NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik ’91 has been named the 2023-24 Zubrow Distinguished Visiting Journalist in the College of Arts and Sciences. The program brings accomplished journalists to Cornell each year to interact with the campus community.
Folkenflik’s stories and analyses are broadcast on multiple NPR programs, including All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Here & Now, and are featured on NPR’s website and mobile platforms. His wide-ranging coverage focuses on the intersection of media and politics, evolving ethical standards of journalism, influence of the press on popular culture, and broader structural, technical and economic shifts within the news industry.
“David’s deep understanding of the intricate media landscape will bring an important perspective to campus during this ‘Freedom of Expression’ theme year,” said Rachel Bean, interim dean of A&S and Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Astronomy. “We’re very much looking forward to exploring critical questions with him and are grateful that the Zubrow visiting journalist program gives the campus community the opportunity to benefit from his insight.”
Folkenflik will meet with faculty, students and staff and participate in public events while on campus during multiple visits over the academic year. His first visit will be Nov. 13-15.
“I’m eager to engage with Cornell’s students, scholars and broader community about the press and the role it serves in contemporary society,” Folkenflik said. “I intend to explore questions of freedom of expression, threats to independent journalism, and how it has responded, for good and ill, to challenges to long-standing democratic norms. I also hope to share the joy of reporting and journalism and talk about the profession and its craft more broadly. Above all, I’m looking forward to being back on campus to steep myself in the wisdom and warmth of the Cornell community.”
Folkenflik’s writing has appeared in publications including the Washington Post, Politico Magazine and Newsweek International. He is also the author of “Murdoch's World: The Last of the Old Media Empires” and editor of “Page One: Inside the New York Times and the Future of Journalism.” He was named one of the 50 most influential people in American media by Business Insider.
At Cornell, Folkenflik served as editor-in-chief at the Cornell Daily Sun. After graduating with a B.A. in history as a College Scholar, he worked at the Durham Herald-Sun in North Carolina. He then spent more than a decade at the Baltimore Sun covering higher education, national politics and the media before joining NPR in 2004, where among his roles he served as host of On Point.
A five-time winner of the Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism from the National Press Club, Folkenflik has received numerous other recognitions, including the inaugural 2002 Mongerson Award for Investigative Reporting on the News, the Edward Willis Scripps Award For Distinguished Service to the First Amendment from the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Ethics in Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Bart Richards Award for Media Criticism from Penn State University. In 2005-06, Folkenflik served as the inaugural Irik Sevin Fellow at Cornell.
Previous Distinguished Visiting Fellows include Marc Lacey ’87, then national desk editor and now managing editor for The New York Times; Molly O’Toole ’09, an immigration and security reporter with the Los Angeles Times; Natalie Wolchover, senior science editor/writer for Quanta Magazine; Ann Simmons, Moscow bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal; and most recently, Andrew Morse ’96, president and publisher of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Distinguished Visiting Journalist program is funded through a significant endowment from Jan Rock Zubrow ’77 and Barry Zubrow, as well as additional philanthropic support from Carol MacCorkle ’64, Jay Branegan ’72, Rose Gutfeld Edwards ’78 and the Dr. Guinevere Griest ’44 Fund for Public Engagement in A&S.