The Kalb Report: Truth Be Told—Journalism in the Age of Trump

Ted Koppel, Brian Stelter, David Folkenflik and Emily Rooney Join Marvin Kalb for 25th Season Launch Oct. 1 at National Press Club

Adelphi, Md. (Sept. 17, 2018)—From the introduction of so-called “alternative facts” to charges of “fake news,” the Trump administration has engaged in a relentless assault on the press. Journalists have responded with their own relentless coverage of an administration brimming with controversy and leaks.

How are journalists holding up under withering criticism from this administration—criticism that has been linked to death threats and physical assaults? How are news organizations responding? Are journalists “raising the bar” in the quality of their reporting or further blurring the lines between fact, speculation and opinion?

Legendary journalist Ted Koppel and media correspondents Brian Stelter of CNN, David Folkenflik of NPR and Emily Rooney of WGBH Television in Boston join moderator Marvin Kalb for a conversation on the roles and responsibilities of the press in covering a White House that consistently attempts to undermine its legitimacy.

“The Kalb Report: Truth Be Told—Journalism in the Age of Trump,” will take place in the main ballroom of the National Press Club (14th & F Street, NW, Washington, D.C.) at 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 1.

“There have been senators and even on occasion governors who have challenged the fundamentals of American democracy, but never before a president—until Donald Trump arrived at the White House,” said Kalb. “And now the nation experiences a president who accuses the still free press of being the ‘enemy of the American people,’ tests the outer boundaries of the judicial system, and who seems happier dealing with autocrats than with democratic allies. How has the press responded? I think, with courage and professional determination, but the pressures on the press are huge.”

“The Kalb Report” series, now in its 25th season, is produced jointly by The National Press Club Journalism Institute, the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center, University of Maryland University College, the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland and the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma. For the 16th consecutive year, the series is underwritten by a grant from Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

Since 1994, the partnership has produced 96 forums in the series with guests including Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, Rupert Murdoch, Diane Sawyer, Roger Ailes, Katie Couric, Bob Costas, Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, Hillary Clinton, David McCullough, and Walter Cronkite.

“The Kalb Report” has been honored with a Gold World Medal in the 2018 New York Festivals International Radio Awards competition for its program “Guardians of the Fourth Estate” featuring the executive editors of “The New York Times” and “The Washington Post,“ Dean Baquet and Marty Baron. This followed a Gold World Medal in 2015 for “Writing History: Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein and Journalism’s Finest Hour.” In 2012, the series received a Gold World Medal and the overall Grand Award at the New York Festivals for “Anchoring 911, The Day and the Decade” with Charles Gibson, Brit Hume, Dan Rather, and Frank Sesno.

“The Kalb Report” series is distributed nationally by American Public Television. Oklahoma Educational Television Authority serves as the presenting station. The series airs on Maryland Public Television, Sirius-XM Satellite Radio and Federal News Radio in Washington, D.C. Each program is streamed live at press.org.

Moderator Marvin Kalb is Edward R. Murrow Professor Emeritus at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and senior advisor to the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. In a distinguished 30-year career in journalism, Mr. Kalb served as chief diplomatic correspondent for CBS News and NBC News and moderator of “Meet the Press.” He went on to serve as the founding director of Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. Among his many honors are two Peabody Awards, the DuPont Prize from Columbia University, the 2006 Fourth Estate Award from the National Press Club and more than a half-dozen Overseas Press Club awards. Mr. Kalb has authored or co-authored 16 books including two best-selling novels. His latest book is “Enemy of the People: Trump’s War on the Press, the New McCarthyism, and the Threat to American Democracy.”

Executive Producer Michael Freedman is a senior vice president and professor of the practice at University of Maryland University College, as well as a professorial lecturer in journalism at the George Washington University, and a member of the National Press Club Board of Governors. He is the former general manager of CBS Radio Network News and a former managing editor of United Press International. Over the course of his career, he and his teams have earned more than 85 honors for journalistic excellence including 14 Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio-Television News Directors Association.

Senior Producer Heather Date is a vice president at University of Maryland University College and former CNN producer. She received the Alliance for Women in Media’s 2011 Gracie Award as Outstanding Producer for her work on “The Kalb Report.”

Director Shelly Schwartz has distinguished himself as one of the premier producer-directors in the nation’s capital for more than 30 years. His directing credits include “The McLaughlin Group,” “The George Michael Sports Machine” and “It’s Academic.”

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Trump’s Criticism Becomes “Background Music” as Times and Post Push for Truth, Executive Editors Say

While reporting on President Trump can be challenging as he demeans critical stories about him, often calling them fake, the executive editors of two of the nation’s leading newspapers told a National Press Club audience recently that it can be done, but only by maintaining high standards and not snapping at the president’s bait.

“If you tell the truth, if you’re accurate, if you’re aggressive, and you’re fair, and you hold onto your principles, I think in the end, that’s the only way you can cover him,” New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet told moderator Marvin Kalb on the latest edition of “The Kalb Report.”Continue Reading