WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Sat - 01.11.2014


2012 Presidential Elections

‘Post-truth politics’. The expression has an undeniable ring to it. Fusing a modish anti-politics sentiment with pleasingly Orwellian overtones, the phrase has come to symbolize the pessimism and contempt that has permeated much of the media commentary during the lead-up to today’s Presidential election. Orwell himself said that in times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act; whether or not the 2012 campaign ought to be castigated as being especially mendacious, the central role of websites such as FactCheck and PolitiFact suggests an urge to scythe through the dense undergrowth of shrill partisanship in search of something that is empirically, verifiably, irreducibly ‘true’. 

Author

Frederick Alliott's picture

Frederick Alliott

Date

2012-11-06 18:54

Election day has arrived, and even those of us without an iota of American heritage (let alone suffrage) are slightly a-twitch in our chairs as we play with interactive graphics and wait to see whether Twitter is really going to break. Today, undecided voters— those fickle objects of the mass media’s fascination, and Bill Maher’s derision— will have to slide to one side or the other, or perch on white picket forever. And by now, those newspapers that wish to have picked a side.

This year, Barack Obama is leading Mitt Romney 41 to 35 in endorsements from the nation’s 100 highest-circulation newspapers, according to the American Presidency Project. The newspapers that are backing Obama have a circulation of over 10 million between them, while those that support Romney have a combined circulation of around 6.5 million.

Author

Emma Knight's picture

Emma Knight

Date

2012-11-06 18:50

‘No man is an island, entire of itself’, wrote the poet Donne, a sentiment which, albeit in a more prosaic form, might be said to encapsulate the social media policy of most American news corporations in the run-up to tomorrow’s Presidential election. Never before has the coverage of polling day itself, let alone the result, been so hotly anticipated, and many of the larger news organizations have attempted to codify in advance their social media strategy for the big day – chief amongst which seems to be the guiding principle that, in the words of the Associated Press, ‘people view all of us as speaking for the AP’. In their online presence on Twitter and Facebook, therefore, journalists must locate a delicate balance between their dual roles as individual and representative, as both personality and employee. Whilst social media so often acts as the shot of adrenaline reviving the groggy and often lifeless body politic, such a fusion of individuality with a larger collaborative responsibility is nonetheless fraught with danger for professional journalists.

Author

Frederick Alliott's picture

Frederick Alliott

Date

2012-11-05 19:12

It is ironic that a political pundit famed for innovative statistical rigour should be decried bitterly in some quarters as a partisan propagandist. Such, however, is the fate of Nate Silver, voguish election specialist and author of The New York Times blog ‘FiveThirtyEight’. As the two US presidential hopefuls turn into the electoral Tattenham corner ready for next week’s home straight, one might be forgiven for assuming the race is far from run; Obama might lead by a length, so the media consensus runs, but a late surge of momentum from Mitt Romney means that all bets are off.

Author

Frederick Alliott's picture

Frederick Alliott

Date

2012-11-02 18:47

‘The buck stops with Candy’, screamed the US’s Fox News; ‘Candy Crowley sides with Obama’, fulminated the UK’s Daily Mail. Such a reaction from two well-known conservative media outlets in response to moderator Candy Crowley’s performance in last night’s second US presidential debate seems both unsurprising and unremarkable, given both the innately problematic nature of the job and her own prior indications of how she would complete it. The tussle between those who proclaim their journalistic impartiality and those who assert the presence of political bias is as old as the hills; given her unapologetically robust analysis of the role beforehand – ‘to give the conversation direction and get the questions answered’ – controversy was perhaps inevitable.

Author

Frederick Alliott's picture

Frederick Alliott

Date

2012-10-17 17:29

Q. What do teen hairstyles, 'fun quizzes', teen fashion and the 2012 presidential elections have in common?

A. Seventeen magazine.

The light-hearted publication targeted at American teens is one of several magazines making serious efforts to involve its readers in political debate. Through its Electionista blog, Seventeen electoral coverage for teens and provides a platform for young women to air their politics-related views and opinions. In a section titled If I were President, 17-year-old Emma Leibowitz shares her experience of attending the Young Women’s Political Leadership Programme and Bostonian Aditi tells readers what it’s like being a Republican in an area famous for its Democrat-voting population.

Over at Glamour.com, "The Conversation" blog focuses on the women shaping the 2012 elections, with reports on Condoleeza Rice, Ann Romney and Michelle Obama.

Author

Amy Hadfield's picture

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-09-12 18:08

This U.S. presidential election season, The Washington Post, NPR and the Sunlight Foundation are inviting developers to delve into their APIs* and show off some of the wild things they can do with data during a weekend-long Election Hackathon.

The challenge is open to any developer who lives in the United States and will be in the vicinity of Washington, D.C. from October 6-7, 2012. Participants are expected to build unique web or mobile applications that illuminate aspects of the presidential race using data from The Washington Post’s newly available APIs, as well as those of NPR, the Sunlight Foundation (a transparency non-profit) and any other sources they can find.

The free hackathon will apparently include six meals and 26 hours of frenzied app building, which can be undertaken either solitarily or in a team of up to five people. Programmers are welcome to explore the APIs in advance, but cannot start on their apps until after registration and bagels on Saturday morning. 

Author

Emma Knight's picture

Emma Knight

Date

2012-08-29 14:48

On the eve of the U.S. Republican and Democratic Parties’ National Conventions, major media events during which the parties will officially nominate their presidential and vice-presidential candidates, the Pew Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism has reported that the journalist’s role in shaping the presidential contenders' personal narratives has been steadily shrinking over the past four campaign cycles. Meanwhile, partisan voices have been assuming a greater degree of direct control over media messages about each candidate’s character and biography.

Partisan sources of information include the candidates themselves, their campaign surrogates (people who represent the campaigns in an official capacity), spin-doctors, political allies, super PAC’s and political ads. As their influence over the media narrative grows, “the press is acting more as an enabler or conduit and less as an autonomous reportorial source,” according to the Pew report, titled “The Master Character Narratives in Campaign 2012,” which was published Thursday, and is based on an examination of the candidates’ portrayals in over 800 stories by 50 major news outlets over a 10-week period ending in August.

Author

Emma Knight's picture

Emma Knight

Date

2012-08-27 16:45

Syndicate content

Editors Weblog

The World Editors Forum is the organization within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (www.editorsweblog.org), launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.


© 2013 WAN-IFRA - World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Footer Navigation