Mark Stencel

Mark Stencel is managing editor for digital news. He is responsible for overseeing the journalism on NPR's website and other platforms and gizmos.

Since Stencel joined NPR in 2009, the network has been recognized as one of industry's leading digital news services, honored with the 2011 Eppy award for best journalism website from Editor & Publisher, a 2010 National Press Foundation award for excellence in online journalism, two Edward R. Murrow Awards, a Peabody award, and the 2011 Webby and People's Voice awards for news from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

Stencel previously worked in both print and online journalism, and on the editorial and business sides of publishing. He was the executive editor and deputy publisher at GOVERNING, a monthly magazine and website written for leaders in state and local government and published by Congressional Quarterly. Stencel served as a managing editor at CQ, where he helped lead one of the largest news staffs on Capitol Hill, coordinating daily coverage of Congress, online and in print. Stencel also wrote regular columns and e-mail newsletters on technology trends for both GOVERNING and CQ Weekly.

Stencel began his career at the Washington Post as an assistant to syndicated columnist David S. Broder and as a researcher for the newspaper's national politics staff. After a stint as a science and technology correspondent for The News & Observer in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina — one of the first newspapers in the country to publish a web edition — Stencel returned to the Post in 1996 to help launch the company's first website: PoliticsNow, an election-year multimedia partnership involving ABC News, Newsweek and National Journal. Stencel then directed washingtonpost.com's award-winning political coverage, including President Clinton's impeachment and the 1998 and 2000 elections. Later, as a senior editor on the newspaper's breaking news desk, he served as a liaison between the Post's print and online newsrooms, coordinating coverage of the 2003 Iraq invasion, the 2004 election and other major stories.

In addition to his work as an editor, Stencel was a vice president at the Post Company's online division, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, where he directed the business side of early mobile and multimedia efforts and managed content partnerships and projects with other news organizations, online publishers and mobile phone carriers and device makers. Stencel worked with the company's editorial, marketing and sales leaders to cultivate the Post's growing online audience across the country and around the world — a new line of business for what had been a local newspaper, despite its national reputation. (In that role, he briefly served as the digital division's "vice president for global conquest.")

Stencel is the co-author of two books on media and politics — Peep Show: Media and Politics and in an Age of Scandal, written with political scientists Larry J. Sabato and S. Robert Lichter; and On the Line: The New Road to the White House, written with CNN's Larry King. He continues to write about science and technology, including digital media trends, on his personal blog, "Assignment: Future" (http://assignmentfuture.com).

Were last night's convention references to Barack Obama's mother and her struggles with an insurance company before her death a powerful argument for health care reform? Or were they a well-worn misrepresentation of history?

The answer appears to be in the wording.

The best place to stand in the entire solar system at 1:14 a.m. ET Monday was about 150 million miles away, at the bottom of Gale Crater near the equator of the Red Planet.

Looking west around mid-afternoon local time, a Martian bystander would have seen a rocket-powered alien spacecraft approach and then hover about 60 feet over the rock-strewn plain between the crater walls and the towering slopes of nearby Mount Sharp.

Would President Obama swap Joe Biden for Hillary Clinton on his 2012 ticket? NPR's Political Junkie Ken Rudin is dubious. "Where this comes from I do not know," he declared in his Monday column dismissing the speculation about any plans to replace Biden.