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
Brick by brick - After years of shrinking ambition at The Washington Post, Jeff Bezos has the paper thinking global domination
Gawker’s so-far successful experiment in making office chats public - Are group chat rooms a waste of time or essential to running a modern newsroom?
A new course in video games journalism - As an art form grows up, can the critics keep pace?
On the NSA, a White House credibility problem - The AP report on the destruction of The Guardian’s hard drives is just the latest evidence that reporters can’t trust the Obama administration on spying claims
Long all-volunteer, Guernica Mag looks toward paying its contributors - The 10-year-old online mag hired its first full-time employee and is launching a second Kickstarter
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
“Make yourself indispensable. Dispel any rumors, however quiet, that you are just there for a ‘quota’”
Nate Silver drills into the numbers
“A single page in a glossy magazine could be discounted by more than half its open rate and still get an effective CPM of about $70. Online display ad CPMs average under $3”
With the relaunch comes the archive
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.