Over e-mail, Coolican added an important note: “in some respects political science grounding has more to do with what you don’t write than what you write”; a poli-sci primer is like an injunction against “nonsense momentum stories and such.” That takes us back to the key point: for readers and reporters alike, elections are important, and elections are entertaining, but at least in most cases, they’re pretty straightforward, and can be explained with a fraction of the words we devote to them. Meanwhile, there’s a whole fascinating, compelling, consequential world of political activity out there waiting to be covered. So by all means, let’s have fun with Super Duper Tuesday. Then let’s get on to the hard stuff.
03:58 PM - June 8, 2010
More Lessons from Political Science
How understanding the horse race can keep us from obsessing over it
Fox News not outraged by retailers’ War on Thanksgiving - As giant stores commercialize the last holdout, Bill O’Reilly & Co. shrug
BuzzFeed’s all-positive books section - It doesn’t make sense to pledge positivity if your aim is to provide readers with critics’ takes on new books. It makes more sense if your aim is to cultivate a thriving community.
Disappointing Deadspin - It broke the Manti Te’o story, but then stopped reporting and resumed trashing
Healthcare in Great Britain vs. healthcare in the USA: part one - A conversation with Chris Smyth, health reporter for The Times of London
Asperger’s, pedophiles, and questionable motivations - A dart to the Daily Beast, for its ill-informed speculation on Adam Lanza’s psyche
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
‘Too good to check’ used to be a warning to newspaper editors not to jump on bullshit stories. Now it’s a business model
The two civil rights leaders were radicals—and they were right
Political lessons from a lifelong political activist
The problem with viral videos
Timelapse of a photo-realistic painting of the actor being done on an iPad
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.