University of Pittsburgh
March 15, 2012

Pitt’s Honors College to Host Five National Political Reporters in a March 22 Panel Titled “The Press and Campaign 2012”

Participating reporters represent the Associated Press, the Boston Globe, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and The Wall Street Journal
Contact:  412-624-4147


PITTSBURGH—Political reporters on the campaign trail will be making a stop at the University of Pittsburgh to share their insights in a University Honors College-sponsored panel discussion titled “The Press and Campaign 2012” at 7:30 p.m. March 22 in the O’Hara Student Center, 4024 O’Hara St., Oakland.

The five national journalists are David Espo, the Associated Press (AP); Michael Kranish, the Boston Globe; James O’Toole, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Joe Rago, The Wall Street Journal; and Karen Langley, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. David Shribman, executive editor of the Post-Gazette, will moderate.

Seating is limited for this free public event; those interested in attending must RSVP at and click the link to reserve a seat. Additional information is available at

Biographical information on the participants follows:

David Espo is an AP special correspondent as well as the AP’s chief congressional correspondent. He has covered many of the top stories of the past three decades, including every presidential election since 1980, the Republican revolution in Congress, President Clinton’s impeachment and trial, and the passage of President Obama’s health care legislation.

Espo won the Merriman Smith award for his story of election night 1992, when Bill Clinton won the White House. He also is a recipient of the Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress. In 2005, the AP awarded him a $10,000 Gramling Award, calling him a “deadline master who takes command of fast-moving stories at critical moments in history.”

Espo is a graduate of Haverford College in Haverford, Pa., and lives in Potomac, Md.

Michael Kranish is the Washington correspondent for the Boston Globe. He began his newspaper career in Florida at the Lakeland Ledger and Miami Herald. In 1984, he joined the Globe as its New England correspondent, later moving back to his hometown and to the Globe’s Washington Bureau, where he has covered national affairs and presidential campaigns for the past 20 years and serves as the bureau’s deputy chief.

Kranish has been the Globe’s congressional reporter, White House correspondent, and national political reporter, filing stories from 49 states and 25 countries. For much of his career at the Globe, Kranish reported on U.S. Senator John F. Kerry, and he worked on biographical stories during Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign that became the basis of the book John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography (PublicAffairs, 2004), coauthored by Kranish. His latest book, The Real Romney (HarperCollins, 2012), is coauthored with Boston Globe reporter Scott Helman.

James O’Toole is the politics editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and has followed politics and government for that paper for more than 25 years, including assignments covering Grant Street and the Allegheny County beat, the state capitol, and Washington, D.C. He has covered six presidential campaigns. O’Toole also reported on the crash of United Flight 93, on Sept. 11, 2001.

In 2005, the political news Web site PoliticsPA named O’Toole one of Pennsylvania’s Most Influential Reporters.

An incident in his career that O’Toole likes sharing is how, a little more than two decades ago, he had lunch with a young lawyer named Rick Santorum. At the time, he said, he assured Santorum that he had little chance of winning his campaign against former Congressman Doug Walgren. 

Joseph Rago is an editorial board member of The Wall Street Journal. His work can be seen in the Review and Outlook columns on various subjects, with a focus on health care policy and reform efforts in Washington, D.C. He previously was a senior editorial writer and joined the Journal in 2005 as an assistant editorial features editor. Rago won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing.

Rago was a 2010 media fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Rago earned a degree there in American history in 2005 and was editor in chief of the Dartmouth Review.

Karen Langley is a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter covering state government and politics in Harrisburg. Prior to joining the Post-Gazette, Langley worked for the Concord Monitor. She covered the 2012 New Hampshire presidential primary for the Monitor, reporting on the Republican race with a focus Mitt Romney’s campaign.

Langley started her career at the Monitor as a regional reporter, covered education at the local and state levels, and moved to the State House beat, where she covered the largest state legislature in the country. Her work at the Monitor was recognized by the New Hampshire Press Association.

Langley graduated in 2008 from the University of Notre Dame. While a student, she was news editor for the daily student newspaper, The Observer. She spent her junior year studying at Trinity College in Dublin. 

David Shribman was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism in 1995 for his coverage of Washington and the American political scene. Before coming to Pittsburgh, he was the Washington, D.C., bureau chief of the Boston Globe. He also worked in various positions for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Star, and The Buffalo News. His column, “National Perspective,” is syndicated to more than 50 papers nationally, and he is a contributing editor for Fortune magazine.