The Campaigning of Political Reporters

December 2003
Nieman Reports;Winter2003, Vol. 57 Issue 4, p48
The article focuses on the impact of the Internet and the self-absorbed way the political press perceive their role and work during the 2003 California governor recall elections. This is an era in which the reporter has become more important than readers or voters. There is nothing new about candidates or officeholders calling on reporters who are likely to ask softball questions. What was unusual was to see a candidate who so completely understood the nature of modern political reporting and was so uniquely positioned to take advantage of a new era in campaign information. Much had changed about how the political press corps perceives and pursues its job due to the increased importance of television and radio talk show and the rising impact of the Internet as a means of conveying information and as a vehicle for the public to observe and comment on political reporting. It has become a matter of daily routine to check a variety of Web sites to see where the newspaper's reporting landed on the list of top stories. Routinely, in a break between deadlines, political reporters and columnists would sit down on the studio stool and make a quick television appearance on one of the many cable shows that must keep feeding the appetite of a 24-hour news hole.


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