fbpx Covering American Politics: Does the Old Shoe Still Fit? | Harvard Kennedy School
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Date and Location

January 25, 2023
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM EST



From the horse race to the intricacies of public policy, political journalists have a lot to cover, and the choices they make have profound impacts on citizens’ understanding of their government and leaders. In an era of rampant disinformation, what is the media’s responsibility when reporting on politics, particularly rhetoric that distorts facts or presents false claims? How sacred is a neutral reporting style that had been the standard for decades? Is a new approach now needed – one that favors more interpretation to better inform a bombarded public lacking time to research the subtext of politics and policy debates? What is the value of journalistic objectivity in an era of media manipulation and distortion?

Join three experienced journalists and a professor of government and media in a discussion about the current and potential future paths for American political journalism.

Major Garrett is chief Washington correspondent for CBS News. He also is the host of The Takeout podcast. He has covered politics and the White House for various publications and television networks including U.S. News & World Report, The National Journal, The Washington Times, CNN and  Fox News. He is author of “The Big Truth” (2022), “Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride”, “The Enduring Revolution” and “The 15 Biggest Lies in Politics.”

Kathy Kiely is the Lee Hills Chair in Free-Press Studies at Missouri School of Journalism. Her reporting and editing career includes stints as an editor for Bill Moyers and for Bloomberg Politics, at the National Journal joining with counterparts at CBS News to train and supervise a multimedia team covering 2012 presidential campaign and she also covered Congress and national politics for USA TODAY, The Houston Post and The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, The Pittsburgh Press, and was a White House correspondent for the New York Daily News.

Thomas E. Patterson is Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at Harvard Kennedy School. He is an expert on journalism, media, and political communication. He has authored a number of books, including most recently, “Informing the News: The Need for Knowledge-Based Journalism,” “How America Lost Its Mind: The Assault on Reason That’s Crippling Our Democracy,” and “Is the Republican Party Destroying Itself?”

Brian Stelter is the Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, and a nationally recognized media reporter and expert on the state of journalism. Until August 2022, he was the anchor of “Reliable Sources,” which examined the week’s top media stories every Sunday on CNN and the chief media correspondent for CNN worldwide.

This event is co-sponsored by the Harvard Kennedy School New England Alumni Association.