Middlebury

Wall Street Journal editor speaks April 13 on financial crisis and the media

April 7, 2009

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? On Monday, April 13, at 4:30 p.m., David Wessel, economics editor at the Wall Street Journal, will give a talk titled "Blogs, Billions and Bailouts: Is the Press Up to Covering The Financial Crisis?" The event, which is the annual Robert W. van de Velde Jr. '75 Memorial Lecture, will take place in Dana Auditorium, located in Sunderland Language Center on College Street (Route 125), and is free and open to the public.

A 20-year veteran of Washington economic journalism, Wessel will reflect on how the press has covered - and continues to cover - the economic bust and the government's response to it. He will also explore how business pressures and changed technology affect the practice of journalism at a moment like this.

Wessel, 55, writes the "Capital" column, a weekly look at the economy and other forces shaping living standards around the world. He also appears frequently on National Public Radio and the public television program "Washington Week." He is currently working on a book about how Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has handled the past year, to be published by Crown next year.

Wessel joined The Wall Street Journal in 1984 in Boston, and moved to Washington in 1987, where he was deputy bureau chief until assuming his current job in September 2007. In 1999 and 2000, he served as the newspaper's Berlin bureau chief.

He has shared two Pulitzer Prizes, one for Boston Globe stories in 1983 on the persistence of racism in Boston and another for stories in The Wall Street Journal in 2002 on corporate wrongdoing. In addition to the Boston Globe, he previously worked for the Hartford Courant and Middletown (Conn.) Press. A 1975 graduate of Haverford College, he was Knight Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism at Columbia University in 1980-1981. He is the father of Ben Wessel, a member of the class of 2011 at Middlebury College.

The annual Robert W. van de Velde Jr. '75 Memorial Lecture was established in 1981 by van de Velde's parents, R.W. and Barbara van de Velde; his widow, Diana Mooney van de Velde; and other family members and friends. The lecture series provides an annual talk on the confluence of public affairs - both foreign and domestic - and journalism, particularly broadcast journalism. Previous speakers in the series have included New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, former Gov. of Vermont Madeleine Kunin, personal finance columnist and author Jane Bryant Quinn of the class of 1960, Pulitzer Prize-winner David Moats, former Associated Press Montpelier Bureau Chief Christopher Graff of the class of 1975, Pulitzer Prize-winner Walter Mears of the class of 1956, New York Times Managing Editor Jill Abramson, and NPR "Living on Earth" host Steve Curwood.

For more information, please contact Madeleine Winterfalcon at 802-443-2007.

-- end --