When reporting on political ads, reporters have a tricky line to walk. They need to think not just in terms of providing additional information to counter or affirm political claims, but also in how the ordering of information contributes to the perception of what is both important and true. This means getting the critical perspective on—and context for—claims high up in their stories, and not repeating a misleading claim without an immediate clarification for readers. While follow-up stories, like the second News piece, are useful for providing readers with a comprehensive picture of what’s happening, the presidential election is in less than a week: facts shouldn’t be spread out over a series of days. Readers need them now.


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Anna Clark is CJR's correspondent for Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. A 2011 Fulbright fellow, Clark has written for The Guardian, Grantland, and Salon; blogs at Isak; and can be found on Twitter @annaleighclark. She lives in Detroit.