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Q&A: Alexandra (A.B.) Stoddard '89 discusses Washington politics

A.B. Stoddard '89
A.B. Stoddard '89

Alexandra Brandon "A.B." Stoddard '89 is an associate editor and columnist for The Hill newspaper. A.B. has also worked at ABC News and is a regular guest on MSNBC, CNN and Fox News. Recently, sophomore Jordan Thomas caught up with her during her busiest time of the year - the last few weeks leading up to the presidential election.

Connecticut College (CC): How do you approach your job as a political analyst?

Alexandra Brandon Stoddard (A.B.): Since I am now doing commentary, column writing, and blogging, my approach is quite different than it was when I was reporting. I still talk to sources, still ask questions, but am mostly offering my analysis. My days are spent reading, writing and talking - on radio, television or in web videos.

CC: What value does your liberal arts education have in your fast-paced career today?

A.B.: I took creative writing courses, a philosophy course and one anthropology course in particular that stay with me to this day. I would recommend that anyone put all of their energy into getting a broad, liberal arts education like the terrific one I received at Connecticut College. We should always be open to changing our minds at any point and trying something new. An education should offer as much exposure as possible.

CC: You wrote for The College Voice at the College. How did this help?

A.B.: Experience on a newspaper in high school or in college is invaluable. The more newsrooms you can spend time in, more reporters and editors you can spend time with, more stories you can write, will all help not only to teach you the craft, but teach you where your talents and interests lie so you can learn what kind of journalist you should be.

CC: How does your experience with live political commentary differ from your written commentary?

A.B.: I get to finish a complete thought or argument and back it up more solidly in writing. Political commentary moves quickly - for a reason - and you always leave feeling you could have made your point better with more time.

CC: In today's politically-charged climate, how do you address the challenges of bipartisan journalism?

A.B.: I write for a non-partisan newspaper and am a non-partisan analyst. I am never playing booster, but am always analyzing which side won or lost the day, the argument or the campaign - and why. I believe with so much partisan journalism my job is to hold both parties accountable.

October 16, 2012