Misunderstandings among political elites are no excuse, however. The misreporting of this story reflects two key weaknesses of political journalism—a lack of policy expertise and a weakness for narrative. Too many journalists don’t understand the tax code or other aspects of budget or fiscal policy especially well. Moreover, they have little incentive to add nuance or detail to their stories given the overwhelming priority given to dramatizing political conflict in entertaining ways. The idea that Obama would raise taxes on all income earned by the wealthy feeds perfectly into the spin from both campaigns. Why complicate things?
United States Project
04:54 PM - July 26, 2012
The press botches the tax debate—again
Narratives and ignorance trump accuracy in descriptions of Democratic proposal
Serial creators don’t know what will happen to Adnan Syed - New developments in his legal case suggest that the outcome is wide open
The press is responsible for ignoring Bill Cosby rape allegations - Where were journalists 10 years ago when claims originally surfaced against him?
Journalism has a plagiarism problem. But it’s not the one you’d expect - Fareed Zakaria’s case highlights news organizations’ ethical grey areas
4 topics John Oliver explained more clearly than television news - The political satirist brings explainer comedy to HBO viewers
Will radio save science journalism? - WNYC will soon have a new health unit
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
“[T]here was little that justified CNN’s egocentric coverage”
“[I]n spite of all the good reasons not to use the phrase, it is still very easy to find in the US press, even in headlines”
“Right now, my immediate plan is to go to work as a lay therapist at The Intercept to bring the healing there so John Cook and Matt Taibbi can return. I have great interpersonal skills.”
“Like the US drone program itself, this deceitful media practice continues unabated”
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.