Articles about "Political and campaign reporting"


Publishers resurface evergreen content; Thailand’s the place to be for drone journalism

Here’s our roundup of the top digital and social media stories you should know about (and from Andrew Beaujon, 10 media stories to start your day):

— New York magazine is posting old content to its Facebook page, and Business Insider is doing so on its homepage, according to Digiday’s Ricardo Bilton. How timestamp-transparent should publishers be when resurfacing evergreen stories?

— Drone journalism won’t take off in South Africa or the U.S. anytime soon, according to Sydney Pead at PBS MediaShift. But in Thailand, “it’s considered a hobby” — and easier than playing Playstation 3.

— A new Twitter bot called @congressedits tracks Wikipedia edits from computers on Capitol Hill. David Uberti looks at six of the recent edits at Columbia Journalism Review. Read more

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Vice President Joe Biden gestures  as he speaks about reducing domestic violence, Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at the Montgomery County Executive Office Building in Rockville, Md. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

A year ago, Joe Biden’s staff deleted my pictures

The weirdest part was when Fox News’ Bret Baier mentioned my name. From his March 14, 2013, broadcast:

“A student reporter who was forced by Vice President Biden’s staff to delete pictures he took at a Biden appearance has received an apology. University of Maryland student journalist Jeremy Barr was covering a domestic violence event attended by Biden, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Senator Ben Cardin.”

Vice President Biden speaks in Rockville, Md., on March 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

One year ago, I was a graduate student at the University of Maryland’s journalism school. As part of the program’s capstone, I worked four days a week as a politics reporter for the school’s Capital News Service. I primarily covered the state’s congressional delegation, but I also reported on national politics as related to the Free State.

“Bidengate,” as probably someone on Twitter called it, started out as just a run-of-the-mill administration news conference on March 13. Biden and Holder were on hand to announce a domestic violence grant program, and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Sen. Ben Cardin got some mic time because their state’s program was viewed as a national model. Read more

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Joe McGinniss, scourge of politicos and chronicler of crime, dies at 71

Associated Press | Los Angeles Times 


Stories about author-journalist Joe McGinniss are re-emerging in the wake of news that he died Monday in a Worcester, Mass., hospital from complications of prostate cancer.

He once moved next door to Sarah Palin to gather material for his unauthorized biography about her, according to the Associated Press. The subject of his best-selling book, “Fatal Vision,” sued him, claiming McGinniss tricked him into believing the convicted murderer was innocent. McGinniss’ publisher settled out of court for $325,000.

Associated Press reported:

The tall, talkative McGinniss had early dreams of becoming a sports reporter and wrote books about soccer, horse racing and travel. But he was best known for two works that became touchstones in their respective genres — campaign books (”The Selling of the President”) and true crime (”Fatal Vision”). In both cases, he had become fascinated by the difference between public image and private reality.

McGinniss worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer as a columnist while writing the book on Richard Nixon. Nixon’s campaign allowed him access, not suspecting he would turn out a book exposing the soul-less marketing of the presidential candidate. He was unflinching with Democrats as well, although his book, “The Last Brother: The Rise and Fall of Teddy Kennedy,” attributed imagined thoughts to Ted Kennedy and drew rounds of criticism, the Los Angeles Times reported.

On his website, the Times said, McGinniss wrote:

Penetrating the façade of institutions and people in public life can be an exhilarating but risky business. Sometimes the results are culturally ground-breaking and wildly popular, sometimes disillusioning and distinctly unpopular, sometimes personally heartbreaking.

He is survived among others by his wife Nancy Doherty and his son, author Joe McGinniss Jr. Read more

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China Citizens Movement Trial

Covering China: for foreign and domestic press, self-censorship’s the threat

A plainclothes policeman, center, tries to block a foreign journalist filming while police detain the supporters of Xu Zhiyong near the No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court in Beijing Wednesday. Xu, a legal scholar and founder of the New Citizens movement, is on trial facing a charge organzing a crowd to disrupt public order. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

It’s not easy being a journalist in China these days.

Chinese reporters are facing new government restrictions, including forced training in Marxism and a new written “ideology” exam. Some, pushing the investigative envelope, have been detained, demoted and fired. Bloggers have been arrested under a new law that forbids rumor-mongering.

Meanwhile, foreign journalists have had visa renewals held up by the government, with the threat of expulsion. The standoff grew so contentious that Vice President Joe Biden had to make a personal appeal to China’s president before last-minute visas were issued earlier this month.

