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Technology & Innovation

A Portrait of Rachel Maddow

With a Rhodes scholarship and Ph.D. in political science from Oxford, Rachel Maddow may be the brainiest TV news host yet to defend opinion-based journalism.

This week, hundreds crammed into the Harvard Kennedy School to hear her [Rachel Maddow] deliver the annual lecture on press and politics—at a time when, as she put it, newsrooms were facing a financial apocalypse—and journalists have replaced lawyers as the public’s hate figures of choice. Her basic thesis was this: TV news can have a future. It can even make money. But it’s those who voice their opinions over the air who are pulling in the ratings. Political conflict, electioneering, the thrills of the campaign: that seems to be what viewers love to watch, especially if the presenter is telling them exactly what they want to hear.


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