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.

If that's not enough for you, consider this:

Campaigns' tight grip on access means political journalists have been forced to become Monday morning strategists, argues Anand Giridharadas, in a New York Times piece about the tragedy of "optics" that has such strong outsider bona fides it defines "G.O.P." as "a nickname for the Republican Party."

On cue, here's a New York Times article about optics:

Republicans were wary of the optics of television coverage split between the revelry and partisanship surrounding Mr. Romney’s nomination and the threat of the storm making landfall in Louisiana or Mississippi seven years to the week after Hurricane Katrina left an American city in ruins.


• Hugh Hewitt says it's "shameful" that networks, especially PBS, don't show wall-to-wall convention coverage: They "blow it off for reruns," he says. Howard Kurtz picks up the ball, asking whether it's a "dereliction of duty."

• David Zurawik reminds people that they can see all the convention they want on C-SPAN, whose co-CEO Susan Swain describes the conventions as "our Olympics." Warning: C-SPAN's coverage "bores some people to death," Zurawik writes. Bad optics for C-SPAN in that sentence.

• Here's a photo of Eric Deggans with Wolf Blitzer. The convention provided the Tampa Bay Times media critic the opportunity to meet in person people he'd "often sparred with by satellite TV." Also: Spar with media outlets at these locations. Here's more on Tampa Bay Times' plans.

• For anyone more concerned with "narratives" than "optics," here's a collection of warnings from history.

Clinton was on the winning side of another convention duel four years later. His opponent, Republican Sen. Bob Dole, told his convention that he was born in 1923 and urged them to “let me be the bridge” to time of American “tranquility, faith and confidence in action.” He gave Clinton the perfect opening. The president responded that he wanted to build a “bridge to the future.”

• Finally, enjoy the actual meaning of the word "optics" with this feed of Instagram pix from the RNC.


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