But even with all those caveats in mind, there remains a good case for taking campaign promises seriously. And as reporters try—as they should—to discern how politicians might respond to important challenges that aren’t being discussed on the campaign trail, they should take the promises that are being made into account. If Obama wins re-election, after all, the budget endgame he seeks from the Taxmageddon standoff will be shaped by the leverage he can wield in negotiations with Congress—but also by his repeated promises not to raise taxes on middle-class households. (There will be partisan disputes about what counts as a tax for the purposes of the promise, of course, but Obama is unlikely to discard the pledge.) Limited as position papers and official statements may be, for journalists trying to get onto the “Reality Track”, they’re a good place to start.
United States Project
06:50 AM - July 9, 2012
In defense of covering position papers and official statements
Most of the time, what politicians say is what they’ll do
Stop using ‘Brooklyn’ to mean hipster neighborhoods - Elite-oriented outlets typically only cover the borough’s most affluent, Manhattan-adjacent neighborhoods
The Reporters Committee is about to start suing people to help journalists - Katie Townsend joins the organization as its first litigation director
How a Nebraska newspaper kicked off a major prison sentencing scandal - The Omaha World-Herald found that hundreds of inmates were being released early
On media freedom, United Nations plays by its own rules - Months of international crises raises the stakes for reporting on the UN, but investigative journalists remain without a right to information
Keep calm and write a headline worth reading - Ease up on the exaggerations because someday you may need those explosive adjectives when a truly big story lands
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
“Amid a months-long battle with administrators for editorial control … the Playwickian’s faculty adviser was suspended for two days this week”
Apple included language in its first Transparency Report to say that it had not been subject to a Section 215 Patriot Act request. That language is now gone.
Buzzword, buzzword, buzzword. Isn’t the buzzword on your mind now? Perhaps it is on other people’s minds? Read on or you’ll be clueless, dated, and without any friends in the world. Buzzword again!
The British reporter-turned-editor has made good on her promises to bring politics to the magazine, win some very big-deal journalism awards, and secure the most interesting exclusive interviews
Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.