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
Disappointing Deadspin - It broke the Manti Te’o story, but then stopped reporting and resumed trashing
Fox News not outraged by retailers’ War on Thanksgiving - As giant stores commercialize the last holdout, Bill O’Reilly & Co. shrug
A bogus NY Post piece sets off a frenzy - Serious problems with column alleging Census rigged unemployment for Obama
GoldieBlox picks an unfair fight with the Beastie Boys - A dismal press performance on a clear case of aggressive copyright infringement
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.
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
The 184-year-old Rhode Island newspaper is the oldest major daily paper in the country
Pro-tip: “avoid critiquing writing with terms that could reasonably be used to describe a penis”
And why we changed the way we work
How should I propose?
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.
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.