DU Alumni

Time editor David Von Drehle will cover debate at his alma mater

David Von Drehle will speak at the University Oct. 4 as part of the Debate Event Series. Visit debate2012.du.edu for more information on upcoming speakers and events.

David Von Drehle has covered a lot of presidential debates. But this year will be a first for the longtime political reporter and Time magazine editor-at-large—covering a debate at his old stomping grounds.

“It’s very exciting,” says Von Drehle (BA ’83), who began working at Time in 2006, after 15 years at The Washington Post. “It’s a great way to get students excited about the election; it’s a great way to let people in the press and those in politics get a sense of campus.”

Von Drehle will rehash the political sparring match—and discuss election issues and the state of journalism today—during his on-campus lecture Oct. 4, the day after the debate at DU.

These are subjects about which the seasoned journalist has plenty to say.

On who will be the next president: “The public’s in a sour mood,” he explains. “It doesn’t feel like a year when the public will really fall in love with a candidate. It’s going to be tight.”

And the media still have a place in politics, he says, despite the proliferation of other communication methods.

“In some ways, the influence of the media is waning, because [with social media] there are so many ways for campaigns to go at voters directly. But in other ways, we are even more important to the campaign because we’re trying to bring some sort of coherent piece to all this noise.”

Von Drehle often is one of the first to sort out the babble. His stories (which include an explanation of the recent Supreme Court ruling on health care and profiles of everyone from Obama to commentator and talk show host Glenn Beck) often grace the cover of Time. He also has penned a few books, including the 2003 bestseller Triangle: The Fire That Changed America (Grove Press).

Not bad for a guy who says he fell short of his “dream in life” to work for Sports Illustrated. After being bitten by the writing bug at DU (he was editor-in-chief of the Clarion), he went on to work as a sportswriter at The Denver Post before he was urged to “try out” writing hard news at The Miami Herald. “I did that and never looked back,” he says.

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