Reporter David Fahrenthold to Speak at UM

David Fahrenthold: Washington Post staff portraits on September, 09, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)
Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold will deliver “Covering President Trump: The inside story from the reporter Trump called a ‘nasty guy.’” His talk is Monday, March 13 at 7 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom. This event is free and open to the public.

Fahrenthold spent a year covering the 2016 presidential race and then-Republican nominee Donald Trump. He will talk about his experience on the campaign trail and what it was like to cover Trump. Fahrenthold began working for The Post in 2000. He covered car crashes in the District of Columbia and has also covered the environment and Capitol Hill. He is currently covering President Trump.

This event is sponsored by the University of Montana School of Journalism. The School of Journalism launched in 1914, and has trained generations of journalists in print, broadcast, photography and, more recently, new media. The school regularly ranks among the top 10 journalism schools in the United States.

Welcome Back from Dean Abramson

Don Anderson Hall building exterior
Don Anderson Hall, home of the J-School

Boy, what a summer it’s been. Could there be any doubt that we need caring, smart journalists now more than ever?

As we prepare to open the doors for another year at the UM J-School, I keep asking myself that question. Just take one news story as an example: we have a presidential election before us between two people who seem to have a very troubled relationship with the truth. How could the average citizen possibly scrutinize statements by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, without professional help from reporters, editors and researchers? Reporters remain, despite the turmoil in our industry, our election ghostbusters: they are uniquely qualified to train their ray guns on statements like Trump’s assertion that the real unemployment rate is closer to 42 percent than 5 percent. And we still need someone to jump on distortions like Hillary’s insistence that the FBI Director called her statements about her email server “truthful.”

While the need for good reporting remains clear, the way to pay for it is not—the crystal ball remains cloudy on that point. As comedian John Oliver pointed out recently, even he ruthlessly rakes through the work of journalists in the search for joke material, without signing up for a subscription. Oliver’s appeal to recognize the work of journalists got a lot of play, but I predict it will have zero impact on the financial plight of the news biz. That’s because pity is not going to help us make news profitable again. Only innovation and hard work will.

So, as we start the year I will present our students with this simple challenge: come help us save the world from a flood of lies. It’s our job.

By Larry Abramson