Media Roundtables help Hoover’s public affairs team maintain a competitive advantage in placing Hoover fellows in top-tier media outlets.
The program offers journalists and producers a daylong seminar led by Hoover fellows, introducing them to the latest research and expert opinions on current events and policy challenges. It also helps Hoover fellows strengthen their connections to journalists as an ongoing resource for information on evolving news issues.
Roundtable alumni include Face the Nation host John Dickerson, talk radio host Hugh Hewitt, Fox News host Brian Kilmead, and editorial page editor at the Washington Post Fred Hyatt.
In addition to hosting high-profile attendees, Hoover’s media relations team looks for promising journalists in the early stages of their careers who are likely to make use of new sources and maintain a relationship with Hoover as they move up in their field. “We’re always looking for next Tim Russert,” said Jenny Mayfield, Hoover’s director of media relations, in a discussion of the program.
Hoover’s most recent Media Roundtable, in August 2016, attracted twenty-four reporters from outlets including the Atlantic, the Economist, Forbes, the Guardian, NBC, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. Important focus areas included the Blueprint for America project and global diplomacy and national security issues.
Roundtables often directly produce exposure for Hoover research. Executive producer of CBS’s Face the Nation Mary Hager, for example, scheduled three appearances for Hoover fellows after participating in the August roundtable, including a segment featuring Davies Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow general Jim Mattis and Research Fellow Kori Schake on their new Hoover Institution Press book Warriors and Citizens.
Participating journalists describe the program as beneficial as well. Robert Costa, a national political reporter at the Washington Post, described the program as “an opportunity for lively discussion about the pressing issues of the campaign, but also to sit back and reflect about some of the bigger themes that are coursing through the country and world.” “And especially now, in a tumultuous political era,” he said, “it makes sense to sit back and to reflect with colleagues and scholars about where America is and where America is going.”
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