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Other Players in the Game: Who Makes a Difference --- For Better or Worse?

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The second panel of "An Era of Polarized Politics -- and Does it Matter?" Introduction by Mary G. Wilson, President of the LWVUS. Panelists include Terence Smith, Former Media Correspondent, The News Hour, PBS and Allison Fine, Author and Senior Associate, DEMOS.

Panelist Bios:

Allison Fine, Author and Senior Associate, DEMOS
Allison Fine is a successful social entrepreneur and writer dedicated to helping grassroots organizations and activists successfully implement social change efforts. Momentum:  Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age, the winner of the Terry McAdams National Book Award, was published in 2006 by Wiley & Sons. As a senior fellow on the Democracy Team at Demos: A Network for Change and Action in New York City, Allison researches and writes about the future of social change and civic engagement in this new digital age. 

Ms. Fine’s articles have been published in the Boston Globe, San Jose Mercury Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. She is also a frequent contributor to Huffington Post, Personal Democracy Forum, Alternet and the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

She served as the C.E.O. of The E-Volve Foundation in 2004-2005, and was the Founder and Executive Director of Innovation Network, Inc. from 1992-2004.  Ms. Fine currently serves on the board of directors of Just Vision, a nonprofit organization that increases awareness about Palestinian and Israeli non-violent, civilian-led efforts to build a base for peace in the Middle East.

Ms. Fine has a Masters in public administration from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Vanderbilt University. From 1987-1989, Ms. Fine served as an elected trustee of the Village of Sleepy Hollow, NY and was appointed the Fire and Police Commissioner.

Terence Smith, Former Media Correspondent, The News Hour, PBS
Terence Smith is an award-winning journalist who has been a political reporter, foreign correspondent, editor and television analyst over the course of a four-decade career. Smith began his career covering local politics at the Stamford (CT) Advocate. Moving on to The New York Herald Tribune, his coverage of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s campaign for the United States Senate in New York attracted attention and propelled him to a job at The New York Times. He spent 20 years with The Times, including eight years abroad in the Middle East and Far East, covering four wars, peace negotiations and the day-to-day lives of people in more than 40 countries.

Mr. Smith’s coverage earned two Pulitzer Prize nominations and numerous other awards. He won the Times’ Publisher’s Prize for outstanding writing 22 times. He also served as Assistant Foreign Editor and Deputy Metropolitan Editor in New York. In the paper’s Washington bureau, he served as diplomatic correspondent and chief White House correspondent before founding and editing the popular Washington Talk page.

In 1985, Mr. Smith joined CBS News in Washington, covering the Reagan White House and for nine years, reporting the cover stories for CBS Sunday Morning. He earned two Emmys for his work on the broadcast “48 Hours,” and shared in the George Foster Peabody Award for general excellence given to the staff of CBS Sunday Morning.  

In 1998, Mr. Smith turned to public television, founding and leading the media unit at The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. As senior producer and media correspondent, he broadcast 110 in-depth tape reports and anchored some 250 studio discussions on media issues. In the course of seven years, Mr. Smith and his unit won 18 national awards and honors for media criticism and analysis. He is a frequent guest host for The Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio. He speaks, writes and broadcasts on national politics, international affairs and environmental issues involving the Chesapeake Bay and ocean policies.