The Campaigns Are On Message, and So Is Everyone Else

Mercifully, there is only one week of campaigning remaining. Not that politics isn’t engaging; I just haven’t heard an original thought coming from the candidates, reporters, or commentators (with the possible exception of Dick Morris) in weeks.

Journalists aren’t doing much real reporting on the political campaigns these days, opines the Columbia Journalism Review, because technological advances and 24-hour news stations “have reporters on what amounts to a constant deadline, processing a never-ending torrent of digital spin.”

The editorial continues: “It’s often debatable who is actually framing the stories — the journalist or the campaigns. The poor reporter out on the trail, under orders to break news and remain “objective,” usually doesn’t have time to reflect, or even to really report in a way that gets beyond the spin. The spinners know this, and exploit it.” This system encourages busy reporters — even good ones — to lean on someone else’s version of the truth instead of assembling a more complete version of their own. In this echo chamber, where reporters talk to the same sources and to one another, storylines rapidly calcify.”

Even our favorite talking heads and political voices sound like they’re reading off the daily message points of the DNC or RNC. Over and over again. It would be great to hear something original in the campaign’s waning days. But it’s not likely.

–James Jewell

About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group ( Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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