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NBC, MSNBC's Howard Fineman to Give Creason Lecture April 16

headshot photo of Howard Fineman reporting on TV
Journalist and NBC and MSNBC commentator Howard Fineman will deliver the 2019 Joe Creason Lecture on April 16.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 12, 2019) — One of the nation’s leading political journalists and commentators will deliver the 42nd Joe Creason Lecture in Journalism at the University of Kentucky on the evening of Tuesday, April 16.

Howard Fineman is a commentator for NBC and MSNBC and author of "The Thirteen American Arguments," a book about longstanding political issues in the United States. He has been global editorial director for the Huffington Post and chief political correspondent, senior editor and deputy Washington bureau chief for Newsweek magazine.​

Fineman will be filling in for Peter Baker, chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, who is unable to attend because of news developments in Washington.​

Fineman will deliver the address 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, in the UK Athletics Auditorium of the William T. Young Library. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The lecture is named for UK journalism alumnus Joe Creason, who earned the high regard of Kentuckians as a feature writer and columnist for the Louisville Courier Journal. The newspaper, then owned by the Bingham family, endowed the lecture series after Creason’s sudden death in 1974.

Each year, the UK School of Journalism and Media invites a prominent journalist to deliver the Creason Lecture and speak on issues of the day, including those involving journalism.

Howard Fineman also worked for the Courier Journal, and knew Joe Creason. Fineman was with the CJ from 1973 to 1980, beginning on the city desk, followed by stints as the paper’s statewide environmental and energy reporter and finishing with nearly two years in the Washington bureau. His coverage of the United Mine Workers' record 111-day strike in 1977-78 was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in national reporting. He has a law degree from the University of Louisville.

"In Howard Fineman we have one of America’s most knowledgeable political journalists," said Al Cross, director of the journalism school’s Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues and a longtime political commentator and former CJ political writer. "He is a reporter, editor and scholar whose wit and insights make him an entertaining and illuminating speaker, and we are very happy he was able to be our lecturer on short notice."

Fineman regularly covers elections and has reported on 49 of the 50 states. He has vast ground-level knowledge of the nation and an encyclopedic knowledge of the entire country’s electoral politics. He has covered seven presidents and reported in personal depth on the five most recent. He has known President Donald J. Trump for many years. He interviewed and covered him during the campaign, and has reported and written extensively about his White House.

Fineman has lectured at more than 40 colleges and universities, and is a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania. "His senior roles in digital media, broadcast television, cable television, magazines, books, newspapers, podcasts, social media and political comedy make him well-positioned to discuss the political landscape and the rise of digital media with our students, faculty and the general public," Cross said. "We are looking forward to a fine lecture and an enlightening discussion."

The School of Journalism and Media is part of UK’s College of Communication and Information.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion two years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The Chronicle of Higher Education judged us a “Great College to Work for," and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for three straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.