Political Journalism Needs New Rules After Trump

Marc Ambinder: “Here’s a tried-and-true creed, straight from Journalism 101: Journalists should never take sides. But how do you not take sides when one of those sides is so clearly wrong?”

“Another: Journalists should not characterize political candidates as liars. But what happens when political candidates base their entire campaigns on very persuasive lies?”

“Science journalists no longer cover anthropogenic climate change as an issue that’s subject to dispute. (What to do about it surely is; the fact of it is not.) Reporters on the criminal justice beat recognize, as a fact, that the system is institutionally biased against black people. Women in sports journalism take sexism as a fact.”

“But political journalists will be tempted to cover the coming fight about Obamacare as if the Republicans have put forth a serious solution to its problems. That’s not true. Republicans want to get rid of the entire program and replace it with something else they haven’t fully explained. In the context of the real world, that solution is a nothingburger. It is not real. It should be treated as not-real.”

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