The media has been criticized for its 2016 election coverage and still faces backlash for its political coverage today. However, CJR has some strategies for how to cover the quickly approaching 2020 election.
CJR says that much of what went wrong in 2016 was due to reporters focusing on personality and polling rather than issues that interested voters. Many media commentators are calling out journalists for failing to report on candidate platforms and instead, trying to determine the winning candidate.
CJR suggests getting out of your own head to write better stories. For example, don’t start your campaign story by focusing on the atmosphere because that doesn’t mean much to most voters. Get straight to the point and focus on what readers want to know.
Dive into the details. Journalists need to make even the most mundane details relevant and interesting for readers, so they can be informed voters. When covering a new candidate, spend as much time as possible understanding their goals, and then translate the complicated details into plain language.
For more tips on how to cover politics, click here.