Finding Common Ground on Facts, Fake News & The Media


Common Ground Committee, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering civil public discourse in politics, was honored to partner with the Columbia University School of Journalism to welcome New York Times correspondent Maggie Haberman and Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace to a public forum on the role we all play in moving forward through today’s explosive era of modern journalism. These two prominent political journalists were able to find many areas of common ground, including these key takeaways:

  1. Donald Trump is making a concerted effort to delegitimize and attack the media, but journalists should not respond with attacks in kind.
  2. The public should recognize that Fox News isn’t the only news outlet with a point of view.
  3. Most news consumers can tell the difference between opinion and news.
  4. Twitter is ultimately just noise and clutter.
  5. The collapse of local news has substantial, long-term effects that reach beyond politics.
  6.  It’s important for the public to read opinions they don’t agree with and consume news in a holistic way from varied sources.

In this time of divisive politics and highly contested elections, Ms. Haberman and Mr. Wallace’s thoughtful and respectful discussion offered both a model for civil discourse, and inspiration to continue pushing for reporting that puts facts before rhetoric.

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Maggie Haberman

Maggie Haberman, New York Times White House correspondent and CNN political analyst, is one of the most respected and influential voices in national affairs journalism today. A seasoned veteran of political reporting, she covered City Hall for the New York Daily News, the 2008 U.S. Presidential campaign and other political races for the New York Post, as well as national affairs as a senior reporter for Politico. In 2018, Maggie and her team at the New York Times received the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for their coverage of the Trump administration and alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign.

Chris Wallace

Chris Wallace, the host of Fox News Sunday, is one of the country’s most prominent political journalists. Over his decades-long career, he reported from the ABC News desk as a senior correspondent for Primetime and 20/20, and as an anchor on NBC News’ Meet the Press. Chris has won every major broadcast news award, including three Emmys. In 2016, he earned praise from both sides of the aisle for his sterling performance moderating the final presidential debate between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. In 2019, Chris was nominated for an Emmy for Best Live Interview for his interview of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Linda Feldmann

Linda Feldmann is The Christian Science Monitor’s Washington Bureau Chief, host of the Monitor Breakfast, and senior political and White House correspondent. She has covered every presidential election since 1996. Previous positions at the Monitor include Moscow Bureau Chief, op-ed editor, foreign-affairs writer, and assistant international news editor. In 2016, she was elected to the Gridiron Club. Since 2015, she has been a delegate to the Dartmouth Conference, a US-Russian citizens’ diplomacy initiative. In 1999, she won an Exceptional Merit Media Award from the National Women’s Political Caucus.

About Common Ground Committee

Common Ground Committee (CGC) ( is a nonpartisan, citizen-led organization that inspires action on polarizing issues by bringing prominent leaders with opposing views together in public forums to find common ground. Since its founding in 2009, CGC has held 14 forums featuring panelists who have reached over 200 points of consensus. Panelists have included such notables as David Petraeus, Susan Rice, John Kerry, Condoleezza Rice, Michael Steele, Donna Brazile and Larry Kudlow, exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to foreign policy. CGC is also responsible for the “Let’s Find Common Ground” podcast and the Common Ground Scorecard, which scores politicians and candidates for public office on their likelihood to find common ground with the opposite party. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public discourse.


Columbia Journalism School is one of the leading journalism schools in the world, established in 1912. Its rigorous programs cover the bedrock values of journalistic excellence, ethics, inquiry and professional practices. The Journalism School administers several prestigious awards that uphold the standards of media excellence, a tradition founder Joseph Pulitzer began when he endowed the Pulitzer Prizes at Columbia in 1917.

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