Panel of national journalists examine 'The Press and the Presidency' during FOCIS 10th anniversary event

October 12, 2017

Steve Cortes

National journalists will weigh-in on the topic “The Press and the Presidency” during presentations and a panel discussion from 1-4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, at Wayne State’s Community Arts Auditorium, 450 Reuther Mall in Detroit.

The program will feature Steve Cortes, Fox News; Joy-Ann Reid, MSNBC; and Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post. The discussion will be co-moderated by Devin Scillian, WDIV-TV anchor, and Vickie Thomas, WWJ/CBS Radio city beat reporter. Thomas also is director of Regional II of the National Association of Black Journalists.

“‘The Press and the Presidency’ will bring together experienced and award-winning journalists to help us with an inside look at the media and its coverage of our nation’s presidency,” said Irvin D. Reid, director of FOCIS and inaugural holder of Wayne State’s Eugene Applebaum Chair in Community Engagement. “The relationship between the Oval Office and the media has traditionally been contentious, and that has become especially so with the emergence of social media. This program will examine that relationship in depth to consider its history and present dynamics and what these may mean for the future.”

Cortes’ broadcast career began at CNBC, where he commented on financial markets, primarily as part of the “Fast Money” franchise. In recent years he transitioned to politics, serving in 2016 as a primary TV surrogate for the Trump presidential campaign; he also was named to Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council. Postelection, Cortes remains an informal advisor to the president and a contributor to Fox News. He has worked on Wall Street for two decades as a trader and strategist and is head strategist for BGC Partners, providing risk management strategies to banks and hedge funds.

Joy-Ann Reid

Joy-Ann Reid is a national correspondent for MSNBC, host of “AM Joy” and “The Reid Report,” and author of the book Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons and the Racial Divide. She is former managing editor of, a daily online news and opinion platform devoted to stories and perspectives that reflect and affect African American audiences. Her columns and articles have appeared in New York magazine, The Daily Beast, the Miami Herald, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the South Florida Times and Salon.

Robinson, a regular contributor to MSNBC, writes a twice-weekly column in The Washington Post. His storytelling ability has won him wide acclaim, notably the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for his commentary on the 2008 presidential race. During his three decades at The Post, Robinson has been city hall reporter, city editor, foreign correspondent in Buenos Aires and London, foreign editor, and assistant managing editor in charge of the paper’s award-winning Style section. He is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the author of several books.

“The Press and the Presidency” is the second event of a FOCIS 10th Anniversary Celebration lecture series on “What in the World is Going On?” Admission is free but reservations are required.

Eugene Robinson

The day’s agenda includes:

  • Welcome, introductions and presentations – 1 p.m.
  • Moderated panel discussion – 2 p.m.
  • Audience Q&A – 2:30 p.m.
  • Book signing – 3 p.m.


For more information about this event, please contact FOCIS at 313-577-5550, or To RSVP, visit


Established in 2007, FOCIS is a special initiative that focuses Wayne State University's problem-solving resources on an eclectic range of topics important to the campus community and beyond. FOCIS lectures and related events bring together the institution's teaching, research and service missions to advance the frontiers of knowledge, promote informed debate and encourage responsible citizenship in an increasingly fast-paced, interconnected and complex global society. FOCIS presents coordinated public programs, foreign-study projects, research opportunities and ongoing community dialogues addressing specific issues that confront the citizens of Detroit, the United States and the world.

About the Eugene Applebaum Chair in Community Engagement

The Eugene Applebaum Chair in Community Engagement was created through the generosity of alumnus Eugene Applebaum, founding chair of the Wayne State University Foundation. The Applebaum Chair is a catalyst for cooperation among the university and community organizations on issues in business and economic development, education, health, international outreach, politics and other areas. FOCIS is the Applebaum Chair's primary public platform.