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.

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The failed promise of “objective” political reporting

Our leading journalistic institutions engage in “objectivity” to achieve two major goals: An informed electorate, and immunity from accusations of bias. So, here’s my question to New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet, Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron, Associated Press executive editor Sally Buzbee, and the other proclaimed and self-proclaimed guardians of our biggest, finest news organizations: How’s that working out for you?
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The New York Times has a misogyny problem, too

Rather than report on how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s riveting, viral speech on the House floor on Thursday was a signal moment in the fight against abusive sexism, the New York Times article was full of sexist double standards and embraced the framing of her critics, casting her as a rule-breaker trying to “amplify her brand.”

Save lives? Or obsess about Trump’s tone? Political reporters make the wrong choice.

Trump actually did something great, for once: He told his followers in no uncertain terms to cut it out and put on their masks. That could save countless lives, especially if it’s sufficiently broadcast. But instead, the preponderance of the mainstream coverage of his comments involved carefully assessing a possible “shift in tone.”

Washington Post campaign reporters describe Trump’s epic failings as ‘self-sabotage’

What do you call it when Donald Trump continuously spouts overtly racist and authoritarian rhetoric while obdurately refusing to take the necessary action to stop a raging pandemic? If you’re a campaign reporter for the elite media, you call it a tactical mistake.

The media is covering this election all wrong

Trump's election campaign has been reduced to a blatant appeal to racists and know-nothings. So there are really only two questions reporters should be focusing on: Can Trump and his dead-enders steal the election? And what is going on in these people's heads?

New York Times editor Dean Baquet wants his reporters to keep an open — and empty — mind

Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the New York Times, considers journalistic "objectivity" -- as his newsroom currently practices it -- a “core value” that he intends to guard as long as he remains in charge. So be prepared for more credulous, both-sides stenography.

TRUMP AND THE CORONAVIRUS

OBJECTIVITY

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.

The failed promise of “objective” political reporting

Our leading journalistic institutions engage in “objectivity” to achieve two major goals: An informed electorate, and immunity from accusations of bias. So, here’s my question to New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet, Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron, Associated Press executive editor Sally Buzbee, and the other proclaimed and self-proclaimed guardians of our biggest, finest news organizations: How’s that working out for you?

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 political cartoon from the muckraking era, by Joseph Keppler for Puck.

Seven calls to arms for political journalists

The press – and the truth – are under siege like never before. But political journalists don’t have to take it sitting down. They can actively defend their core values, which include honest governance and an informed electorate. Here’s a look at some of the ways they could do that.

TIMIDITY

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.

New York Times health reporter Donald McNeil deserves accolades, not a scolding

After sounding off on the dismal federal response to the coronavirus on CNN, McNeil didn't deserve to be scolded by the Times for going “too far in expressing his personal views.” He did exactly what more journalist desperately need to be doing right now. He expressed himself with authority, and passion, and alarm.

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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