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
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
“[i]n the wake of the recent scandals, women have been driving the story, providing a perspective that their male counterparts simply cannot”
“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!
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.