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The George Polk Awards: Covering the Trump Presidency

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The George Polk Awards: Covering the Trump Presidency

  • LIU Brooklyn, Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts 1 University Plaza, Flatbush Avenue (between DeKalb Avenue and Willoughby Street) Brooklyn, NY, 11201 United States (map)

The 2016 presidential election made way for the comeback of investigative journalism in our ultra-fast media landscape. With an administration that has said they are going to remake how Washington works, numerous media organizations, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Fusion and BuzzFeed, have formed new investigative teams or renewed their investments in existing teams. Hear from George Polk Award winners about reporting on the Trump presidency. RSVP

David Fahrenthold, Reporter, The Washington Post


David A. Fahrenthold covers the 2016 presidential campaign for The Washington Post. He has been at the Post since 2000, and previously covered Congress, the federal bureaucracy, the environment, and the D.C. police.

Twitter: @Fahrenthold

Alec MacGillis, Reporter, ProPublica


Alec MacGillis covers politics and government for ProPublica. MacGillis previously spent three years writing for The New Republic and five years as a national reporter for The Washington Post, where he was part of the team whose coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. He was also a metro reporter for five years at the Baltimore Sun, where he and collaborators were Pulitzer finalists for their coverage of the Beltway sniper. He won the 2016 Robin Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic and New York Times Magazine.  A resident of Baltimore, MacGillis is also the author of "The Cynic," a 2014 biography of Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Twitter: @AlecMacGillis

Marina Walker Guevara, Deputy Director,  International Consortium of Investigative Journalists


Marina Walker Guevara is ICIJ’s deputy director. A native of Argentina, she has reported from a half-dozen countries and her investigations have won and shared more than 25 national and international awards, including honors from Long Island University’s George Polk Awards, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Overseas Press Club, the Society of Professional Journalists and the European Commission.

Over a 20-year career, she has written about environmental degradation by mining companies; the global offshore economy, and the illicit tobacco trade, among other topics. Recently, she co-managed the Panama Papers investigation, one of the biggest leaks in journalistic history, which involved more than 370 reporters in 76 countries. Her stories have appeared in various international media including The Miami Herald, The Washington Post, Le Monde and the BBC. She graduated magna cum laude from Universidad Nacional de Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina, with a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences, and earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.

Twitter: @MarinaWalkerG

Moderator: Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Journalist and Author


Charlayne Hunter-Gault is an award-winning journalist with more than 50 years in the industry, extending her work at various times to all media.

She is the author of four books—the latest an e book, called Corrective Rape, which details the devastating way some men in South Africa attempt to “correct” gay women’s sexual identity; To the Mountaintop: My Journey Through the Civil Rights Movement,” is a historical narrative for young readers grade nine and up ,published by The New York Times and Roaring Brook Press. Her other two books are, New News Out of Africa: Uncovering the African Renaissance, Oxford University Press and In My Place, a memoir of the Civil Rights Movement, fashioned around her experiences as the first black woman to attend the University of Georgia, in 1961, now a Vintage Press paperback.

In 2005, she returned to NPR as a Special Correspondent after six years as CNN's Johannesburg bureau chief and correspondent. She joined CNN in April 1999 from National Public Radio, where she worked as the network's chief correspondent in Africa and was awarded a Peabody in 1998 for her coverage of the continent.

Hunter-Gault worked for 20 years with the PBS NewsHour, alternately as substitute anchor and national, as well as international correspondent . And she has now returned to the NewsHour as Special Correspondent, doing an unprecedented year long series called Race Matters, focusing on solutions to American’s enduring race problem.

She began her journalism career as a reporter for The New Yorker, to which she still contributes; she then worked as a local news anchor for WRC-TV in Washington, D.C later as the Harlem bureau chief for The New York Times. Her numerous honors include a New York Times Publisher's award for a story she worked on detailing the life of the youngest victim of a heroin overdose in 1970. Hunter-Gault also has won two Emmy awards and two Peabody awards—the first for her work on Apartheid's People, a NewsHour series about South African life during apartheid; the second for her work in Africa for NPR, in which, according to the Peabody citation, she "demonstrated a talent for ennobling her subjects, and revealed a depth of understanding of the African experience that was unrivaled in Western media." Over the years, Hunter-Gault has been the recipient of numerous other awards for her work and in August, 2005, she was inducted in the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame. In 2014, she received Black Enterprises Legacy Award. In 2015 , she was honored with the Washington Press Club Foundation's Life Time Achievement Award and that same year was also inducted into the Atlanta Press Club's Hall of Fame.

Hunter-Gault is a sought after public speaker, holds some three dozen honorary degrees and is on the board of The Committee to Protect Journalists. She is married to businessman Ronald T. Gault, with whom she produces Passages--four South African Wine varietals. And she has two adult children, Suesan, an artist and singer and Chuma, an actor.

Twitter: @CharlayneHG