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Heidi Vogt, NF '17, and Lisa Mullins, NF '10, lead a workshop during the 2017 Georges Conference Lisa Abitbol

The Christopher J. Georges Conference on College Journalism

A Career Shaped by Caring

Christopher J. Georges

A note of encouragement to Chris from President Bill Clinton. <a href="http://nieman.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Bill-Clinton_Note3.pdf" target="_blank">View full size</a>

A note of encouragement to Chris from President Bill Clinton. View full size

Christopher J. Georges was passionate about journalism – quality journalism – the kind of powerful reporting that makes readers care and prompts policy makers to take action. He told the stories of the disadvantaged, the voiceless and the forgotten, and his compassion for those he wrote about was a hallmark of his work.

As a student at Harvard University, Chris started reporting for The Harvard Crimson in his freshman year and went on to become executive editor. After graduating magna cum laude in 1987, he completed an internship at The Washington Post and then joined the Dukakis campaign for president. In 1988, he worked as a clerk at The New York Times before taking a job as a reporter for CNN’s investigative unit. In 1991, Chris became an editor for Washington Monthly magazine and in 1994, he joined The Wall Street Journal as a reporter in the Washington bureau.

Chris died in 1998 from complications related to lupus. He was 33 years old. Excerpts from his work are included below.

Tributes

In a statement from the White House, President Clinton said:

“Chris Georges was a reporter’s reporter. Whether he was writing about the budget, Medicare or welfare, Chris’s journalistic integrity, attention to detail and focus on the human side of policy earned him the respect of both his fellow reporters and those who work in the Congress and the White House…Chris’s friends and colleagues most remember his decency, integrity, wit and his sense of fairness.”

President Bill Clinton
October 21, 1998

 

Alan Murray, Wall Street Journal Washington bureau chief, who worked with Chris:

Chris was “passionate about the craft of journalism…He soaked up all the best news gathering and storytelling traits of those around him , and in the end, he was better than us all.”

 

John Brecher, page one editor, and Bill Grueskin, deputy page one editor, at The Wall Street Journal:

“Chris was more than just a fine journalist; what was special about him was his character. If you look at his Page One stories, especially those fabulous stories about welfare, you’ll notice that every one was better than the one before. Why? Because Chris always wanted to be better. He took the advice we offered and then topped it. It was genuinely exhilarating to work with Chris because his stuff was so good-and he wanted to do whatever was necessary to make it better.

Beyond that, Chris took on stories that most reporters don’t think or dare to do. He went to neighborhoods we usually avoid, he tackled tough issues that defy easy answers and he gained the trust of people-welfare recipients, drug addicts, impoverished single parents-who are not naturally inclined to let a Wall Street Journal reporter into their homes, much less their lives. Then he wrote about them with a sense of empathy and honesty that awed those of us who have been in this business for a good long time. Chris made a difference as a journalist, which is the highest praise we could give a colleague.”

Excerpts of Chris’s Work

The Harvard Crimson

<a href="http://nieman.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/My-Freshman-Year-Final.pdf" target="_blank">View full article</a>

View full article

As a Harvard undergrad, Chris wrote for The Harvard Crimson and later became executive editor. His articles covered topics ranging from faculty news and collegiate athletics to astronomy research and breakthroughs in science. A complete archive of those articles can be found on the Crimson website.

Chris Georges’s Class Day Speech, Harvard University, June 10, 1987

Showing off his sense of humor, Christopher Georges delivered a lighthearted speech at Harvard’s Class Day ceremony in 1987. He poked fun at his classmates, his professors, and Harvard traditions.

Washington Monthly

<a href="http://nieman.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Perot-and-Con-FINAL-.pdf" target="_blank">View full size and read cover story</a>

View full size and read cover story

Chris was an editor at the Washington Monthly from 1991-1994. One of the stories he wrote for the magazine “Confessions of an Investigative Reporter: Why ‘Prime Time,’ ‘60 minutes,’ ‘The New York Times’ – and I – keep missing the big ones” was named one of the “10 Best of 1992” by the 1993 Forbes Media Guide.

The Wall Street Journal

At the Journal, Chris covered politics, economics and budget issues, and three of his 1997 stories on the welfare system were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

C-SPAN

Chris Georges was a regular guest on C-SPAN, where he discussed current events and politics and answered questions from viewers. Two of his appearances are included here. You many also see a full list of his interviews on the C-SPAN website.

Feb. 25, 1998

 

Sept. 26, 1997