Larry Bensky is a literary and political journalist, a teacher, and political activist with more than forty years experience in print and broadcast media. Perhaps best known as national affairs correspondent for Pacifica Radio from 1987-1998, Bensky covered numerous national and international events for Pacifica, including the Iran-contra hearings in 1987, the confirmation hearings for four Supreme Court justices, the 1990 elections in Nicaragua, and numerous demonstrations and protests in Washington and elsewhere. Most recently, he has been anchoring Pacifica's live coverage of the September 11 Commission hearings, and co-anchoring Pacifica's coverage of the 2004 Democratic and Republican conventions, as well as the Presidential debates. He was anchor for Pacifica's extensive coverage of the post 2004 election controversy in Ohio.
He won the prestigious George Polk award for his coverage of Iran-contra, and has won five Gold Reel awards from the National Association of Community Broadcasters. Before his work for Pacifica, Bensky was one of the original "underground" newscasters and talk show hosts on "alternative rock" stations KMPX and KSAN in San Francisco. He has also been a political activist since the 1960's, working with nuclear disarmament and anti-war groups in New York, Paris, and San Francisco.
Before (and during) his broadcasting career, Bensky has been a print journalist and editor, including positions as managing editor of Ramparts Magazine in 1968, Paris editor of The Paris Review (1964-66) and as an editor of the New York Times Book Review. For fifteen years he was a political writer and columnist for the East Bay Express, and a contributor to the Los Angeles Times book review, and The Nation. He also worked as a direct mail copywriter during the 1980's and 1990's, at Richard Parker and Associates, Craver Matthews and Smith, and Mal Warwick and Associates. He created, co-designed and wrote numerous successful direct mail appeals for organizations including the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, The United Farmworkers Union, KQED-FM, and Pacifica Radio. He has also appeared as a guest journalist on C-Span, CNN, The Today Show, and MacNeil-Lehrer, as well as on San Francisco KQED's "Forum" and "This Week in Northern California."
He currently hosts a weekly two-hour radio talk show, "Sunday Salon," originating at KPFA in Berkeley, and carried live on the web at www.kpfa.org. And he was founding managing editor (1999-2000) of the web site www.Mediachannel.org. He has won a lifetime achievement award from the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Golden Gadfly award from Media Alliance. He taught broadcast journalism classes for twelve years at Stanford, and retired in 2003 after twelve years as a teacher of mass communications, journalism, broadcasting, and political science at California State University, Hayward. He now teaches at Vista community college in Berkeley. A native of New York City, he graduated from Yale University. He and his wife and daughter live in Berkeley.