E-book: Covering the coverage

The 2020 election in the Columbia Journalism Review

CJR Election Coverage 2020Good riddance to 2020. Never forget 2020. Hope is finally here. This is the darkest time in US history.

And so it goes for this awful, momentous, extraordinary year, one in which the news both accelerated and melted together in unimaginably complex ways. What started as a critical election year became the story of a pandemic, which then turned into a national reckoning over racial injustice.

At the Columbia Journalism Review, we have sought to cover these interwoven story lines as they reflect, and are reflected by, journalism. It turned out to be a very wide lens.

Writing about the election of 2020 meant we also wrote about policing and why the racial makeup of newsrooms got in the way of telling that story. It meant chronicling Donald Trump’s estrangement from Matt Drudge and his new romance with Newsmax and One America News Network. And it required our public editors to hold big media to account, and our digital media writers to dissect misinformation and the role of the big platforms in spreading it.

This compilation is intended to give you a taste of CJR over the past year. This project began as an effort to provide a quick overview of our election coverage. The fact that it ballooned to these hundred-plus pages—with so much left out—tells you both about the year we have had and about the tireless efforts of our team of writers, illustrators, editors, and photographers. My deep thanks to them all.

We invite you to enjoy this collection, and to revel in the fact that 2020 is really, truly, almost done.

Kyle Pope
Editor and Publisher, the Columbia Journalism Review

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