The troubles have prompted soul-searching among journalists about their cumulative effect. The key question for many is whether government intimidation will lead to self-censorship. Read more

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As a New Jersey state trooper stands at attention nearby, Gov. Chris Christie delivers his State of the State address Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Blindsided: How Christie used passive verbs to turn himself into a victim

My brother frequently drives from New Jersey to New York across the George Washington Bridge to visit our 94-year-old mom. Her name is Shirley Clark, and she likes Chris Christie. She prefers her politicians to be straight talkers. She would agree with George Orwell that the best political rhetoric is “demotic,” a fancy word for the “voice of the people.”

If I could bring Orwell back from his early grave, I would have loved to have sat next to him during the New Jersey governor’s press conference apologizing for dirty political tricks, or at his subsequent State of the State of New Jersey speech. Based on what Orwell wrote in “Politics and the English Language,” I think he would have given the governor a mixed grade.

Reviewing Christie’s words, there are moments when he seems to take responsibility for the traffic disasters as political vendetta in the city of Fort Lee. He says, for example, “I apologize to the people of Fort Lee” and “ultimately I am responsible for what happens under my watch – the good and the bad.” Read more

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obama & pete souza

PoynterVision: White House photo practices break promise of open government

Kenny Irby, senior faculty at Poynter, advises the public to critically analyze photos from the White House Press Office, particularly as it routinely denies photojournalists access to the president.

Founder of Poynter’s photojournalism program, Irby says he doesn’t believe the Obama administration is living up to its promise of “open government.”

Irby argues White House chief photographer Pete Souza‘s role is more that of a “propagandist” than a photojournalist since his job is to make the president “look good, make the president look presidential.”

In the past week, several news organizations, including the McClatchy newspapers, USA Today and the AP have said they will not use handout photos originating from the White House Press Office, except in rare circumstances.


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The performance of HealthCare.gov isn't what will count in the end, says Politico's Joanne Kenen. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

Health care coverage is more than numbers

We’ve heard a lot about the HealthCare.gov website and its performance metrics recently.

But the Affordable Care Act metric that really matters isn’t error rates or response time. It’s enrollment.

Furthermore, what matters isn’t just how many people enroll – although that’s part of it. It’s also who enrolls – in particular, their age and health status. A mix that includes younger and healthier people is needed for a viable insurance risk pool. And whether that mix has been achieved may not be clear until later in the six-month open-enrollment season. Read more

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‘We should have done better,’ Flint Journal editor says after two felons elected to council

The Flint Journal | WJRT

Two newly elected members of Flint, Mich.’s city council were convicted of felonies, and two others have declared bankruptcy in the past. “We didn’t do good enough,” Flint Journal editor Marjory Raymer writes.

Flint’s council is “virtually powerless” because the city remains under the control of an emergency manager, Raymer writes. “We all know, though, that the state takeover will end eventually – and so we take very seriously our responsibility to inform voters.” Read more

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For readers puzzling over anonymous sources, a few primers

Huffington Post | Esquire | The New York Times

According to an anonymous source (OK, it was my editor, Andrew Beaujon), The Huffington Post offered readers “The Definitive Guide to Decoding Washington’s Anonymous Sources.”

Congress has made a lot of news lately, and journalists Ryan Grim and Jason Linkins write: “For those of you just walking into the theater, we thought a quick primer on some of the coded language the Capitol Hill press corps uses might be useful.”

“You have surely noticed that story after story is powered by the musings of anonymous congressional aides, lawmakers and White House officials. Can you believe any of this? Yes. But it depends. To a non-initiated reader, the description of these anonymous creatures may appear to be quite random. But embedded within them are major giveaways about the reliability of the information being passed on, and how much credit you should give it. For example, if the author of the story you’re reading is an experienced Capitol Hill reporter, the description of the source you’re reading is likely the result of an explicit agreement between the source and the reporter.”

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Mayoral candidate endorses himself in ad on alt-weekly’s cover

Cleveland Magazine

This week’s Cleveland Scene carries a wraparound ad for mayoral candidate Ken Lanci. The four-page ad goes over the Scene’s actual cover and includes an endorsement of Lanci — who has said he’d consider buying the Scene — from “The Lanci Tribune.”

In Cleveland Magazine, Erick Trickey wonders “shouldn’t a rebellious alt-weekly avoid a sleight-of-hand that suggests a millionaire political candidate can buy its endorsement?

What sort of political coverage of the mayor’s race will Scene offer up now? “Premiere edition,” declares the “Lanci Tribune.” Will the paper bite the hand that feeds in the next issue? Or keep quiet about the mayor’s race?

Trickey’s criticism is “pretty boring,” Scene Editor Vince Grzegorek says in an email to Poynter. Read more

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