Republican National Convention

Conventions offer opportunity to revisit fact-checking, journalists with opinions

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Most likely Poynter Online’s last roundup of material about the major parties’ political conventions until 2016

Last Thursday night’s Democratic National Convention lineup got four million tweets flying, double Twitter’s weekly average for political tweets, Emily Schultheis reports. Less data-y, but maybe more important:

“I wouldn’t be shocked if a fair amount of the attention paid to the convention was through Twitter primarily,” said GOP strategist Patrick Ruffini of EngageDC, a digital advertising firm. “If you’re like me, someone who hangs on every word someone is saying, you have far fewer options for TV apart from C-SPAN.”

Maybe we should focus more on how the 15 percent of adult Internet users who are on Twitter use the service rather than on statistics whose utility is not exactly clear? Read more

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Counterpoint: Political reporters say attending conventions is crucial

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Last week in Tampa, Michael Calderone writes, Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Sheelah Kolhatkar briefly attended the Republican National Convention and walked away with one of the event’s few big scoops: an account of a Karl Rove-hosted breakfast that opened a rare window on how big-league fundraising occurs in U.S. politics. “Scoops and valuable, legitimate nuggets of insight and information are hard to come by in Conventionland, yet reporters who swarmed the halls en masse in Tampa are all at it again in Charlotte,” Calderone writes.

Washington Post reporter Dan Balz tells Calderone it’s important for journalists to be at conventions anyway. Among other reasons: “You can’t get a feel for the optics in a way that you do if you’re watching TV.” (Optics again!) Mother Jones’ David Corn tells him access is a lot easier at the convention: “Frankly, it’s sometimes hard to get people on the phone if you’re not The New York Times or Washington Post.” Corn calls the convention a “really, really big green room,” Corn said. Read more


Empty-chair interviews officially a trend after Clint Eastwood RNC speech

Clint Eastwood interviewed an empty chair Thursday night at the RNC, in a speech that took a remarkably maverick tone even without the stunt.

Punks on Twitter couldn’t believe how lucky they got. (Except Tom Brokaw.) A British correspondent tried to make sense of American Democracy. People took their own photos of empty chairs, and naturally there’s now a Twitter account for Clint’s. Read more


Did the media just enter age of ‘post-truth politics’ with Paul Ryan speech?

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Paul Ryan’s speech to the RNC Wednesday night “pushed the debate onto a higher plane,” David Gergen told CNN. It also, as the Associated Press put it, took “factual shortcuts.” Josh Marshall says members of the news media must now decide whether Ryan’s higher plane is so high the truth can’t possibly be expected to take root there:

The real question to watch over the next 24 hours is whether that lying thing breaks through into its own issue, as something reporters who are afraid of getting smacked around by campaigns are actually willing or feel they need to discuss.

It’s not any great feat Thursday morning to find fact-checks and blog posts strafing Ryan’s speech. Read more


CNN camerawoman in RNC peanut-throwing incident comes forward

Journal-isms | Witches’ Brew
Patricia Carroll is the CNN cameraperson who got peanuts thrown at her at the Republican National Convention Tuesday, Richard Prince reports. Carroll, who is black, told Prince “she does not want her situation to be used for political advantage.”

“This situation could happen to me at the Democratic convention or standing on the street corner. Racism is a global issue,” she said by telephone from Tampa.

Carroll also told Prince that no one got the names of the peanut throwers, who said: “This is what we feed animals.”

She alerted fellow camera operators, producers and CNN security. The head of the delegation — she was not certain of the state — told her the perpetrators must have been alternates, not delegates.

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Two people were removed from RNC after throwing nuts at black CNN camerawoman

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You only have to pump the words “why conventions matter” into Google News to realize a counterintuitive take on their worth is overdue. Brendan Nyhan says the reason you see so many people deriding conventions as “infomercials” is they make it much harder for members of the news media to step between message and voters:

In every other aspect of the campaign, the candidates and their messages are filtered through journalists who are reticent to allow them to speak or be quoted at any length without interpretation or analysis. … Unlike the debates, which are moderated by journalists, the conventions allow the parties and the candidate to speak to voters unfiltered in prime time.

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How Politico’s Patrick Gavin owns convention coverage, from 900 miles away

Nobody’s covering members of the media in Tampa this week like Politico reporter Patrick Gavin. He’s been tweeting “rules” for covering the convention that, as my boss showed yesterday, most journalists at the RNC are following.

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How networks plan to cover Isaac, RNC simultaneously

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Networks have a secret ally to help them cover two big stories at once, reports Jeremy W. Peters. And it’s already infiltrated your home!

Michael Clemente, executive vice president for news at Fox News, said that even if the storm becomes so severe that it warrants split-screen coverage with the convention, such coverage is hardly a rare event in today’s hyperactive news cycle. Larger, more rectangular television screens now allow cable news channels to offer three screens at once. “There’s more real estate now,” he said.

That real estate may go unclaimed: NBC and CNN spokespeople told Politico’s Dylan Byers “split screen” may not actually mean split screen. Read more


As RNC kicks off, journalists debate ‘optics’ and coverage

Let’s talk conventions. To save time, here’s a Storify that strongly implies the only RNC coverage fans of meta-journalism need is Patrick Gavin’s Twitter account. Read more