The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

Axios co-founder shares political expertise

W&L alum Mike Allen returned to his alma mater to speak on the future of political journalism
Jordan Hoover
Mike Allen answered questions from students at Mock Con.

Mike Allen, ’86, co-founder of the digital news site Axios, returned to his alma mater to talk about the role of journalism in the upcoming presidential election.

Since graduating from Washington and Lee University with majors in politics and journalism, Allen has worked for The Washington Post, the New York Times and Politico.

He also founded Axios, which he described as one of the most reliable and respected new sites.

During Allen’s 30-minute session, he said he wanted to prioritize taking questions from the audience.

The Q&A began with alum Emma Ernst, ’20, who asked Allen what he believed Republicans got wrong about advertising their stances in previous elections. Allen said that the Republican victory in striking down Roe v. Wade was ultimately their downfall.

Later, Kaden Buss, ’27, asked Allen how he thought President Trump had changed political journalism.

“We got spoiled… we were able to see everything in real-time,” Allen said in response.

Through tweets, emails, leaks and conversations with reporters, journalists were able to know information about the Trump administration that would otherwise not show up until 30 years later in memoirs, Allen said.

Finally, Nolan Rickett, ’27, asked Allen how the current candidates’ ages will influence the future of politics, a topic that many speakers touched on over the course of the convention.

Allen acknowledged what many students are feeling, saying  that “younger voters want younger candidates.” But Allen also recognized that some factors simply cannot be changed by Election Day, including the president’s age, inflation and the wars in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

The alum ended his speech by saying that “democracy is fragile and America is fragile.”

“We can screw it up, but I believe in you, so I believe you won’t,” he said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Ring-tum Phi Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *