ProPublica reporter to speak on politics, media and prosperity gap


Alec MacGillis, political reporter for ProPublica and a 2011 Knight-Wallace Fellow, will deliver the 32nd Graham Hovey Lecture at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Wallace House Gardens.

The lecture, “Piercing the Bubble: Politics, Media and America’s Prosperity Gap,” will address income inequality in the United States and the perilous implications of winner-take-all cities and left-behind places.

His reporting and analysis of blue-collar voters in the 2016 presidential election earned him the 2017 Polk Award for National Reporting and the 2017 Scripps-Howard Award. He also received the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting. MacGillis is the author of “The Cynic,” a biography of Sen. Mitch McConnell.

MacGillis was previously a senior editor at The New Republic and a national reporter for The Washington Post. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic and The New York Times Magazine.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in history and English from Yale University. As a Knight-Wallace Fellow in 2010-11, MacGillis studied income inequality. His subsequent reporting examined the culprits and costs of this issue with stories ranging from the influence of corporations on public policy to the disruption of Democratic Party strongholds.

The annual lecture recognizes a Knight-Wallace journalist whose career exemplifies the benefits of a fellowship at the University of Michigan and whose ensuing work is at the forefront of national conversation. The event is named for the late Graham Hovey, director of the fellowship program from 1980-86 and a distinguished journalist for The New York Times.

The Hovey Lecture is free and open to the public. It is hosted by Lynette Clemetson, the Charles R. Eisendrath Director of Wallace House. A reception follows the lecture.

A live webcast will be available at Video will be posted after the event.

Michigan Radio is a co-sponsor of the event.

Wallace House is located at 620 Oxford Road, across the street from Oxford Housing. For more information and to RSVP, call 734-998-7666 or email


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