By Julia Morse
“ I would just love to talk to all the major political players out there”
host of Tomorrow with Alex Beinstein
The second-year College student finds success as a young journalist at Chicago even without a journalism concentration.
Before Alex Beinstein had stepped foot in a University of Chicago classroom, he already had his own campus radio show.
“As soon as I knew I’d be enrolling in the College, I starting making calls to WHPK about doing my own show,” said Beinstein, now in his second year in the College with a concentration in History. “Back home in Colorado during high school, I worked in newspaper and in television. At Chicago, I knew radio was something I wanted to do, so I knew I had to start trying to get it ASAP.”
Only in his second week of classes as a first-year student last fall, Beinstein’s first show, Tomorrow with Alex Beinstein, aired live in the one-hour time slot he had been given, on Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m..
“It was October 10, 2006. I won’t ever forget that date,” he said.
Since that first show, Beinstein has interviewed high-profile individuals including Nobel Prize Winner James Heckman, the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Economics, comedian David Alan Grier, Howard Wolfson and Phil Singer, advisers to Senator Hillary Clinton, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton and NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd.
However, he said, “I’m certainly not done yet.”
Beinstein dreams of someday sitting down with University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer, Bill O’Reilly, and a member of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign—the only presidential campaign that has refused to partake in an interview with Beinstein, he said.
“I would just love to talk to all the major political players out there,” he added.
Aside from his radio show, it is the intellect of the student body at Chicago that keeps Beinstein “thrilled to be here,” he said.
“I’m not a big partier, so socially, there are a lot of people I can really relate to,” Beinstein said. “With my roommates, we spend our evenings together discussing political and economic ideas, challenging each other. It’s stimulating and so much fun.”
After he finishes at the College, Beinstein said he hopes to either venture into a career in finance or journalism, although he recognizes that in journalism, there may be a big totem pole to climb.
“If it was up to me, I’d be the host of my own show, have the best questions, the most relevant guests, and discuss the most interesting and important topics with no editors getting in my way,” Beinstein said. “Unfortunately, that’s not up to me. But hey, you never know. We’ll see.”
Another dream of his is to write a book—something that may happen sooner, rather than later.
“I already have publishers interested and I can’t wait for the opportunity to do it,” Beinstein said, noting that the media attention “Tomorrow with Alex Beinstein” has received has helped get him in the spotlight.
Politico.com, the Chicago Maroon, and the New York Observer have all mentioned Beinstein’s show and the impressive list of individuals he has interviewed.
“It’s certainly flattering and has helped get my work seen, but it’s not my dream to be interviewed, it’s my dream to do the interviewing,” he said.
Additional information about Beinstein and “Tomorrow with Alex Beinstein” is available on his web page.
Originally published on February 18, 2008.