On October 8, GU Politics partnered with the Georgetown Entertainment and Media Alliance to give the Georgetown community a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to cover the 2020 Presidential campaign.
The event featured Errin Haines, current GU Politics Fellow and Editor-at-Large for The 19th; Sam Feist (Law ‘99), Senior VP and Washington Bureau Chief at CNN; Julia Jester (Col ‘15), NBC News reporter; and Ken Thomas (Col ‘97), National Political Reporter for The Wall Street Journal. The event was moderated by GU Politics Executive Director Mo Elleithee.
Reporters noted the many challenges unique to covering the 2020 race due to COVID-19 on top of the jam-packed nature of a presidential election year. Julia Jester described the importance of speaking directly to voters, adding “the challenge [in 2020] is not having that face-to-face coverage.” Ken Thomas agreed, adding that this campaign season “has forced us to be creative” in how reporters get input from voters and campaign sources.
Mo Elleithee asked panelists how to reverse the negative perception and attitude that many Americans have towards the media. Errin Haines said, “there is some validity of the criticism of the way we’ve covered politics in American journalism” and diversity in newsrooms and among executives is still lacking. She concluded, “at the end of the day, my job is to leave behind the most honest and accurate record of where we are as a country.”