Campus & Community

Shorenstein Center names spring fellows

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An award-winning political satirist, a television news anchor, and a chief congressional correspondent are among the new fellows this semester at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

“This semester’s talented group of Shorenstein Fellows is especially varied in their media orientation. We even have a fellow who is indisputably hilarious – Al Franken! This spring, the center will be cooking,” said Alex Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center.

The 2003 spring fellows

Al Franken, political satirist, is an Emmy Award-winning television writer and producer, a New York Times best-selling author, and a Grammy-winning comedian. Franken was part of the original writing staff that created “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 1975. He received four Emmys for his writing on SNL and a fifth for producing. Franken also won recognition for his on-camera work – first as part of the comedy team of Franken and Davis and then with characters such as Stuart Smalley, the subject of a movie and Franken’s 1992 book, “I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough and Doggone It, People Like Me.” Franken is also the author of “Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations.” While at the Shorenstein Center, Franken will be working on a book examining whether there is a liberal bias in the media, including a look at the media’s treatment of George W. Bush and his administration.

Esteban López-Escobar was born and raised in northern Spain, where he earned his first degree in the law school of Oviedo University. He did postgraduate work in law, journalism, and mass communications at the University of Navarra (Pamplona). He received his doctorate in law from the University of Seville, where he studied and taught for 11 years. In 1972, López-Escobar joined the faculty of the University of Navarra School of Journalism. His special interests are in the fields of international communication, communication policy, and public opinion. López-Escobar will study how the Internet is changing the professionamind and journalistic understanding of social, political, and communication changes in a new global civil society.

Margie Reedy has been a television journalist for 25 years. For the past seven years, she was the host of “NewsNight,” an hourlong news interview program on New England Cable News (NECN). She has been awarded the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award, the Associated Press Regional Award for Best Public Affairs Program, and the Radio and Television News Director’s Association Award for Public Affairs. At the Shorenstein Center, Reedy will produce a documentary focusing on the new breed of contentious interviewers and their effect on the public’s perception of politics.

Terence Samuel is the chief congressional correspondent for U.S. News & World Report. Before joining the magazine, Samuel was a Washington correspondent for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where he wrote on a wide range of topics, including congressional politics, welfare, race, affirmative action, and urban policy and development. Samuel spent a decade at the Philadelphia Inquirer, including four years as a New York-based national correspondent. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing, the explosion of TWA Flight 800, and state and national politics in New York. His research project will examine the political parity that defines the current national debate, whether it is an aid or a menace to our traditional notions of democracy, and what changes can be made.

Michael Tomasky writes a column on politics for New York magazine, where he has been a contributing editor since 1995. Before that, he was a columnist for The Village Voice and The New York Observer. He is the author of “Left for Dead” about the intellectual collapse of the American left during the past 30 years, and “Hillary’s Turn,” about the 2000 New York senate race. His work has appeared in a variety of other publications, including The New York Review of Books, Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, and The Washington Post, among others. Tomasky will examine the partisanship of newspaper editorial pages.