"The Role of Media in Politics": Schneider to give Benton Lecture


Thursday, March 27, 2008 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm


UNC Campus - Carroll Hall auditorium

Bill Schneider, CNN senior political analyst and one of the country’s leading political commentators, will deliver the Nelson Benton Lecture at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication on March 27 at 6 p.m. in the Carroll Hall auditorium.

Schneider’s talk, “The Role of Media in Politics,” is free and open to the public. He joins notable journalists who have spoken in the series including Walter Cronkite, Charles Kuralt, Sam Donaldson, Bob Schieffer, Cokie Roberts and Dan Rather.

The lecture coincides with a major conference being held at the school in honor of Knight Chair in Journalism Phil Meyer, who retires this year. Meyer has been at the forefront of applying social-science research methods to the practice of journalism. The conference brings media scholars together to consider how research and theory can serve journalism in the information age. Schneider and Meyer first met in 1968 when Meyer was analyzing a survey for the Miami Herald on race relations in Miami.

Schneider, who joined CNN in 1991, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., and a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times, National Journal and The Atlantic Monthly.

The Washington Times called Schneider "the nation's election-meister" and The Boston Globe called him "the Aristotle of American politics," while Campaigns and Elections magazine called him "the most consistently intelligent analyst on television." In 1997, Washingtonian magazine named Schneider one of the 50 most influential Washington journalists.

Schneider co-authored The Confidence Gap: Business, Labor and Government in the Public Mind with Seymour Martin Lipset. He also has written extensively on politics and public opinion for The New Republic, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post and other publications. Schneider is a frequent television commentator and featured speaker on public affairs, both in the United States and abroad.

Schneider has a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and a doctorate in political science from Harvard University, where he later taught in the Department of Government. He has held an International Affairs Fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations and a National Fellowship from the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. From 1990-1995, he was the Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. Visiting Professor of American Politics at Boston College.

The Nelson Benton Lecture Series was established in the school by the CBS newsman’s friends and family after his death in 1988.

Benton began his broadcasting career at radio station WSOC in Charlotte, N.C., after receiving his degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1949. The next year, he established the first television news department in the Southeast at WBTV in Charlotte. In 1960, he joined CBS News in New York City as an assignment editor and reporter. He worked in Dallas when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 and became the New Orleans bureau chief and correspondent for CBS News in 1964. He reported on the civil rights movement in the South and covered the Vietnam War from Saigon, Hue and the Vietnamese countryside. He spent the next decade as a Washington correspondent.

During the early 1970s, he was an anchor on the "CBS Morning News." He covered Watergate and the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974. He won an Emmy for a special broadcast about the Watergate tapes. When the country faced an acute shortage of energy resources in the 1970s, he pioneered the energy beat for CBS News.

He was a member of the team of CBS News correspondents who covered the American space program from the days of the Mercury astronauts through the moon landing on July 20, 1969.

(Will end before basketball game)

Bill Schneider

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