This week on Q&A, our guest is Dan Balz, Chief Correspondent for The Washington Post. He answers questions from Purdue University students visiting Washington, DC for a two week seminar designed to study media and politics. Balz discusses how the newspaper business has transformed over the years he has been involved in it. He states that the actual print version of the paper is only one way The Washington Post disseminates information. He tells the students that reporters and news people are posting online, in print, and producing video in many instances on a round the clock basis. Balz likens covering presidential campaigns to getting a graduate seminar every four years on what is politically important in the country. He reveals the challenges reporters face in sorting out what’s newsworthy in a particular news cycle from what may be trivial information. He says that social media such as Twitter and Facebook are now the primary news source for anyone covering politics as a reporter. Dan Balz talks about growing up in Illinois, and his decision to pursue journalism as a profession. He discusses the upcoming presidential election and topics such as campaign financing, health care legislation, and past presidential contests.
Dan Balz has been a correspondent for The Washington Post since 1978 where served as National Editor, Political Editor, and White House correspondent prior to becoming Chief Correspondent. He has co-authored two books and is currently working on his third. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in communications from the University of Illinois. He was in the U.S. Army from 1968 through 1971. He is married and lives in Washington, DC.