Since 1991, Jonathan Alter has written a widely acclaimed Newsweek column that examines political, media, social and global issues. On Wednesday, the columnist and senior editor will be the featured speaker at the annual conference of NYSACAC that consist of nearly 700 college admission counselors and high school guidance counselors from across the state. The talk will begin at 4 p.m. on Stern Lawn and is open to the public.
Alter is also an originator and author of the weekly “Conventional Wisdom Watch, which uses up, down and sideways arrows to measure and lampoon the news. As an editor, he helps shape the magazine’s overall news coverage.
He has covered the past six presidential campaigns for the magazine and frequently interviews United States presidents and other world leaders, regularly breaks news and has authored more than 50 cover stories for the magazine. Over the years, he has written extensively about party politics, patriotism, anti-Semitism, weapons of mass destruction, at-risk children, and a wide variety of other issues.
His new book, “The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope, was published by Simon and Schuster in May 2006.
Since 1996, Alter has also been a contributing correspondent for NBC News, where he appears regularly on “TODAY, “NBC Nightly News, NBC News specials, MSNBC and CNBC.
A prize-winning journalist, Alter has earned many awards for his political columns, including a prize from the National Headliner Awards for Special Column on One Subject for a series of columns on life after 9/11. He was also part of the Newsweek team of reporters and editors who were awarded the prestigious National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 1993, 2002, 2004. He received the John Bartlow Martin Award in 2001 for his reporting on the death penalty. Alter also received the 1994 Clarion Award from Women in Communications for Best Magazine Opinion Column, and the 1993 National Headliner Award for Consistently Outstanding Feature Column.
Before joining Newsweek, Alter was an editor at The Washington Monthly. He has also been a freelance writer for such publications as The New Republic, Esquire and The New York Times.
A Chicago native, Alter received his B.A. in history with honors from Harvard in 1979. He and his wife, Emily Lazar, live in New Jersey with their children.