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Award-winning political correspondent to speak at Schieffer Symposium

Political correspondent and Toner Prize winner Dan Balz of The Washington Post will be a panelist at the 11th Annual Schieffer Symposium on April 8.

Balz said he is excited to participate in the “lively conversation” that Bob Schieffer will direct with other guests.

Schieffer has hosted Balz a number of times on “Face the Nation.” The last time he was on Schieffer’s program, Schieffer asked him to be a panelist at the symposium.

“I am really looking forward to it,” Balz said. “Bob is a great host. I know it will be a good evening.”

Balz said he always looks forward to questions from the audience.

“It is always interesting to hear other journalists’ perspectives and experiences,” he said. “I always come away learning something new and sharing experiences with others.”

Balz has worked for The Washington Post for almost 37 years covering politics. He was raised in Freeport, Illinois and received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Illinois.

Before he began working for The Washington Post, he was at the National Journal in Washington D.C. for about five years.

Balz said he got lucky getting the job at The Washington Post. A friend of a friend knew someone at The Washington Post, Balz said.

“An editing job was needed, so I got hired.”

He bounced between editor and reporter, but in 1989 he stopped editing and has been reporting ever since.

He said his job entails keeping up with current political candidates.

“I spend a lot of time on the road and out of town talking with candidates and trying to make sense of the circus,” Balz said.

Some of Balz’s work includes, “The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election” and “Collision 2012: Obama vs. Romney and the Future of Elections in America.”

He said has not decided if he will write a book for the 2016 election.

On March 23, Balz was awarded the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting, which is honored to a journalist who has done a remarkable job in political reporting.

Balz was recognized for his series of political profiles that illuminated the partisan divide in Washington. His piece was chosen out of 160 entries from newspapers around the country.

He said his best advice for young journalists is to be curious about everything.

“Keep an open mind,” Balz said. “Don’t believe everything people tell you and work as hard as you can.”

The 11th Annual Schieffer Symposium will be on April 8 at 6:30 p.m. in Ed Landreth Auditorium.

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