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
‘See you on the other side’ - Meet Jessica Lum, a terminally ill 25-year-old who chose to spend what little time she had practicing journalism
#Realtalk: This is the best moment to be in journalism - The old stuff isn’t coming back, but that’s okay
Streams of consciousness - Millennials expect a steady diet of quick-hit, social-media-mediated bits and bytes. What does that mean for journalism?
Sticking with the truth - How ‘balanced’ coverage helped sustain the bogus claim that childhood vaccines can cause autism
An ink-stained stretch - Can Aaron Kushner save the Orange County Register—and the newspaper industry?
Matt Yglesias watched every Star Trek movie and every episode of every TV show in the franchise
The press and Congress are asking the wrong questions
A video that appears to show Toronto’s mayor smoking crack is being shopped around by a group of Somali men involved in the drug trade
The threat of even grander leaks
HD footage from the World Trade Center’s new spire
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.