Washington, D.C., Alumni and Students Discuss “The Press and the Presidency”

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Editor’s note: This story was contributed by Maggie McDonnell ’19, a member of Colgate’s 18-student delegation to the Model African Union, which convened in Washington, D.C., Feb. 21–Feb. 24.

On Thursday, Feb. 21, the Colgate Alumni Club of Washington, D.C., and the Common Good Professional Network engaged in a panel discussion on “The Press and the Presidency.” Also in attendance were members of the Colgate Model African Union group and the spring 2019 Washington, D.C., Study Group.

The panel was moderated by Nicol Turner Lee ’90, a fellow in the Governance Studies Department and the Center for Technological Innovation at the Brookings Institution. She introduced panelists Eamon Javers ’94, reporter in CNBC’s White House bureau; National Review publisher Garrett Bewkes ’10; Alex Altman ’04, Time nation editor and deputy Washington Bureau chief; and Amanda Terkel ’04, Washington bureau chief at HuffPost.

In response to questions from the moderator and the audience, the panelists provided their thoughts on the complex relationship between the press and the president and how it has impacted their work. They shared their experiences with the current media climate and covering the Trump presidency, and they explained how they decide what to cover when bombarded with information from different officials in different capacities — as well as Tweets directly from the president.

Panelists also touched on the nature of storytelling and the changing ability of the media to shape a narrative — before delving into how they and their organizations address disinformation, emphasizing the importance of accuracy and corroborating sources.

As a final send off, the panelists and the moderator shared their favorite Colgate class, professor, or experience that put them where they are today, including: the Washington, D.C., Study Group, the Maroon News, Greek Life, the Hamilton Fire Department, the liberal arts curriculum, and standout faculty members.

“This was a special evening for the Colgate community in D.C.,” Bob Fenity ’06 said. “It was valuable and enjoyable to learn from the on-the-ground experiences of the panelists. The evening once again shined a light on the impressive accomplishments of our alumni and the value of our professional networks.”