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Intelligent Times: Dean Baquet and Simon Schama on Trump, Politics and The Future of News

Dean Baquet, The New York Times' executive editor and the renowned historian Simon Schama examine the role of the media in today’s rapidly shifting political climate.

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Intelligent Times is a live event series collaboration between The New York Times and Intelligence Squared, bringing together leading New York Times journalists and thought leaders to discuss the key issues facing the globe today.

In the era of Brexit and Trump, and Facebook and Twitter, the truth itself often seems under attack. In such a climate, how can journalists continue to hold the powerful to account? In November 2019 Dean Baquet, The New York Times’ executive editor, was joined by historian Sir Simon Schama on the Intelligence Squared stage for an examination of the role of the media in today’s increasingly polarised politics. Baquet is the first African-American editor of the world’s most influential news organisation. Schama, as well as being a celebrated author and television presenter, is a prolific political and social commentator, writing for leading international newspapers and journals.

Baquet took us deep inside the decision-making process at The New York Times at a moment of unprecedented tension between the White House and the American press. How does he make sure his staff adhere to the rules of impartiality when they are themselves the targets of the Trump administration’s attacks? What pressure has the White House brought to bear on reporters and editors? How is The New York Times, and the press in general, coping with that pressure?

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Dean Baquet

Executive editor of The New York Times

Executive editor of The New York Times, a position he assumed in May 2014. He serves in the highest ranked position in The Times’s newsroom and oversees The New York Times news report in all its various forms. Before being named executive editor, Baquet was managing editor of The New York Times. He previously served as Washington bureau chief for the paper from March 2007 to September 2011. Baquet rejoined The New York Times after several years at the Los Angeles Times, where he was editor of the newspaper since 2005, after serving as managing editor since 2000. Baquet was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in March 1988 when he led a team of three in documenting corruption in the Chicago City Council, and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 in the investigative reporting category.

Simon Schama

Historian, author and broadcaster

University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University and a Contributing Editor of the Financial Times. He is the author of nineteen multi-awarded books, and the writer-presenter of fifty documentaries on art, history and literature for BBC2. His most recent series was Civilizations, a BBC series on world art, which was aired in 2018. His latest book, Wordy. Sounding Off on High Art, Low Appetite and the Power of Memory, was published in May 2019.


Speakers are subject to change.