Beacon event to feature two top political journalists

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Two of the nation’s most respected and influential political journalists—both with local roots—will headline a Rochester Beacon virtual event next month. 

Politico’s John Harris and the Washington Post’s Tom Hamburger will share their perspectives on the state of the nation’s politics as well as the outlook for local journalism on Oct. 6 at noon. The hour-long Zoom event is free to attend, but registration is required. 

Armbruster Capital Managementthe Burke Group and the Estate, Legacy and Long-Term Care Planning Center of Western NY are presenting sponsors. Bond, Schoeneck & King is a gold sponsor.

John Harris

A Pittsford native, Harris spent two decades at the Washington Post, covering local politics, state politics in Virginia and national politics. He has authored two books including “The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House.” In 2007, he co-founded Politico, one of the most successful digitally focused journalism startups. He stepped down as editor-in-chief last year but continues to cover national politics as a Politico columnist. 

Hamburger, who grew up in Brighton, has worked as a reporter since 1976. Now with the Washington Post, he is a 2018 Pulitzer Prize and George Polk Award recipient (for his work with a team of Washington Post reporters on Trump campaign and administration ties to Russia), and a political analyst for MSNBC. He is an investigative reporter focused on the intersection of money and politics in Washington. 

Tom Hamburger

“John Harris and Tom Hamburger are Rochester natives who have had extraordinary careers that have provided them with rare insight into national politics and journalism,” said Alex Zapesochny, publisher of the Rochester Beacon. “We are thrilled to have them share their thoughts on the national politics and the election, and the changing role of journalism both nationally and locally.”

With a highly polarized electorate and the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 presidential race is unlike any other in memory. Reporters covering this year’s campaign are faced with unprecedented challenges. At the local level, journalists face similar challenges—made even more difficult by depleted staffs and resources, the consequence of newspapers’ long-term financial decline. Harris and Hamburger will offer their insights on these issues.

Zapesochny will moderate the online conversation. Register here.

Smriti Jacob is Rochester Beacon managing editor.

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