So if there’s little evidence that presidents can shift the public on high-profile issues, why do they continue to believe they can? It’s probably because presidents tend to be charismatic, successful and—to put it politely—confident people, used to persuading others and getting their way. They’re also surrounded by intelligent, ambitious aides who are ready to believe they’ve found the new strategy or technique that will succeed where others have failed. And why does the press play along, anticipating bold results and then carping when they fail to materialize? It may be that, for all our skepticism and readiness to find fault, we’re also hoping for some white knight to come along who will sweep away the hard, grubby, relentless grind of politics.
07:00 AM - August 31, 2009
The People Have Spoken
Can presidents sway public opinion on divisive domestic issues?
16 women whose digital startups deserve Vox-level plaudits - A look at the media entrepreneurs who aren’t grabbing headlines
Why was ‘Dasani’ shut out of the Pulitzers? - 5 problems with The New York Times’ ambitious, influential series on the life of one homeless Brooklyn girl
The AP downplays its Obamacare scoop - Repeal on deductible caps marks another step in The Great Cost Shift
The enduring pull of mag covers - Why do magazine cover images still hold so much cultural power in this decline-of-print era?
Michael Wolff’s digital media bloopers - The Newser founder trolls (other) digital-news companies
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
How did the clothes you’re wearing get to you? We trace the human cost of the Bangladeshi garment industry in video, words and pictures
Fantastic letter in The Times
How do you tell your family and friends?
A look behind the secretive lab’s closed doors
Despite the bridge scandal, Chris Christie’s state is relatively transparent and accountable. CJR’s Greg Marx talks to Gordon Witkin
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.