Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Campaign Journalism

Adding to the post below about reporting/talking, campaign journalism is an area which is just filled with hackery. There's really no way to do interesting "straight reporting" about campaigns, aside from polls and hirings/firings. It's almost intrinsically "talking about the news" instead of reporting on it. So campaign journalism is part highly subjective narrative, part gossip, part anonymous backbiting, part reporter projection, part quoting sources with major conflicts of interest, part unrepresentative "man on the street interviews," etc. If I ran a newspaper, campaign reporting is the area where I'd begin chucking out the entire model of "balanced journalism" and recognize it for what it ineivtably is, a highly subjective description of what's going on. Reporters hide behind all the various devices given to them to try to take themselves out of the narrative, but ultimately they really are just creating the very subjective narrative they wish to create. So, drop the pretense and bring the reporter's voice forward.