Congressional Correspondent, The New York Times
What Now: Congressional correspondent for The New York Times
What Next: Hopefully many more long nights in a newsroom, any newsroom.
Follow Me: @npfandos (Twitter)
I knew I wanted to be a journalist before I ever decided to concentrate in History & Literature. Now, I can’t imagine my career covering politics in the age of Trump without it. It’s not that I used my seminars and tutorials in the America field to closely study politics, though my academic writing on the sculptor Ruth Asawa and urban renewal in my hometown of St. Louis did intersect with it. What quickly became clear as I joined The New York Times as an intern after graduating and then gradually worked my way onto the reporting staff was that the specific subjects I studied were far less important than how I studied them. History & Literature opened up my definitions of what counts as a text and who counts in history, sharpened my ability to weave an argument or analysis into a narrative with clarity and concision, and handed me a set of powerful analytical tools to read deep below the surface. Whether defanging political rhetoric or learning how to read the subtleties of political text on deadline or making sense of the rise of Trump, not a story goes by that I don’t lean on those skills. And then there was the overarching lesson of Hist & Lit, perhaps the whole point of study as I see it, that I try to keep in mind each time I interview a voter or an elected official: the world will always be more complicated than the stories we try to frame it in.
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