation,” Watson said. “I figured, ‘I want to be like that,’ and I had an idea in my head.”

With that idea, he also wanted to relate to his age demographic through the delivery of his various viewpoints.

“Unfortunately, a lot of us don’t really read unless we have to for class,” Watson said. “So, I figured, ‘OK Christian, if you want to appeal to a younger audience and want to be more successful at this, you ought to have a weekly podcast.’”

Watson calls this podcast an “experiment” on the philosophy of politics. He also desires to highlight viewpoints that are not always reflected in the media at large.

The success of his podcast has allowed him to be featured on Fed by Ravens, a startup media company run by nationally syndicated radio hosts Bryan Hyde and Joe Kerry.

“When that happened, I thought to myself, ‘What? What exactly compelled them to do that?’” Watson said. “I just was overcome with a feeling of joy and affirmation that what I’m doing does have an impact and importance.”

His work on “Pensive Politics” also led to him being a regular contributor to Bold TV, a digital news network based in New York City.

Watson appreciates the exposure and its potential to propel him to greater heights in the journalism and media world.

“The biggest opportunity is being able to network in the media world,” Watson said. “It adds prestige to your name, and prestige at any level is important.”

Watson’s success can be attributed not only to his charismatic personality but to his experiences at Mercer, as well.

“Mercer has really helped me by exposing me to more material,” Watson said. “My journalism professors have helped by instilling in me the journalistic code of ethics and making sure I have the proper frameworks by which to do journalism.”

 

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