After four years of con games, cover-ups, conspiracy theories and contradictions, the next president of the United States needs to restore the nation’s trust in his office – and the only way to do that is with radical transparency.

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Namby-pamby political journalism isn’t going to reach the truth-deniers

More than 73 million people voted for Trump in the presidential election, suggesting that the strain of overt fact-rejection nurtured by the right wing is still very much with us -- and unlikely to succumb any time soon to more journalistic business-as-usual.

Hey political reporters – get lost!

Political reporters are the worst people in the world to be setting the tone for a new presidency at a time of unparalleled challenges because they love writing about gamesmanship and hate writing about policy.

The biggest story of our time requires an army of journalists to tell

It’s no longer enough for journalists to simply do a better job. We’ve got to take on some new jobs.

Journalists need to be ready with prebuttals to Trump’s election-stealing mayhem

Get Republican and Democratic election officials – particularly in swing states -- on the record that there is nothing risky or dangerous about counting every legally submitted ballot, even if it takes a few days.

How the New York Times suckers itself into publishing Republican propaganda

The Times has been caught, once again, passing off Republican operatives as “regular” Republican voters in an article intended to show how effectively Trump is maintaining his support.

If Biden wins, political journalists have a lot of catching up to do

In a post-Trump world, the press needs to immediately start holding the president to the highest possible standards of transparency, logic, and clarity.

TRUMP AND THE CORONAVIRUS

OBJECTIVITY

Namby-pamby political journalism isn’t going to reach the truth-deniers

More than 73 million people voted for Trump in the presidential election, suggesting that the strain of overt fact-rejection nurtured by the right wing is still very much with us -- and unlikely to succumb any time soon to more journalistic business-as-usual.

No, Americans are not hankering for more “objectivity” in journalism

A major new survey of public opinion about the news media is being misinterpreted by its sponsors to suggest that Americans don’t think there’s enough objectivity in journalism anymore. I think it shows the opposite.

EXPLAINERS

Needed: More coverage of possible post-Trump legislative reforms

The Trump presidency has exposed a slew of major problems that Washington needs to address legislatively. Chief among them: the flawed political and electoral system that gave him the presidency; and the vast range of unchecked powers that have been granted to the American presidency. Our elite political media needs to start identifying the wreckage Trump has made of our norms and institutions and engaging in an exploration of how we can fix it.
A chart from the Shorenstein Center report "In the Shadow of Kerner: Fifty Years Later, Newsroom Diversity and Equity Stall".

Newsrooms are struggling to cover race

The role of race and racism in American politics has always been significant. These days, it is central to the political divide in our country. Understanding and being able to explain its complexities is essential to cover this moment coherently. And yet the gaze of our elite American newsrooms remains intractably white and male. So they fail.

TIMIDITY

Trump threatens Social Security and Medicare and the press yawns

Maybe in a few weeks, it will become conventional wisdom that Trump’s vow to cut the payroll tax was an outrage, an act of impetuousness and malice and lunacy, a gift for his grifter friends. But for now, the news reports won’t tell you what you need to know.

The critical subtext for Trump’s rage against mail-in ballots is that he wants the minority to rule

Political reporters from our top news organizations aren’t falling for Donald Trump’s transparently deceitful campaign to demonize mail-in voting. But they're not putting this latest attempt at voter suppression in its essential context: as part of a massive Republican program to create the possibility of minority rule.

When Trump takes a step toward autocracy, journalists need to call it out

Even as Donald Trump and members of his administration have asserted greater and more unilateral executive power, our top news organizations have tended to interpret those moves narrowly and naively – giving too much credit to cover stories, marginalizing criticism as just so much partisan squabbling, and leaving the accurate, alarming description of what’s really going on to opinion writers.

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Welcome to Press Watch, a collaborative project to monitor political reporting and encourage more responsible, informed and informative campaign and government coverage before the 2020 election. Please read more About This Site and be free with your feedback!

Dan Froomkin

Editor in Chief