CNN political reporter, Husker alum Zeleny to deliver Hoagland Lecture

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CNN political reporter, Husker alum Zeleny to deliver Hoagland Lecture

Jeff Zeleny
Jeff Zeleny

What was it like to cover a presidential election with such a surprise ending? And how do reporters cover a president who consistently derides their profession?

Jeff Zeleny, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln alumnus and senior White House correspondent at CNN, will give insight into these questions when he delivers the Peter J. Hoagland Integrity in Public Service Lecture. The free, public lecture, “Exercising the First Amendment: Covering the Trump Campaign and White House,” is 6 p.m. Oct. 5 in the auditorium of the Sheldon Museum of Art, 451 N. 12th St.

Opening comments will be given by G. Michael Fenner, professor of constitutional law at Creighton University.

Zeleny, an Exeter native, covers President Donald Trump and his administration. Before joining CNN in 2015, Zeleny was senior Washington correspondent for ABC News.

This is the third consecutive presidency Zeleny has covered, traveling across the country and the world with candidates and then presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The 2016 campaign – from its early days of the primaries through the general election contest between Trump and Hillary Clinton – was his fifth presidential election.

As the national political correspondent for The New York Times, he covered the 2012 presidential election and Obama’s 2008 campaign to the White House. He also covered the first two years of the Obama administration as a White House correspondent and previously covered Congress for the Times.

Zeleny started his political reporting career at the Chicago Tribune, covering the 2004 presidential campaign and first term of the Bush administration. He joined the Tribune in 2000 as a reporter on the Metropolitan desk in Chicago, where he was a member of the reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize in explanatory journalism for documenting gridlock in the nation’s air traffic system. Zeleny began his journalism career at the Des Moines Register.

The Hoagland lecture series honors former Nebraska state senator and three-term Congressman Peter Hoagland, who died in 2007. In the state legislature, Hoagland was known for his work on legislation supporting environmental causes and was a champion of education and preserving the quality of Nebraska’s groundwater supply. Hoagland also served as chairman of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee and worked to toughen drunken driving laws.

Hoagland’s friend and former chief of staff, Jim Crounse, created the lecture series in 2008 with a gift to the University of Nebraska Foundation. The goal of the series is to inspire young people to dedicate themselves to public service. Hoagland cared deeply about public service and giving the next generation opportunities to participate in public service and to see the good that can come of it.

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