Political Reporting Is a Joke

'Politics' is about more than politicians, argues essayist
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2015 12:03 PM CST
Political Reporting Is a Joke
GOP candidates at a debate in October.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Political reporting in the US is in a sad state, and the problem is more fundamental than you might think, writes Jonathan Stray at Medium. Yes, coverage tends to be of the superficial "horse race" variety and too many reporters covet "insider" status, but Stray's complaint goes deeper. He thinks we have a far too narrow view of what "politics" means. The word encompasses more than candidates and government, he writes. The true meaning involves actual people and the way they want to change their communities. Unfortunately, "most politics coverage is about politicians, not the things I care about and the actions I could take."

It's the reason young people are tuning out of traditional politics, writes Stray. They're not apathetic—they've just learned that social change is more likely to come about through ways beyond electoral politics. If the political press wants to stay relevant, it better pay attention. "I want political journalism to help me better understand how to change the world to my liking, by acting with other people who want the same thing," writes Stray. "I want it to be about me and my community, and our aspirations, and what we could do to make them real. " In short, "political journalism should be politically empowering. Everything else is entertainment." Click for the full column. (More media stories.)

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