On the latest episode of 13, Howard Fineman ’70 recounts his early days at Colgate as editor of the Maroon-News. Hear about his post-collegiate journey — from daily newspaper reporter in Kentucky to chief political correspondent at Newsweek, before eventually becoming global editorial director at the Huffington Post, and, more recently, a regular contributor for several national news outlets.
A lifelong journalist in nearly every medium, Fineman began as a cub reporter after receiving a master’s degree in journalism from the Columbia University School of Journalism in 1973. At the Courier-Journal in Kentucky, Fineman covered environmental and energy issues, specifically writing about strip mining, coal mining, water pollution, air pollution, natural gas, and nuclear power. He covered the Love Canal disaster and continued covering the environment when he was transferred to the paper’s Washington bureau in 1988. In Washington, D.C., Fineman covered then-U.S. Representative Al Gore’s initial environmental hearings.
While working as a daily newspaper reporter, Fineman attended night school at the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, earning his law degree and then moving to the famed Washington bureau of Newsweek in 1980, where one of his colleagues was Colgate alumna Gloria Borger. Fineman became the chief political correspondent and the senior editor and deputy Washington bureau chief, covering congress and national elections there for more than three decades.
In 2008, Random House published Fineman’s book, The Thirteen American Arguments, which went on to be a national bestseller.
In 2011 Fineman departed Newsweek to join longtime friend Ariana Huffington at the Huffington Post as lead political correspondent. Fineman went on to become editorial director and then global editorial director of the website, and during his tenure, the Huffington Post became the first website to win a Pulitzer Prize for reporting.
Fineman left the Huffington Post in 2018 to write for online editions of NBC and MSNBC, Real Clear Politics, and several opinion pieces for the New York Times and the Washington Post. Through the years Fineman has taught budding journalists at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School of Communications.
In addition to always writing, Fineman appeared regularly on NBC and MSNBC television shows as well as Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Fineman has also appeared on PBS’ Charlie Rose, Nightline, Face the Nation, Fox News Sunday, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, The McLaughlin Group, and Larry King Live.
Each episode of 13, Colgate’s award-winning podcast, digs into the work of a University community member by asking questions. Episodes highlight the wide array of academic disciplines at Colgate, with interviews featuring faculty from political science, sociology and anthropology, physics and astronomy, women’s studies, English, Africana and Latin American studies, and many more.