Media, Politics, and Public Discourse: Rebuilding Trust in the Digital Age

For the annual Lowell Lecture, Ann Compton, a former ABC News journalist and member of the White House Press Corps, will explore the intersections of media, politics, and public discourse in America today.

Ann Compton

Ann Compton

Reflecting on her 41-year career, Compton will discuss the responsibility the media has to reconnect and engage with everyday Americans. How can the media overcome the hurdles of rampant fake news, fractured news consumption, and general disdain? Compton will go back to the basics, calling on her colleagues to approach each story with scrutiny, clarity, judgment, and honesty.

In her years as a broadcast journalist, Compton covered some of America’s most striking moments in history. As a member of the White House Press Corps, she was the only broadcast journalist allowed to remain on Air Force One immediately following the 9/11 attacks. Her career at ABC News spanned seven presidents and 10 presidential campaigns. She anchored and reported from the White House, Capitol Hill, and presidential trips to all 50 states and six continents.

Compton was the first woman assigned to cover the White House for network television. She is a former president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. In 2016, Compton completed a fellowship at Harvard's Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government, focusing on media coverage of the 2016 campaign.

The Lowell Lecture is a free annual event co-sponsored by Harvard Extension School and the Lowell Institute of Boston. Since 1980, the Lowell Lecture has served the Cambridge community with a platform to discuss the major issues of our time.

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