The key for the Times opinion section going forward should be quality control, not opinion control. There should be a near-zero tolerance for bad-faith arguments. And if Republicans refuse, they haven't been canceled, they've opted out.

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News organizations shouldn’t be making secret deals with Facebook

It's one thing for our top news organizations to accept payoffs from Facebook while leaving smaller newsrooms to die. It's another for them to hide it from their readers and viewers.

Political reporters are hurting America, so how about getting rid of most of them?

Jay Rosen says political reporters will never change, so we should just have fewer of them, and have more subject-matter reporters instead. I like the idea, but I think it's the editors who really need to go.

Capitol Police officials who failed to mobilize on Jan. 6 say memo warning that ‘Congress itself is the target’ wasn’t specific enough

A still-secret inspector general report cites a "lack of consensus" among Capitol Police officials about whether there were "specific known threats" -- as if that was why they failed to protect the Capitol from a pro-Trump mob.

As voting issue gets white-hot, political reporters try to duck the moral implications

With Republicans making voter repression their top goal, political reporters are under pressure not to "take sides." But is the moral stench too much, even for them?

At Biden’s first news conference, it wasn’t the president who was out of touch

“Look, I don’t know where you guys come from,” Biden told CNN’s Kaitlin Collins as she became the second reporter at Thursday's press conference to ask about the 2024 election.

How to get Joe Biden to tell us something new (because there’s a lot we don’t know)

The press corps will soon have a chance to push Biden past the scripted talking points and get him to reveal more about what's really going on inside his head -- and his White House. (But they'll probably blow it.)

THE BIDEN PRESIDENCY

OBJECTIVITY

Departing Washington Post editor’s comment on listening to staff is everything that’s wrong with...

The Washington Post, like other elite news organizations, has long resisted constructive criticism from within as well as from without. And in his victory lap, Marty Baron unwittingly explained why: Because the leaders don’t listen.

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.

EXPLAINERS

NYT story about Trump and Warren both being "populists"

False equivalence fuels political journalism’s race to the bottom

The political press corps in Washington cannot abide asymmetry. But when one party starts to espouse extremist views that are based neither in reality nor in the core values of an increasingly diverse United States, staying impartial – typically a journalistic virtue – results in a journalistic failure:

Political journalists are doing voter interviews all wrong

How reporters go about interviewing voters, where they go, who they talk to, what they presuppose, and most importantly what questions they ask can make the difference between the stuff of parody and the best kind of political journalism. The key to doing it right is to explore not just voters’ political opinions, but their formative moments and their value systems.

TIMIDITY

Limbaugh obituaries show the mainstream media still fawning over the people who poisoned politics

Our newsroom leaders still cannot bring themselves to declare that the hysteria and conspiracy theories that once inhabited only the lunatic fringes of our political discourse – until Rush Limbaugh, and then Donald Trump, came along – don’t merit respect, but banishment, rejection, and denial.

Washington Post editor Marty Baron grudgingly admits failure to be ‘forthright about Trump’s mendacity’

To those of us hoping for a journalistic reckoning in the post-Trump era, it's disheartening that the first admission of fault from a senior newsroom leader amounts to little more than a "whatever."

AP, NPR and others suddenly sounding all tough on Trump, but it’s too little and too late

A few weeks of somewhat less mincing coverage of Trump means nothing. It does not mean lessons have been learned. It is no cause for optimism.

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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