Saturday, June 16, 2007

A plea for the news that matters

My current favorite guru of newscraft, Jay Rosen, has been advocating that journalists find a new way of writing and thinking about political campaigns. Instead of simply reporting or even analyzing the polls that tell who's ahead among particular slices of the public, Rosen wants reporters to dig into what the candidates stand for on the big issues of our times.

Rosen is trying to overcome what many of us have long derided as horse-race journalism. A case in point was in this week's Milwaukee daily. Really, though, outside Iowa, does it matter to any of us if Tommy Thompson decides to campaign on the corn-filled plains? But don't we all have a stake in whether or how Mitt Romney tries to bring to the national level the kind of health plan he put over in Massachusetts?

I hope you'll check out Rosen's blog, then encourage your local press to write more about what the candidates actually propose (or fail to say) about America's needs. An example I think Rosen might approve of was in today's Miami Herald. It's a look at how Hillary Clinton, badly burned by her experience coordinating Bill Clinton's health initiative early in his first term, has refrained from offering health-care specifics in her own presidential bid.

No comments: