MSNBC correspondent speaks to students in Directed Study: The Election

Quincey Dern and Claire Conner

MSNBC correspondent and best-selling author Jacob Soboroff ’01 visited a class of Directed Study: The Election to speak with students about his profession and new book Separated: Inside an American Tragedy on Oct. 19.

History Department Head and The Election teacher Larry Klein invited Soboroff to discuss his work with his class of over 100 students.

“Our class is about the Election and part of what we’ve learned is the role of the media,” Klein said. “Jacob is an active journalist who covers governmental and political matters and, with that, has great insight to share with us.”

Klein said he particularly appreciated Soboroff’s work and specifically, his discussion about immigration policy.

“Hearing him talk of his coverage of the children separated at the border and the manner in which that policy was derived almost certainly had to be impactful for a lot of people,” Klein said.

Soboroff spoke of how he encountered the situation at the border.

“I’m kind of an unlikely eyewitness to what became, really one of the most shameful chapters in modern American history,” Soboroff said.

Camryn Williams ’22 said she gained new insight from Soboroff and felt that his visit benefited the course.

“I definitely enjoyed Mr. Soboroff’s visit to our Election class,” Williams said. “He was very charismatic and engaging, and I appreciated hearing about his experience at the US-Mexico border and the stories he collected for his book about the children separated from their families. I think that it was especially important that he came to speak to us so close to the election because of his investigative journalism about a lot of the pressing issues that our country is currently dealing with.”

Stephen Purdum ’22 said he valued Soboroff’s political perspective as a journalist as well.

“I thought it was very interesting to see the election from a perspective from someone inside the political apparatus,” Purdum said. “It was exciting to see a Harvard-Westlake alum in such an interesting position in such a critical juncture in American history.”