Guardian announces alternative to horse race coverage of presidential campaigns

Guardian | PressThink

Though there's a place for "horse race polls, game day coverage, personality journalism, political carnival, and even for front-page stories on the guy who cuts the candidate's hair," Amanda Michel and Jay Rosen say that won't be at the core of the Guardian's coverage. The Guardian will focus on the "citizens agenda" -- what people want the candidates to talk about. The first task is figuring out what those issues are.

"Once synthesized, the citizen's agenda can be used as an alternative starting point for The Guardian's campaign journalism. When the candidates speak, their promises and agendas are mapped against the citizens agenda. Reporters assigned to cover the campaign can dig deep on the items that make up the citizens agenda. In questioning the candidates, The Guardian will ask about things that flow from that agenda. Explainers should try to clarify and demystify the problems named in the citizens agenda."

MediaNews and Journal Register Co. newspapers, now run by Digital First Media (Rosen is on its advisory board), will work with the Guardian with locally-focused reporting on the issues. "So, in every city or town where we have a news organization, we'll be able to find out what citizens are most interested in discussing and try and get them the answers they need to make an informed decision when they show up to vote," says Digital First Media Editor Jim Brady.

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.


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