Middle School Assembly: Q&A with New York Times Political Reporter Matt Stevens

Events · October 30, 2020
Middle School

On October 26th, just over a week prior to the 2020 United States Presidential election, students in 5th-8th Grade attended an assembly with special guest speaker, Matt Stevens, political reporter for The New York Times. Mr. Stevens has been covering the news and developments throughout the election season and gave our students valuable insight into the world of journalism.

In their Individuals & Societies classes, 6th, 7th, and 8th Graders prepared to lead the conversation. The students came with thoughtful questions to learn more about Mr. Stevens’ role and experiences as a political reporter. They were particularly interested to hear from him about his work leading up to the election during this unprecedented time in our nation’s history.

Questions from Middle School students included:

Mr. Stevens spoke about the nuances and processes of unbiased and objective reporting. He shared that journalists from The New York Times have been trained to decipher, collect, and report on the facts in articles so that the public can develop their own opinions based on the information that journalists discover. He also discussed the importance of empathy, flexibility, transparency, and integrity within journalism. From this conversation, students gained a deeper understanding of the complexities of political reporting and journalism.

“In this very difficult election season, it was heartening to see students from different grades, different backgrounds, and different languages come together to learn and grow together as they discussed notions of fact, research, and honesty. The assembly was a prime example of what our nation and the world can be when people come together with respect and with open minds, and if they commit to being what ISB is — a community.”

-Richard Brownstone, Director of Middle School

Students left feeling energized and intrigued after hearing from Mr. Stevens about his firsthand experiences and his passion for this work. Mr. Stevens was also impressed by our students’ curiosity and pursuit of the truth, encouraging them all to become political reporters themselves one day!