Avoiding Armageddon
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Martin Schram

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Martin Schram
Martin Schram has been a Washington journalist, editor and author for more than three decades. He is a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and appears frequently as a commentator on various television networks.

Schram writes a nationally syndicated newspaper column that focuses on the intersection of the news media, public policy and politics. His column is distributed by Scripps Howard News Service to more than 400 newspapers.

He appears frequently on network television shows as a commentator and news analyst and is a regular panelist on the Voice of America's "Issues in the News." He was a regular panelist for years on

CNN's "Reliable Sources" show about the news media, and has appeared on ABC's "Nightline" and "Good Morning America," CBS's "Face the Nation" and "48 Hours," CNN's "Capital Gang" and "Crossfire," NBC's "Today Show" and "Meet the Press," and PBS' "MacNeil/Lehrer," and "The McLaughlin Group."

Schram is the author of five books: Running for President 1976: The Carter Campaign, published by Stein and Day in hardcover and by Pocket Books in paperback; The Great American Video Game: Presidential Politics in the Television Age, published in 1987 by William Morrow & Company; Speaking Freely: Former Members of Congress Talk About Money in Politics, published in 1995 by the Center for Responsive Politics; (with co-author Dr. George Carlo) Cell Phones: Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age, published in 2001 by Carroll & Graf; and Avoiding Armageddon, published in 2003 by Basic Books. He is the co-editor of the Progressive Policy Institute's Mandate for Change, a policy blueprint published in 1992 by Berkley Books.

Schram was honored as the recipient of the 1988 Lowell Mellett Award for Outstanding Media Criticism, presented by Pennsylvania State University, for his book, The Great American Video Game. He also received Sigma Delta Chi's James Wright Brown Award for "outstanding journalistic achievement in the New York metropolitan area" in 1966.

Nationally, Schram has covered many of the top stories of four decades: the civil rights struggles and Vietnam war protests of the '60s and '70s; the Watergate scandal that forced the resignation of President Nixon; every election campaign since 1968; and the presidencies of Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Bill Clinton.

Internationally, Schram has traveled extensively in reporting on major events and trouble spots. His assignments have taken him to Europe, the Middle East, South America, Asia and the Pacific, and Africa - to locales as diverse as Vietnam, Cuba, Siberia, and the once-tense Sino-Soviet border. During the Cold War, he covered a number of the U.S.-Soviet summit conferences; and in 1971, he was the first U.S. journalist in a year to be allowed inside Cuba. He has lectured on the subject of the role of the news media in international affairs, appearing before audiences of European military officers and defense ministry officials at the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy in 1997 and 1998, and the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch, Germany in 1995. In 1996, in Kuala Lumpur, Schram delivered a speech that was billed as the United States keynote address at the Third Pacific Dialogue. The conference attended by seven United States senators and government ministers from Southeast Asian nations including the prime minister of Malaysia, who gave the Asian region keynote address; the conference was sponsored by the Asia Pacific Policy Center and the Institute of Strategic and International Studies, and the Institute for Policy Research. He also lectures at seminars for international journalists, arranged by Delphi International and the United States Information Agency.

Schram was born in Chicago on September 15, 1942. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Florida in 1964, majoring in political science, where he also was a sports writer for the Gainesville Sun and Jacksonville Journal. He began his news career in 1963 as a reporter for The Miami News. Upon graduating in 1964, he returned to the News, where he covered police, politics, and the City of Miami Beach. Schram joined Newsday as a reporter in 1965, based in New York. And in 1967, he became a correspondent in Newsday's Washington bureau, and in 1972, at age 30, was named Newsday's Washington bureau chief and senior editor. Under his leadership, Newsday's bureau emphasized investigative and enterprise reporting, as Newsday earned a reputation as one of America's leading newspapers in the coverage of national affairs.

Schram moved to the Washington Post in 1979, to be the newspaper's writer on the presidency, and later was a national affairs correspondent. In the 1984 presidential race, he created the concept of a "campaign messages" beat for the Washington Post, devising a number of methods for covering the campaign as it reaches most Americans, through television; his writings in the Post were cited as precedent-setting by professionals in both political parties and by media colleagues. After completing his book on television and presidential campaigns in 1986, Schram spent two years as a newspaper editor, as associate editor/Sunday editor of the Chicago Sun-Times and Sunday editor of Denver Rocky Mountain News. At both papers, he made significant changes in content and appearance that produced significant circulation gains. Schram then returned to Washington to resume his writing on international and national affairs. In 1988, he appeared on CNN as a media commentator during the presidential campaign and was an outspoken critic of U.S. television network coverage. That year, he began writing a syndicated newspaper column and wrote about national affairs for the Washingtonian Magazine. In 1998-99, in addition to his newspaper column, he served as a senior news executive with the Fox television network. In 2001-2003, he served as managing editor of "Avoiding Armageddon," an eight-hour PBS television documentary series produced under the auspices of Ted Turner Documentaries, LLC.

Schram is married to the former Patricia Stewart Morgan. They have two adult sons, Kenneth and David.

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