In the article “The Word Lab,” Nicholas Lemann dives into the world of political phrasing, and how certain words can affect the way people perceive a particular candidate. The political world is a harsh one, where every action and word is scrutinized closely. Lemann not only investigated the deicisions a campaign makes when vetting a candidate, but also how each action will look through the public eye. This is in fact a science, or a “word lab,” that Nicholas Lemann has closely investigated.
Nicholas Lemann began his journalistic career at a young age. At the age of 17, Lemann began writing for a local newspaper in his hometown outside of New Orleans, Louisiana. After high school, Lemann attended Harvard University where he studied history and literature. At this time, Lemann was also the president of the Harvard Crimson, Harvard’s prestigious student run newspaper. After graduating with honors from Harvard, Lemann bounced from different newspapers, as a national writer or correspondent. Some of these news organizations include: The Texas Monthly, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New Yorker.
One of Lemann’s most notable positions was as dean of the Columbia School of Journalism. Lemann took the position in September of 2003 and remained dean until 2013. During his tenure as dean, Lemann expanded the graduate programs, built student centers, and redesigned the curriculum to fit a more modern journalistic era.
Nicholas Lemann is a very credible source in the journalism world. Lemann has worked for some of the most prestigious national news outlets, and is a correspondent for even more news sources. Also, as the dean of the Columbia School of Journalism, arguably the country’s top journalism school, Lemann understands the importance of journalist ethics and how they need to be adapted to fit the modern world. Although, Lemann himself does not hold a journalism degree, his experience goes far beyond any notion that he is unqualified as journalist.
Besides working as a staff writer and correspondent, Lemann has also written five books, which have won numerous awards. Lemann also sits on many national boards, including the board for the Academy of Political Science. Because he holds such a prestigious position, he is definitely qualified to report on political habits and motives such as he did in the article, “The Word Lab.” Although Lemann has left his post as dean of the Columbia School of Journalism, he continues to write and lecture at different schools throughout the country.
“The Word Lab,” gives a provocative insight into the world of politics, and makes the reader really analyze exactly what they are seeing and hearing during a political campaign. Although something you hear may seem innocent and unrehearsed, the science behind the word lab shows that every single detail has been planned and can have a major effect on public opinion and response.
Lemann, Nicholas (October 16, 2000). "The Word Lab: The mad Science Behind What the Candidates Say". The New Yorker.
"Contributors: Nicholas Lemann." Retrieved from: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/bios/nicholas_lemann/search?contributorName=nicholas%20lemann
"Nicholas Lemann." Retrieved from: http://www.journalism.columbia.edu/profile/50