This is the first of periodic critiques of how the journalists and news organizations are covering today’s issues. Your comments are always welcome.
I’ve been critical for some time about how poorly news media cover presidential candidates and politics. And I have good reason.
Both new and traditional (legacy) media give far too much attention to those candidates who are leading in the political polls and not enough to those trailing in the surveys but worthy of coverage. By doing so, the media focus on the most popular rather than the most qualified.
This perpetuates what we in the business call agenda setting—the theory that the press establishes our local and national conversations by what is reported and how it is covered.
If local and national news organizations were serious about how to cover the 21 major presidential candidates, the media have a perfect opportunity today to change course:
Donald Trump and Ohio Governor John Kasich spoke at the same moment today. Donald Trump addressed supporters in Sun City, S.C and John Kasich and announced his presidential bid at The Ohio State University.
Neither is expected to win the Republican nomination. Trump because of his often outlandish, inflammatory statements and Kasich because he so little known outside of his home state.
Journalists should use today’s concurrent speeches by both men as an opportunity to do side-by-side analysis of what each has done that qualifies him for the White House.
Every candidate—if elected president—would have to fill all executive branch cabinet seats with their nominees. I’ve used the key cabinet posts as a template for how the media should examine every presidential candidate’s record on these issues.
Note: This model should be applied to all presidential hopefuls regardless of party or current ranking public opinion polls.
Here’s the recommended reporting:
Donald Trump John Kasich
JUSTICE AND LAW
LABOR AND UNIONS
HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
I hope I see such reports, but I don’t expect to because they require time and work.
Sadly time and work are missing from today’s newsrooms as well as the historic commitment of the press to public service.