Bryce Weblog


Jonathan Alter brings political debate to Elon

By Bryce Little

September 29, 2008

Jonathan Alter looks on as Elon students ask questions.

Jonathan Alter looks on as Elon students ask questions.

Jonathan Alter was at Elon University today to speak to students and faculty about the current political state of America. Alter is an award winning political analyst for Newsweek.

Along with being a writer for Newsweek, Alter is a political correspondent for NBC, and is the author of the 2006 best selling novel “The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope.”

At this afternoon’s question and answers session, Alter addressed issues that ranged from Sarah Palin’s influence on female voters, to the amount of coverage celebrities should receive in today’s news media.  With this being Alters seventh election coverage with Newsweek he was more than ready to handle the wide variety of political questions offered by Elon students.

Alters political experience is vast. He was on of only a handful of writers allowed on John McCain’s tour bus during the 2000 presidential election.

“I had arguably among the most fun riding around on his bus that year.” Alter said.

The knowledge that Alter has about the election process goes much further than the tour bus. He explains to the students at Elon the importance of changing the way we vote, and learning from the country’s past mistakes ranging from the botched election in Florida, to the Jim Crowe discriminatory voting laws beginning to rise up, once again, trying to keep some voters out of the voting booth.

Alter brought up the specific Supreme court case, Crawford vs. Marion county Indiana, in which the Supreme Court ruled that Indiana was entitled to bar anyone without a drivers license or passport to vote.

Students asked Questions

Aspiring journalist Sophie Duensing asks Jonathan Alter whats the best advice he has for today's journalism students

“You should not have to jump through hoops to exercise your ability to vote,” said Alter.

“That takes us back to the Jim Crowe era, where unfortunately in states like North Carolina if you did not pass a literacy test, or you did not pay a fee called a poll tax…you were denied the right to vote.”

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One Response to 'Jonathan Alter brings political debate to Elon'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Jonathan Alter brings political debate to Elon'.

  1. Janna said,

    Bryce, it’s good to see that you posted this right away. I hope you will be adding more details in regard to the reporting of the issues Alter covered. Right now the content does not include the most important current-issues-related remarks that Alter made. He talked about the financial crisis, the future of education and much more.

    You also need to copy edit and clean up a few errors in style, spelling, etc.

    I like your photographic coverage; you were SMART to turn the camera around and shoot the crowd and not just the speaker. Good work on that!


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