Posts Tagged alumni

Election Aftermath: Why Should I Believe What I See on the News?

Last Friday, Marin Porges, A82, came back to the hill to discuss news coverage of the 2012 election with students. Porges has more than 25 years of experience in journalism and is currently a senior producer of news standards and practices at NBC News and previously worked at ABC News. She was the 2012 recipient of the Tufts P.T. Barnum Award for Excellence in Entertainment.

Marin Porges discussing election night coverage with students

Porges began her discussion by describing her experience in journalism and her current role as senior producer of news standards and practices. She specifically detailed how her role took a part in the 2012 election: for the first time in her career, Porges took a seat at the “Decision Desk,” an secluded area where only senior producers and political science statisticians deal with data coming in from each state. Her job as senior producer was to approve the conclusions the statisticians came to from the data for reporting, a job she described as scary. Throughout her discussion, Porges stressed that it’s “better to be right than first,” even though NBC was the first network to call Obama’s victory on election night at 11:12pm.

Porges also made attendees aware of journalistic and ethical standards and processes. For example, she discussed how NBC makes sure to include the context of any piece of news they report that was given to them by any political party or candidate in order to have complete control of the messages they are sending to their audience. This, Porges stressed, keeps audiences informed and trusting the network since, “once our viewers don’t trust us, we’ve lost it all.”

Porges also taught her audience that every news organization uses the same exit polls. Since these news organizations don’t have enough money to each have an exit poll, they pool their resources. She also discussed that a special group at NBC reports and checks voting irregularities. She went into detail about the things that complicate election coverage like early voting. By election night, 50%+ of the battle ground states will have already voted so the exit polls aren’t as reliable as they used to be. In order to solve this problem, news stations have resorted to new tactics like calling voters in battle ground states to add to their exit poll data.

Another complication for Porges and her team is social media. Today her journalists have to be trained on everything: camera work, editing, writing, and this has made their work “a lot easier and a lot harder.” In the past, journalists could get help from experts on their team, but today, there is no time to fully train journalists one-on-one on the skills they must know. Also, on election night, journalists are given sensitive material, which they must not disseminate through their social media channels prior to the news being reported as stated by NBC policy. Yet during this election, NBC dealt with two instances of people on their team tweeting information before it was reported. Porges advised students to be careful of their social media presence claiming that, “It’ll come back to haunt you,” and asking them to check the social media policies of the news organization they work for and to make sure students don’t send anything on email that they wouldn’t want to be public.

The discussion ended with a Q&A session and the chance for students to meet and network with Porges.



, , , ,

No Comments

Lyon & Bendheim Alumni Lecture: Robin Liss, A06

Robin Liss, A06, founder of, delivered the most recent installment of the Lyon & Bendheim Alumni Lecture Series on Nov. 14, 2011.

1 Comment

Television Reporting on Environmental Topics: Endangered?

At a ENVS Lunch & Learn on Oct. 6, Anthony Everett, A83, Emmy Award-winning anchor of WCVB-TV Channel 5″s nightly newsmagazine, “Chronicle,” looked at the changes in environmental coverage on the major broadcast networks. See more details on the event and check out our live-tweet archive below:

[View the story “Television Reporting on Environmental Topics: Endangered?” on Storify]

The event was sponsored by the Environmental Studies program. Check out the schedule of upcoming Lunch and Learn events.


No Comments

Eat Your Way to Better Health

On Wednesday, April 20, Tufts Dining welcomed nutrition expert and author Keri Glassman, A95, for dinner and a talk on how to “Eat Your Way to Better Health.” (Earlier in the day, she also spoke at the Friedman School.)

If you missed her talk, we’ve got the recap here.

, , ,

1 Comment

Simon Rosenberg, A85, on Social Media

Simon Rosenberg, A85, founder and president of New Democrat Network (NDN), discussed the importance of social media at Tisch College’s 10 year anniversary celebration on Apr. 9.

, , ,

No Comments

The Innovation Revolution

On Apr. 14, the Center for International Environment & Resource Policy’s Energy, Climate, and Innovation Program welcomed Dr. Lakshmi Karan, MALD ’00 and Ph.D. ‘09, to deliver a talk on social entrepreneurship and innovation titled “The Innovation Revolution: How Social Entrepreneurs are Challenging the Status Quo to Address the World’s Most Pressing Problems.”

Dr. Karan’s presentation offered insight into this movement and offered examples from around the world of innovators, who have different business models, growth strategies and financing mechanisms, but share one common objective: to deliver high quality, sustainable impact.

Dr. Karan serves as Director of Global Strategy at Riders for Health, a social enterprise that delivers health services to over 10 million people in sub-Saharan Africa.


1 Comment

Policy and Advocacy

On Saturday April 9, Tisch College hosted a day-long celebration of The Active Civic Roles of Tufts Alumni. The event included presentations from Tufts alumni and faculty who are leading innovators in their field, a networking lunch, panel discussions and an opportunity to recognize alumni from the undergraduate and professional schools.

The panel discussion on policy and advocacy featured the following participants:
Moderator: Greg Proper, A01, managing director, Be the Change, Inc and executive director, ServiceNation


  • Christina Economos, N96, associate professor and New Balance Chair, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
  • Rachel Hoff, A04, director of external affairs, The Foreign Policy Initiative
  • Mitchell Robinson, A07, student. Northwestern University School of Law
  • Carl Sciortino, A00, Massachusetts state representative, 34th Middlesex District

, , ,

No Comments

Friends’ Author Talk by David Carroll

David Carroll, A65, naturalist-artist, author and 2006 MacArthur Fellow, delivered a Friends’/Parents Weekend Author Talk on Oct. 22, 2010 at Hirsh Reading Room, Tisch Library.

Carroll discussed his most recent book, “Following the Water: A Hydromancer’s Notebook,” which reflects observations of a year’s passage in New Hampshire’s wild wetlands & bordering uplands from thaw in late March through the freezing over at the end of November.

Read a book review by Regina Raboin, Science Librarian, Tisch Library. Learn more about Carroll from the MacArthur Foundation.

, , , ,

No Comments

Medicine at the South Pole

On March 16, the Tufts Premedical Society hosted Dr. Mark Klinker, M85, who recently served as the physician for the U.S. Antarctica Program at the South Pole. The discussion centered on following your passions in medicine.

, , , , ,


The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us About Us

On March 1, Tufts’ Environmental Studies Program hosted Sheril Kirshenbaum – research scientist, author, and 2002 Tufts alum – for a discussion of her new book “The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us.” The book draws upon evolutionary biology, classical history, psychology, popular culture, neuroscience, and the author’s own research.

Interested in learning more? You can read an excerpt of the book, a profile of Kirshenbaum from Tufts Now, and our tweets from the talk.


No Comments