Trivial Pursuit: It Happens Too Often in Political Coverage

Hayes, Christopher
June 2008
Nieman Reports;Summer2008, Vol. 62 Issue 2, p46
The author offers opinions on reporters and reporting on U.S. elections and political campaigns. A misplaced focus on trivial matters relating to a candidate's personality rather than the debate over issues is seen and deplored. The nature of campaign coverage, in which small groups of reporters spend every waking hour in effect trapped with the candidate, is said to breed this problem. The group dynamic of the reporters, and the inherent insecurities of both journalists and politicians, is seen as creating an unhealthy psychological environment for the practice of journalism


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