On big media not getting election coverage

As Elinor Mills points out over at CNET, AOL, a division of Time Warner, has just launched an election blog. Talk about not getting the point of political coverage, the idea that an election blog should be launched less than a month before the general election is the height of editorial calendaringJust putting up some "political blogs" changes nothing.

As Elinor Mills points out over at CNET, AOL, a division of Time Warner, has just launched an election blog. Talk about not getting the point of political coverage, the idea that an election blog should be launched less than a month before the general election is the height of editorial calendaringJust putting up some "political blogs" changes nothing. hubris—apparently Sam Donaldson and other of ABC's "savvy political insiders" are available just these three weeks to answer your questions

What about all the primaries? The initiatives? Instead, AOL doles out pablum like "Ted Kennedy Compared to Jeb Bush," as though one of those guys was the dreamier pol. After all, you can't compare the two directly, since they have held no offices where they have comparable records. Bush is still a state-level politician in the executive branch and Kennedy a U.S. Senator for decades—what's to compare, since they deal with entirely different aspects of the issues. It's like comparing Alex Rodriguez and Sebastian Janikowski. Yes, both are athletes, but how do you measure them against one another? It's nonsense.

Politics isn't a game played once every two or four years. It also isn't a topic that involves which politician wins (e.g. "Bush signing terror bill into law in major victory for White House," which, oddly, comes from a Canadian paper that should care less about American tit-for-tat politics). Rather, politics is about the consequences of policies for citizens and reporters should spend a lot more time on the impacts of political decisions than on who gets to make them. 

But we get fight coverage, like the general election was Ali vs. Foreman or, even more unfortunately, Nazi Germany vs. The Allies. It doesn't matter which side you think you are on (or that you think I am on), you deserve better from the media when it comes to political coverage.

Politics happens every day, all year, every year. If we recognized that and covered the individual issues rather than the horseracing and which-jockey-wins-and-which-jockey-loses stories that equate political success with passing a bill instead of serving the people, the media would be taking some steps in the right direction.

Just putting up some "political blogs" changes nothing. Doing it three weeks before the election is just lazy me-tooism.

UPDATE: This story, from Ethan Zuckerman, about Mzalendo, a Kenyan Parliamentary citizen jouralism effort, is an example of really changing the dialogue. 

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All