Panel of Political Journalists Discuss Leaks, Fake News, and a Free Press

February 14, 2018

By Chip Underhill

Five of the nation’s top political journalists will examine the dynamic state of journalism on Tuesday, February 20 at a panel discussion in the New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP). Titled "Leaks, Fake News and a Free Press,” the panel will be moderated by Dan Balz, Chief Correspondent for The Washington Post.

“Leaks,” the unauthorized release of confidential and/or top-secret information to news media, have long been part of journalism, especially political coverage. “Fake news” is an expression that gained widespread notoriety during the 2016 presidential election; the term refers to reports and claims that are intended to mislead, misinform and confuse. “A free press” refers to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, reading in part: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”

Interpretation of these three concepts has significantly disrupted modern political journalism. In this panel discussion, five nationally-regarded White House observers (shown in photo, L-R) will discuss the impacts of leaks, fake news and constraints on media reporting of political activity:

Shannon Pettypiece is White House Correspondent for Bloomberg News with a focus on jobs, the economy and health care. She contributes to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Bloomberg TV, and Bloomberg Radio. Her previous journalistic concentrations include coverage of Wal-Mart, the consumer economy, health policy, public health, the pharmaceutical industry.

Dan Balz, Senior Correspondent for The Washington Post and moderator of “Leaks, Fake News, and a Free Press” is in his 40th year at the Post, His career includes political coverage as a reporter and editor. A recipient of the American Political Science Association award for coverage of politics and the Gerald R. Ford journalism prize for coverage of the presidency, he was also awarded the Merriman Smith Award for presidential coverage under deadline pressure by the White House Correspondents Association.

Jamelle Bouie is Chief Political Correspondent for and a political analyst for CBS News. His work has appeared either online or in print at The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Nation, and other publications.

Domenico Montanaro is NPR's lead editor for politics and digital audience, directing political coverage across the network's broadcast and digital platforms. His experience includes roles as political director and senior producer for politics and law at PBS NewsHour, and deputy political editor at NBC News.

Hallie Jackson is Chief White House correspondent for NBC News, reporting across all NBC News and MSNBC platforms, including, "NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt," "TODAY," "Meet the Press," and During the 2016 Republican primary battle and the rise of President-elect Donald Trump, she frequently broke developments in the election cycle and scored exclusive interviews with candidates.

“Leaks, Fake News and a Free Press” will be held in the auditorium of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, February 20. The event is free and open to the public.


Saint Anselm College
Founded in 1889, Saint Anselm College is a four-year liberal arts college providing a 21st century education in the Catholic, Benedictine tradition. Located in southern New Hampshire near Boston and the seacoast, Saint Anselm is well known for its strong liberal arts and nursing programs as well as for the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.