Bringing a serious-minded public affairs program to TV might seem like a thankless task, especially in today’s tumultuous, ratings-obsessed media environment. But Harvard grad Alexander Heffner insists he’s ready to bring sober discussion to Americans used to the screaming matches on cable news. “Non-adversarial face-to-face conversation can more meaningfully stimulate a meeting of the minds than the commonly elicited talking points,” says Heffner.
In an increasingly polarized political — and cable TV news — climate, “The Open Mind” remains what Alexander Heffner calls “a stage for civil discourse.” Guests are allowed to speak at length without being cut off or lambasted by the host. “If there is going to be an interrogation, it’s of the idea, not of the person,” Heffner said. “The ideas are what deserve critical reflection.”
Alexander Heffner was a special correspondent for PBS’s Need to Know chronicling the Millennial vote in 2012. He founded and edited SCOOP08 and SCOOP44, the first-ever national student newspapers covering the 2008 campaign and the Obama administration, and taught a civic education/journalism seminar in New York City public school classrooms.