Journalist Fellows on the Campaign Trail

Gwen Ifill, the host of PBS’ “Washington Week’’ and one of the News Literacy Project’s initial journalist fellows, moderated the vice presidential debate between Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin, the second time she was in this position.

Gwen is by no means alone among the project’s journalist fellows in playing a critical role in the 2008 presidential campaign. Bloomberg’s Edwin Chen and Politico’s Jeanne Cummings have been covering the race with distinction. Scott Pelley of CBS has done a series of high-profile interview pieces with Sen. John McCain on “60 Minutes.” The Washington Post’s James Grimaldi has filed ground-breaking investigative reports on the presidential and vice presidential candidates and Kevin Merida has provided thoughtful analytical and feature pieces. The Chicago Tribune’s Clarence Page has shared his insights through his column and frequent television appearances. When our journalists begin to work with students in 2009, these and other fellows will bring a wealth of recent experience with them into the classroom. This will be particularly relevant in social studies and history classes that are focusing on politics and government. The journalists’ experience on the campaign trail goes right to the heart of the project’s primary purpose: to help produce well-informed citizens and voters.